Lady Gaga reflects on her Sopranos acting debut: 'I didn't know how to listen in a scene!'
In 2001, Stefani Germanotta was just an Italian girl from New York, booking a background gig as "Girl at Swimming Pool #2" on season 3, episode 9 of HBO's The Sopranos. Twenty years, a name change to Lady Gaga, and one Academy Award victory later, the actress at the center of the highest-opening drama in two years reflects on how much she's changed as a performer.
"When I look back on that scene I can see exactly what I did wrong in that scene," Gaga tells EW in a preview of our upcoming Awardist podcast interview pegged to her Oscar-buzzed role in House of Gucci. "I didn't know how to listen in a scene! I was supposed to laugh, and it was sort of like, cue, laugh.... I see it and I go, 'oh, that's not a real laugh!'"
After proving her bankable might as a leading lady in Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born — for which she received a Best Actress Oscar nod atop winning for Best Original Song — Gaga says with confidence that she's "grown a lot as an actor" since her teen years of playing a girl eating pizza, smoking, and giggling in the corner of her brief Sopranos bow.
She says she's studied the craft and taken parts that will challenge her — like her take on Patrizia Reggiani, whose story she explores in Ridley Scott's Italian epic about the real-life felon's life leading up to the day she orchestrated the assassination of her her Gucci heir husband Maurizio (Adam Driver).
"The nuance and being specific as an actor is something that can grow over time if you're willing to listen and really hear the other actor that you're working with," Gaga continues, referencing her newfound process of immersing herself into a role like Patrizia. She collaborated on all facets of the character, from Patrizia's styling to amping up her strained physical appearance as her circumstances soured.
"I see a very non-specific actor [on The Sopranos], and now I see myself as someone who is at least really striving to be specific without thinking about it, and that requires a lot of work ahead of time," Gaga finishes. "I really thank my acting teacher, Susan Batson, she and I worked for months and months on this before we filmed, and Ridley Scott, an incredible director who creates a sanctuary for you on set to just fly."
Listen to a portion of Gaga's Awardist podcast interview above, and stay tuned to EW.com for the full discussion later this year.
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