The behind-the-scenes photos from The House of Gucci, Ridley Scott’s forthcoming saga starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, unveiled in a slow trickle in the PR lead-up to this movie’s inevitable debut were the perfect antipasti for this main course of this big feast: Lady Gaga’s Italian accent and the thoughts, concerns, and complaints surrounding its accuracy. Another programming note—she would love it if we all stopped talking about it, now, thanks.
In an interview with Vogue UK, Gaga revealed that in order to fully inhabit the role of Patrizia Reggiani, the woman who ordered the murder of her husband Maurizio Gucci, heir to the fashion empire, she lived as Patrizia for nine months, speaking in an accent that she deemed true and appropriate for the character.” Gaga further clarified that she lived as Patrizia off-camera as well, which meant that she was doing the accent you will hear in the trailer below while living her life as Lady Gaga—going to Pilates, getting coffee, calling her manager, and doing god knows what else.
There’s been some pushback, so much so that in the New York Times’ interview with Gaga and director Ridley Scott opens with a small disclaimer from Strega Nonna herself: “If I’m being honest, I do feel that it’s been sensationalized that I worked on my accent for so long, and that I was in character for so long,” she said. “But if I could explain it to you and clarify …”
Though I appreciate Lady Gaga and her desire to clarify, the explanation isn’t that deep: she wanted to stay in character in order for the peformance to really shine. Fine. The film is already in the can, the press tour for this particular rodeo will come to an end soon enough, but there’s a good way for Lady Gaga to make amends: when she inevitably accepts her second Academy Award for her performance in this spectacle, she should do it in an accent that sounds like she’s gunning for a three-episode arc in an episode of The Sopranos.
Stefani Germanotta is a proud Italian American, and though she did not make the choice to lean on her background there for this role, the 2022 Academy Awards seem like a good a time as any to tap into that part of her cultural heritage. Like Gaga herself, the Italian-American accent, as seen in Moonstruck or any part of Goodfellas, is native to various parts of the Tristate area, including Long Island, Staten Island, New Jersey, and pockets of lower Westchester County. I’ve yet to hear Miss Gaga speak in what I would consider to be her native tongue, and I cannot think of a better place for her to display some personal pride than the stage of the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, as she accepts her inevitable award for doing Method acting in the Italian countryside while wearing vintage Gucci.
Seeing as the cultural correspondent, who could’ve run point on the accents during the production, was not actually hired, there should be some form of retribution for Gaga and her co-star Adam Driver’s attempts, which sound a bit like a first-year theater student fumbling their way through a dialect class. That retribution is Gaga going full Mob Wives—not quite Big Ang, but something closer to Karen Gravano with a dash of Drita D’Avanzo’s spitfire energy. Make like you’re Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny, Stefani. There’s no reason to deny your past. Now is the time to own it.