That title, of course, is delivered the way Lady Gaga says it in House of Gucci, with her much discussed and debated Italian accent. Because Gaga, as we know, two weeks after receiving another SAG nomination for her performance in the film, is currently campaigning for her second Oscar acting nomination and was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night. Oscar nomination voting begins this week, on Thursday, so the timing isn’t accidental.
Gaga, it goes without saying, is a pro at the talk show interview. She has stories to tell, she has energy to spare, she has charm to serve – and she’s doing it all effortlessly here with Kimmel, as he opens the interview by talking about her Super Bowl halftime performance, and she recounts how she caught the ball at the end, and what an amazing experience it was for her. How many potential Oscar nominees, in this year and any year, can say that they’ve headlined the Super Bowl, already have an Oscar at home, and could contend for another? It’s a flex, for sure, and she’s graceful about it, but also smart. Because when the conversation moves on from the Super Bowl, it’s all about her dreams of becoming an actor, reminding people that when she studied acting, she studied musical theatre, acting was always the goal, it just worked out that the singing thing happened for her first. Which means she had to wait – and struggle – for her acting ambitions to finally be realised, as she talks about going to auditions and not getting parts, trying out for commercials and not getting parts, being rejected for part after part: it’s the life of an actor. What all actors can relate to.
This may be part of her appeal with the Screen Actors Guild, and why she made it onto their list ahead of others with longer IMDb credits. Because as I’ve previously noted about SAG, it’s an entire community of actors, a membership that includes actors who are still auditioning, still on their side hustles while they wait for their big break – clearly she’s resonating with them, both for her performance in the film but also her attitude about acting. She reveres it.
And then, to slam it all home, Gaga brings out the Accent, answering some of Jimmy’s questions about working on House of Gucci in her version of Patrizia Reggiani’s accent. She’s having fun with it now. We’re past the stage of talking about how much she suffered for the art and instead focusing on the joy of the work which is, always, a part of showing your work. Lady Gaga is great on the Oscar campaign. And in a year where it seems pretty wide open, it could just make the difference.