‘She Will Blow Your Mind’


“Joker: Folie á Deux” casting director Francine Maisler revealed during a recent chat at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (via IndieWire) that casting Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn opposite Joaquin Phoenix was not originally her idea. It was director Todd Phillips who apparently picked the pop star and “A Star Is Born” Oscar winner for the part. However, Gaga ended up surprising Maisler.

“She’s so good in it, you guys. She’s going to blow your mind,” Maisler said. “I didn’t suggest Lady Gaga. It wasn’t my idea. That was Todd Phillips, before me. But I will tell you, she’s really surprising — and really good. I saw it and I was really surprised. I mean, we all knew what she could do in ‘A Star Is Born,’ but I thought, ‘Oh, well, that’s kind of in her wheelhouse.’ Something she could do and just be real. But this… Man, she’s good.”

“Joaquin blows your mind, but that she could keep up with him, and be real — and not just wiped off the screen by what that role is and what the performance is — shows she’s good,” Maisler added.

Gaga previously told Access Hollywood that her take on Harley is “mine and it’s very authentic to this movie and these characters,” meaning fans shouldn’t expect similarities to what Margot Robbie did in bringing Harley to life in films such as “Suicide Squad” and “Birds of Prey.” Robbie has voiced support for Gaga taking on the role.

“I always wanted Harley to be a character that would get passed on to other actresses to play, the way there are so many iconic male characters,” Robbie said in a Variety cover story last year. “That was always the dream for her. Harley’s so fun and can go in so many different directions. You put her in someone else’s hands, and it’s like, ‘What are they going to do with her?’ The options are endless.”

Lawrence Sher, the Oscar-nominated cinematographer for “Joker” who returned to shoot the sequel, previously revealed on “The Trenches Talk” podcast that he “never even met” Gaga on the set because she was presumably in character the whole time. 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 [Gaga] at all,” Sher said. “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%. 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.”

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

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