Even if you didn't particularly like "Telephone," you've got to appreciate the thought-provoking discussions, intelligent arguments and fascinating topics the the video has prompted.
In a highly recommended, worth-your-while interview, Heather Cassils, the woman who makes out with Lady Gaga in "Telephone," talks to Out magazine about gender identity, what it means to be queer and how "the only way you can create social change is to insert yourself into the machine." Cassils works as a personal trainer, and a woman at her gym — who was cast as one of the security guards — suggested she audition. Cassils says of meeting Gaga:
She called me over and asked me to portray her girlfriend and said, "OK, you're going to be my prison girlfriend, and you're going to come to me, and I'd like you to touch me inappropriately." [Laughs] We just kind of went from there… She was extremely professional and very, very funny. After we did the [kissing] shot, she screamed across the yard to me, "I think you got me pregnant!"
Cassils, who is also a performance artist, adds:
The thing that was kind of interesting was that in between takes I was getting kind of annoyed because the camera guys were really kind of drooling and talking about "girl-on-girl action" and I said, "What about boy-on-girl action?" And she turned to me and said "Oh. Do you identify as male?" [Laughs] And I said, "Well, probably more than you do." And she said "I'll be sure to tell people that." We just had this abstracted conversation about gender in the middle of this shoot, which I thought was really weird and pretty interesting: A) that she would take the time and B) that she would even ask me about that.
Still, not all are impressed with the clip: Award-winning director Michel Gondry is totally "not interested" in working with Gaga, and True/Slant's Jeremy Helligar claims Gaga is like "the ugly girl in the back of the classroom who is starved for attention and would do anything to get it."
Yet Lady Gaga's controversial persona is designed for "superfans," says Morgan Meis of The Smart Set, who writes:
For all the artifice of Lady Gaga, her love of fashion, the play and performance art that characterizes all of her gorgeous productions, she has a feel for immediacy and the effectiveness of genuine experience.
And if none of that interests you, maybe Pomplemoose's supercute cover of "Telephone" will:
Heather Cassils: Lady Gaga's Prison Yard Girlfriend [Out]
Michel Gondry to ‘Telephone' Singer Lady Gaga: Don't Bother to Call [True/Slant]
Goo Goo Ga Ga [The Smart Set]
Lady GaGa's Telephone By Pomplamoose