Lady Gaga refused to break character on Joker 2 set

Daisy Phillipson
Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn in Joker 2

Lady Gaga appears to be method acting once more for her role on Joker 2, aka Joker: Folie à Deux, with Director of Photography Lawrence Sher revealing her on-set alias and saying he felt like he “never even met her” as she refused to break character. 

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is no stranger to method acting. For her role as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci, she stayed in character for a year-and-a-half, speaking in an Italian accent for nine months. 

So, when it was revealed that she would be starring as the supervillain icon Harley Quinn in the highly anticipated Joker sequel, opposite Joaquin Phoenix as the eponymous Clown Prince of Crime, many assumed Gaga would adopt a similarly strict regime to get into the mood. 

And it looks like these assumptions are correct, as confirmed by DP Lawrence Sher in a new interview about his interactions with the star on set. 

Lady Gaga refused to break character on Joker 2 set

Director of Photography Lawrence Sher sat down with The Trenches Talk podcast to discuss his work on the anticipated sequel. 

While detailing his interactions with Lady Gaga, he revealed that she refused to break character on set, saying: “I felt like I never even met her.”

Although he initially thought the singer “hated” him, their relationship “changed” when he started referring to her as her on-set name: Lee.

“I didn’t know Stefani at all, and strangely, I felt like I never even met her, even during the makeup/hair tests. Because, again, maybe it was my philosophy of not trying to get in their space,” Sher explained. 

“And then I remember for a week being like, god, I feel like we are disconnecting. Not even connecting. We are on opposites. And I would say to my crew, ‘Jesus, I can’t crack it. I feel like she either hates me or we hate each other. There’s something weird going on here.’ 

“I barely said anything, except I would say, ‘Stefani, this is where your second team was,’ or whatever it was, minor little things. 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 percent.’ 

“And I literally said, the next thing I said, was something ‘Lee’, and it was like everything changed. From that point on, it was like she was… our whole connection changed.”

Although it’s not confirmed where the name Lee comes from, many believe it to be a shortened version of Harley. “Ley** aka harLEY,” wrote one on Twitter, while another said: “Lee short for Harlee, yup mother was giving method acting once again.”

You can read more about Joker 2 here, and check out some of our other superhero hubs below: 

The Batman Part II | Superman: Legacy | Blue Beetle | Fantastic Four | Avengers: The Kang Dynasty | Avengers: Secret Wars | Marvel Zombies | The Marvels | Agatha: Coven of Chaos | Venom 3 | Daredevil: Born Again | Blade MCU | Captain America 4 | Invincible Season 2 | The Boys Season 4 | Deadpool 3

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