Joker Cinematographer Reveals Unusual Way Lady Gaga Chose To Be Addressed On Set

Folie A Deux is still over a year away, and we've already had our first fabulous Gaga anecdote.
Lady Gaga on the set of Joker: Folie A Deux
Lady Gaga on the set of Joker: Folie A Deux
Gotham via Getty Images

If you spent any time online during Lady Gaga’s press tour for her film House Of Gucci, you’ll remember that the award-winning musician provided a seemingly-endless list of weird and wonderful anecdotes from her time making the film (largely down to the fact she remained in character for its entire production).

So, as soon as it was announced that she’d be joining Joaquin Phoenix in a sequel to Joker, fans admitted they were already looking forward to what she’d come out with while promoting the movie.

Now, Joker: Folie À Deux is still over a year away, but the project’s cinematographer has already given us one golden nugget from Gaga’s time on set.

During an interview on The Trenches, cinematographer Lawrence Sher revealed he and Gaga initially didn’t have the smoothest of working relationships – until he discovered he’d not been referring to her by her preferred name.

Lawrence Sher at the Baftas in 2020
Lawrence Sher at the Baftas in 2020
Gareth Cattermole via Getty Images

Using Gaga’s legal name, Stefani, Lawrence explained: “I didn’t know Stefani at all, and strangely, I feel like I never really even met her, even during the makeup and hair tests. [I thought] maybe it was my philosophy of trying not to get in [actors’] space.

“And then I remember for, like, a week, being like, ‘god, I feel like we’re disconnecting – not even connecting, we’re, like, on opposites’. And I would say to my crew, ‘Jesus, I can’t crack it, I feel like she either hates me or we hate each other, there’s something weird going on here’.

“I barely said anything [to her on set], except I would say, ‘Stefani’… minor little things. And then the [assistant director] at one point said, ‘oh, you know, Stef would like it if you would call her Lee on set’. And I was like, ‘oh 100%’. The next thing I said was ‘something… Lee’, and it was like everything changed.”

While this might seem like an unusual request from the Poker Face singer, Gaga is playing Harley Quinn in the new Joker film, otherwise known as “Harleen Frances Quinzel”.

Therefore, it’s likely she was once again taking a Method approach to the character, and using an abbreviated version of her name even when the cameras weren’t rolling.

Lawrence noted: “From that point on, our whole connection changed. And it was like, ‘cool, that’s all I needed to know’. And that changed everything.

“Then, obviously, we made the rest of the movie, and it was much more of a connection that just grew. By the end, I think we felt connected in the sense that we’d done this thing together that was joyous and fulfilling.”

Unlike the first Joker film, Folie A Deux (the title of which refers to a shared psychosis) is thought to be a musical, with both Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix being spotted filming a number of sequences in New York earlier this year.

Joker – a reimagined origin story for the titular Batman villain – was a smash at the box office upon its release in 2019, and led the way at the following year’s Academy Awards with 11 nominations, including wins for Best Original Score and Best Actor for Joaquin.

However, it wasn’t without its controversies, with many speaking out against the movie’s depiction of mental illness and gun violence.

Watch Lawrence Sher’s interview on The Trenches below:


What's Hot