Lady Gaga only wanted to be called “Lee” on the set of Joker: Folie à Deux, cinematographer Lawrence Sher has revealed.
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Appearing on The Trenches Talk podcast, Sher explained how he initially struggled to connect with Gaga (real name Stefani Germanotta) until her started using her newly preferred name.
“I remember I didn’t know Stefani at all and, strangely, I felt like I never even really met her, even during the makeup and hair test,” the Oscar-nominated DP said.
“I remember for like a week being like, God, I feel like we’re like disconnecting, not even connecting, we’re like, on opposites. I’d say to my crew, ‘Jesus, I can’t like crack it. I feel like she either hates me or we hate each other, or there’s something weird going on here.'”
Sher, who received an Academy Award for shooting 2019’s Joker, said he’d “barely say anything” to Gaga at first, aside from “minor little things” on the production — all while using the name “Stef” to address her.
“And then, the AD at one point said, ‘oh, you know, Stef would like if you just called her Lee on set’, and I was like, ‘Oh, 100 per cent,’ and… the next thing I said was something ‘Lee,’ and it was like everything changed,” Sher explained.
“From that point on it was like, our whole connection changed. I was like, alright, cool, that’s all I need to know. That changed everything. Then we made the rest of the movie, and it was much more of connection.”
Gaga joined Joaquin Phoenix‘s Joker sequel in mid-2022, with filming wrapping this spring. The film, which is a musical follow up to first movie, reportedly follows Harley Quinn and Joker’s complicated romance at Arkham Asylum.
Last month, returning star Zazie Beetz said that the sequel’s musical elements will “surprise” people.