Lady Gaga gave director Chris Moukarbel an all-access pass to her daily life for the filming of her unfiltered documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, and that involved following her into the studio — but also into the woods, where she was in full-on, feral witch mode.
As the production schedules for American Horror Story: Roanoke and Gaga: Five Foot Two overlapped, Moukarbel was permitted to bring his own camera on the set of the show to shoot Gaga at work. He found the experience to be great and totally engrossing, which means it was a scare fest, naturally.
"They create these really immersive worlds, everything from the costumes to the makeup to the set, so you’re suddenly in that world; you’re in American Horror Story," Moukarbel says of his time on set with Gaga. "They were shooting in Griffith Park at that point, so we were in the forest. It was already really spooky, because Griffith Park at night is already a spooky place to be. You feel like everybody is so in it, and immersed in it, that they’re really conjuring that world."
The AHS scene of Gaga: Five Foot Two is a necessary one, as it offers a glimpse into the side of her life we'll definitely be seeing more of in the coming months. Gaga: Five Foot Two begins with a few moments of her at home, and Moukarbel points out the bouquet of balloons crowding her staircase at one point.
She mentions that they were sent over to celebrate A Star Is Born, in which she'll play the lead for the first time in a major motion picture, and her glee at the thought can be read all over her face when she tells Moukarbel the news. AHS may have been Gaga's first serious foray into scripted drama, but it's opened the door for more creative breakthroughs, and it's a huge part of her life today.
"She’s so committed to her craft as an actor," he says. "It was really a rare kind of moment to be filming them filming this. They gave me a lot of freedom to shoot whatever I wanted. It was very important to me to be able to shoot as much of the production as possible, so you really felt like you were seeing what it’s like to be behind the scenes."