Lady Gaga is up to her usual Method acting tricks again, again, according to “Joker: Folie à Deux” cinematographer Lawrence Sher.
In a recent podcast interview circulated online, Sher said Lady Gaga’s assistant director asked her to be called “Lee” during production, and it suddenly changed the dynamic of the set.
“I didn’t know Stefani at all,” she said, referring to the ‘Fame Monster’ icon’s first name, “Stefani Germanotta.” “Strangely, I felt like I’d never met her, not even during the hair/makeup tryouts. Because again, maybe that was my philosophy of not trying to get into their space. And then I remember for a week, going, god, I feel like we’re disconnecting. Not even the link. We are like on opposites. And I’d say to my crew, ‘Jesus, I can’t, like, decipher that. Either he hates me or we hate each other. Something strange is happening here.’ I barely said anything except I said, “Stefani, this is where your second team was, little minor stuff,” and then the AD at one point said, “Oh you know, Stef would love it if you called her Lee on set.” And I was like, oh, 100 percent, and I literally said, the next thing I said, it was “Lee” something, and it was like everything changed. From that moment on, it was like she was… our whole connection changed. I was like, okay, cool.
Todd Phillips’ sequel to the 2019 blockbuster and Academy Award winner “Joker” will be released in theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures on October 4, 2024.
What does “Lee” mean, who knows. Short for “HarLEY Quinn” definitely. Lady Gaga has spoken at length about the practices of her method, from staying in her Italian accent as Patrizia Reggiani for Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci” to staying in character “for years” as Ally Maine for Bradley Cooper’s 2018 “A Star Is Born.” In “Joker: Folie à Deux,” Lady Gaga plays the Joker’s love interest, Harley Quinn. (Get a first look at his character here.) Joaquin Phoenix reprises his Academy Award-winning role as the clown prince of crime.
Plot details for the 2019 film’s sequel remain scarce. It is said to be a musical film focusing on Arkham Asylum and its inhabitants, with a cast that includes Zazie Beetz (returning to her seemingly hallucinated neighbor Arthur Fleck from the 2019 film), Oscar-nominated “Banshees of Inisherin” Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener in an undisclosed role, Jacob Lofland as an Arkham Asylum inmate, Harry Lawtey, and more.
Lady Gaga was a 2021 Best Actress nominee for “House of Gucci,” endlessly revealing her training in the Stanislavski and Lee Strasberg methods. She didn’t get the nomination. She’s clearly aiming for awards glory again with her portrayal of her in the ‘Joker’ sequel. She holds an Oscar for Best Original Song for the “A Star Is Born” hit song “Shallow” and moved up in the category last year for “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick.”