Ken Tucker
February 13, 2011 AT 12:00 PM EST

Lady Gaga’s 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper was a delightful segment in which the singer-songwriter-performance-artist proclaimed, “I art-direct every moment of my life.” She claimed to be “honest all the time,” and said, “I smoke a lot of pot when I write [music] and drink whiskey… and I’m not gonna sugar-coat it for 60 Minutes… I drink a lot of whiskey and I smoke a lot of weed when I write.” (Cooper prefaced the interview by saying that “her comments about drugs may concern some parents.”)

Gaga’s self-awareness, along with her catchy tunes, makes her an interesting case of 21st century fame-plus-talent. She greeted Cooper during one of their numerous interview sessions in her underwear, carrying what looked like a hand-saw covered in tin foil. “I just didn’t want to wear any clothes today,” she said, as Cooper giggled and goggled. Of her fans, she said, “If I am open with them about everything, and yet I art-direct every moment of my life, I can retain a sort of privacy; I maintain a certain soulfulness.”

As a lead-up to The Grammys, the 60 Minutes interview presented a portrait of a performer who labeled herself a student of “the sociology of fame” seeking to inspire: “Let go of all your insecurities!” she exhorted a crowd, even as she told Cooper, “I’m still very insecure in very many ways.”

She also knows the narrative of contemporary stardom: “Everybody wants to see the decay of the superstar… what’s she going to look like when she [falls], when she overdoses.” She added, “I’m not a vomit-in-the-club kind of girl.”

“Isn’t that the age that we live in, that we want to see people who have it all, lose it all? It’s a movie.”

Coyly allowing the 60 Minutes segment to play only a snippet from her new single “Born This Way,” Gaga came across smart, funny, and shrewd.

What did you think?

For more: Lady Gaga reveals what she prefers to be called in bed

Twitter: @kentucker

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