Lady Gaga spoke with a Northern Italian accent for nine months to authentically portray Patrizia Reggiani in the upcoming movie House of Gucci. Even when the cameras weren’t rolling, she has said, she never broke character. But critics have questioned Gaga’s accent since the first trailer for the film dropped in July—and the gripes have intensified as the film nears its November 24 debut. Even a dialogue coach who worked on House of Gucci has chided her accent, claiming the Oscar winner’s voice sounds more Eastern European than Italian in the film.
“I feel bad saying this, but her accent is not exactly an Italian accent. It sounds more Russian,” Francesca De Martini recently told The Daily Beast. De Martini is an Italian actor hired on the House of Gucci production as a dialogue coach for Salma Hayek, who plays Pina Auriemma, a close friend and personal astrologer to Reggiani.
But House of Gucci director Ridley Scott stands by Gaga’s performance, saying her accent was “absolutely perfect”—and that her portrayal of Reggiani, who hired a hitman to murder her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci, in 1995, “was deeply Italian all the time.”
“She had the cadence of an Italian accent,” Scott told me at the film’s Los Angeles premiere on Thursday night. “She had that cadence down, and also the rhythm of an Italian accent. Her accent is not Russian. Same with Al [Pacino] and same with Jared [Leto]. They all got the rhythm of an Italian accent. She should not be criticized. She did the rhythm all day at home and off the set. She even got me to speak with an Italian cadence!”
Giannina Facio, a producer on House of Gucci and Scott’s wife, also weighed in on the matter. “She may be American Italian, but her roots are Italian. So I think her Italian accent came naturally,” said Facio on the arrivals carpet at the L.A. premiere. “But the critics are wrong! That dialect coach is wrong. They are absolutely wrong. I’m three-fourths Italian, and I can tell a fake Italian accent—and her accent is perfect. The critics should go to school and find out because they are wrong about that.”
And though Gaga’s accent may inspire debate, nobody can doubt her commitment to Gucci. During the production, Gaga often got sick due to her intense transformation into a rejected wife turned murderer.
“We saw her vomiting. We saw it. We could see the toll it was taking. She was immersed in this character, but that’s the way she does it,” said Facio. “That’s the way she wanted to do it. She wanted to give the best of herself. That’s why we adore her. She’s so special and what she gave to us—she really gave blood!”
More Great Stories From Vanity Fair
— Playing Princess Diana Was Kristen Stewart’s Fairy Tale
— Remembering Halyna Hutchins, Rust Cinematographer Killed in Tragic Shooting
— How Edie Falco Protected Hillary Clinton on Impeachment
— The Five Goopiest Moments in Gwyneth Paltrow’s New Show
— Review: There’s No Life in Chloé Zhao’s Eternals
— The Ending of Army of Thieves (and Its Origin) Explained
— A First Look at Harry Connick Jr. in Annie Live!
— From the Archive: Excavating the Private Saga of the Clintons’ Very Public Marriage
— Want to obsess over the best of television? Sign up here to receive text messages from the Still Watching hosts or text (213) 652-6731.
— Sign up for the “HWD Daily” newsletter for must-read industry and awards coverage—plus a special weekly edition of “Awards Insider.”