Lady Gaga: “Gucci was a way to survive for Patricia”

Lady Gaga stars as Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci.”
Fabio Lovino

By María Estévez, MWN

On Thanksgiving, we will finally be able to enjoy “House Of Gucci,” the long-awaited film directed by Ridley Scott with a star cast lead by Lady Gaga.

The pop star plays Patrizia Reggiani, the controversial ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver), who went from being compared to Elizabeth Taylor to be called the Black Widow for murdering her husband with a help of a hitman in the mid-90s, unleashing one of the most controversial scandals in the fashion industry.

Reggiani has already been released from prison and told the Italian press how annoyed she was that Gaga played her without meeting her. But the 35-year-old shared the unique ways she prepared for the role: going full method, approaching the film as a reporter and taking up photography to piece together the dangerously glamorous Patrizia.

Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, received the script a few months after finishing “A Star Is Born” and spent three years working on “House of Gucci.” She lived as Reggiani for more than a year speaking with a thick Italian accent during that time. Metro talked with the actress, whose name is already buzzing for an Oscar nomination.

Why do you think Patrizia killed her husband?

I spent a lot of time reading about her and watching interviews she gave. I didn’t want to read much with an opinion in it as I really wanted to create my own. I thought about who she was and why this happened for a long time, but I thought it was significant and important to make sure that I worked as a journalist when approaching this role because this is a real person. As a real person and a person that in a lot of her interviews lies all the time, I wanted to decide for myself how does she look when she lies, how she looks when she is not lying, and who was the real woman: Patrizia Regiani before she got married or before she got him murdered. There is less information about her when she was younger, so I really had to build her youth. I think she was a real woman that fell in love that not only loved Mauritio but she loved the way he empowered her within the family business and when that was taken from her, I believe she reacted in a way most women don’t. Most women don’t have their husbands murdered. And yet I do believe in that system, with that sort of systemic oppression that she experienced this happened because she was simply too hurt.

You lived as the character for more than a year. Why is that?

I really wanted to make sure we had it right. I wanted to make sure that Patrizia never looked as shiny as the Gucci family and I never had the fashion to do the talking. In terms of the physicality of the acting for me, I actually had 3 different animals that I was working with: earlier in her life I was a cat, like a house cat. In the middle of the film, I was a fox. So I studied the way foxes hunt and I was quite playful. And then I studied panthers for the end. For the third act of the movie she becomes this big cat. I watched a lot of videos of the way a panther hunts and they are seductive in the way they do. I used all that in regards to the physicality of the character.

Lady Gaga stars as Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci.”Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc.

This role embraces a period of 30 years. What did it mean for you to play the life of someone for such a long time?

Playing somebody during 30 years of her life is ridiculous. But I thank Ridley for believing in me. It was a challenge. We had continuity photos of scenes, so we always knew what I looked like at any given moment. We had 15 wigs that were actual replicas of the way she wore her hair at exact times in her life. Everything we did was very accurate and, in the morning, I may be playing a scene where she is in her late 30’s and then I would have to do a scene where she was 25. We went back and forth but because we were organized and so specific, we were always ready. I wanted to always be on time on the set and always ready. I can’t say enough good words about my cast. It was such a pleasure working with Adam every day, with every single actor because everybody wanted to make this as good as possible and everybody cared.

What was the biggest challenge for you?

The great challenge in building this character is that there is not a lot of information about Patrizia Gucci before the death of Maurzio. This was how she became famous to the world. I did a lot of intensive almost journalistic type work. I read a lot about her, watched every single clip of every interview she gave after the murder to learn her mannerisms and to know when she was lying and when telling the truth. I knew I was about to play a murderer. I also knew how Tony feels about Italians being represented in film in terms of crime. I wanted to make a real person out of Patrizia, not a caricature. If you watch enough interviews with someone, you become in tune with their emotional quotient. And she lied a lot. I’ve never had a better experience with a director. He loves artists, and some directors don’t. They just love themselves.