Before Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Hotel, Lady Gaga claimed limited on-screen work. She appeared in 2013’s Machete Kills and 2014’s Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill for as a tough-looking and smooth-talking waitress with a bold lip and a heart of gold. Yet, AHS marked her first significant role — one that went on to earn the “Bad Romance” singer a Golden Globe.
Gaga had her doubts going into AHS. She would be working with the likes of Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates. Thus, she knew she had to bring her A-Game if she wanted to be taken seriously as an actor — not merely as a pop icon getting her kicks in a contemporary cultural phenomenon.
During an interview with Billboard, Lady Gaga talked about working with Ryan Murphy, who noted their shared tendency to create art that shifts in accordance with their internal mental and emotional states.
Gaga explained that they both experience “the same sort of criticism over the intention of [their] work.” Some critics deem their creations attention-seeking and art for art’s sake. Yet, Gaga saw a like-minded individual in Murphy. She knew she was in the right hands, and she was grateful for the unbridled faith he had in her as an actor.
Ryan Murphy on Gaga’s ‘six-minute…introduction’ in ‘AHS: Hotel’
Ryan Murphy explained to Billboard how happy he was with Gaga’s performance, directing attention at her speechless introduction. He shared:
“She’s one of the world’s most talented people, and she’s a really great actress…There’s a six-minute moment that is her introduction on the show, when she doesn’t have any dialogue. It’s just like a story in pictures. I kept saying to her, ‘I know you can do it. You’re going [to] do it. It’s going to be great.’”
Carrying a scene with movement, gesture, and facial expression alone is not always easy. Yet, Gaga pulled it off. And, when Murphy brought her the footage to watch, she experienced immense joy.
Why Lady Gaga ‘wept’ when she saw footage of herself as The Countess in ‘AHS’
Speaking of the six-minute silent scene, Ryan Murphy told Billboard:
“So I brought [the footage] in to show it to her and she literally wept. She burst into tears. I was worried, but she told me later that it was because she was so happy that somebody had believed in her.”
Gaga did not cry because she was disappointed in her performance; she cried because someone finally gave her the chance to prove herself as a serious actor — which was what she wanted to be before ever becoming a singer.
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