Lady Gaga Called ‘Lee’ on Joker 2 Set, DP ‘Never Met’ Real Gaga

Lawrence Sher, the Oscar-nominated cinematographer for “Joker,” revealed on “The Trenches Talk” podcast that he “never even met” Lady Gaga on the set of the sequel, “Joker: Folie à Deux,” because she was presumably in character the whole time (via IndieWire). Gaga stars opposite returning lead Joaquin Phoenix in the 2024 comic book movie, which casts her as Harley Quinn opposite Phoenix’s Joker. Sher said it wasn’t until he started calling Gaga by the name “Lee” (presumably a nod to Harley) that she even warmed up to him.

“I didn’t know Stefani at all,” Sher said referring to Gaga’s real name, Stefani Germanotta. “Strangely, I felt like I never even met her, even during the makeup/hair tests. Maybe it was my philosophy of not trying to get in their space. And then I remember for a week, being like, ‘God, I feel like we are disconnecting. Not even connecting. We are like on opposites.’ And I would say to my crew, ‘Jesus, I can’t crack it. 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,’ 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,’” Sher continued, “And I was like, 100 percent. 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. I was like, alright, cool.”

Plot details for “Joker 2” are not yet known, although it’s been described as a drama with musical elements set in and around Arkham Asylum. The supporting cast includes Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, Jacob Lofland and Harry Lawtey. Todd Phillips is back in the director’s chair. The original “Joker” released in 2019 and grossed over $1 billion worldwide to become the highest-grossing R rated release in box office history. The film also earned 11 Oscar nominations, including best picture, and won Phoenix the best actor prize.

The “Joker” sequel wrapped production earlier this year. Margot Robbie, who was the first actor to bring Harley Quinn to life on the big screen in live-action, expressed support for Gaga taking over the comic book icon.

“It makes me so happy because I said from the very beginning that all I want is for Harley Quinn to be one of those characters the way…like Macbeth or Batman always gets passed from great actor to great actor,” Robbie told MTV News in a video interview. “Someone gets to do their Batman, or someone gets to do their Macbeth…It’s such an honor to have built a foundation strong enough that Harley can now be one of those characters that other actors get to have a go at playing. And I think she’ll do something incredible with it.”

“Joker: Folie à Deux” is set to open in theaters Oct. 4, 2024 from Warner Bros.

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