Whether she’s acting or singing, Lady Gaga is an all-or-nothing kind of artist, committing to her roles both on and off camera, and going to great lengths to ensure the performance is captivating—even if it involves a little pain.
Her House of Gucci role as Patrizia Reggiani, the wife of Maurizio Gucci, was no exception. In one of the scenes, she submerges herself in a bath for a concerning length of time. In a conversation with Jake Gyllenhaal for Variety, she explained that director Ridley Scott was compelled to stop rolling mid-scene just to make sure she was safe. “When I did the bathtub scene, when I went under, they had to yell ‘Cut’ because they were like, ‘Get her out of there!'”
Gaga assured Gyllenhaal that there was nothing to worry about. “I was fine. I can hold my breath for a long time. I’m a singer,” she said, adding that she’s also on friendly terms with danger and discomfort when it comes to making art. “I feel safe being in pain. I feel safe in art. I almost think I feel safer with art than I do in life,” she continued. “I feel protected by art. … I feel art has saved me my whole life.”
To create more compelling and seamless performances, Gaga said she’s opted for method acting. “When I’m in character, I don’t pretend we’re not filming,” she said. “I get people who are like, ‘Why did you keep your accent the whole time?’ Can you imagine going in and out of that shit all the time, and I would only get three takes? I had to be ready.”
It’s also been a way for her to totally lose herself in a role. “Acting for me was a way to totally escape who I was,” she said. “And I think I’ve done it my whole career with taking on the artistic persona of whatever music I’m writing and living inside my art. And for films, it’s different, but it’s not.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.