My feature on dance-pop sensation Lady GaGa in the magazine this week is short and sweet, but she’s so full of quotable quotes that it seemed a shame to waste the stuff that didn’t make it on paper. After the jump are the deleted scenes from the late lunch she and I enjoyed on the afternoon of the Golden Globes, pretty much a year to the day after she wrote "Just Dance" — which, at the time, was the No. 1 song in the country. Wearing a jacket with giant feathers on the shoulders, wolfing down rigatoni bolognese like the good Italian girl she is, GaGa spoke for more than an hour, and did not utter a single word with less than total conviction. Even if her music doesn’t do it for ya, it’s hard to hate her chutzpah.
ON GROWING UP STRANGE:
"For a little while, I thought girls were just jealous, which is why they were mean to me. Maybe they were jealous of my fearlessness. But I think I genuinely used to rub people in the wrong way. I’d talk about things and do things that were very ostentatious, and over the top, and very vain. And it’s part of my artistic aesthetic. I think you’re born an artist. It’s like being gay. You’re born gay, and then you discover that’s who you are over a period of time in a world where maybe being gay is not the normal thing. Then you look it in the eye and you say thank you, and you put it in your heart and you lock it up and you go. When you’re 12 years old and making clothes with plastic flowers attached to them, and trying to choreograph shows at your school that are entirely too sexy — you start to be like, Okay, this is my aesthetic. My aesthetic is in so many ways exactly the same as it was when I was younger, I’m just smarter. And I know how to execute the ideas. And I have a bigger budget."
"Being a woman in the pop world, sexuality is half poison and half liberation. What’s the line? I don’t have a line. I am the most sexually free woman on the planet, and I genuinely am empowered from a very honest place by my sexuality. What’s more primal than sex? I mean, it’s so honest. If I didn’t think I had the talent to back that up, I wouldn’t have done it."
ON HER PANTSLESS STYLE:
"I just don’t feel that it’s all that sexy. It’s weird. And uncomfortable. I look at photos of myself, and I look like such a tranny! It’s amazing! I look like Grace Jones, androgynous, robo, future fashion queen. It’s not what is sexy. It’s graphic, and it’s art. But that’s what’s funny: Well, yeah, I take my pants off, but does it matter if your pants are off if you’ve got eight-inch shoulder pads on, and a hood, and black lipstick and glasses with rocks on them? I don’t know. That’s sexy to me. But I don’t really think anybody’s d— is hard, looking at that. I think they’re just confused, and maybe a little scared. It’s more Manson to me than it is sexy."
ON PUBLIC OPINION:
"If somebody said to me, ‘What you do isn’t art,’ I would say, They’re right. Yes it is, no it isn’t, absolutely, perhaps, it’s irrelevant, it’s important…that’s what this is all about, really. For me, more than anything, I want to do something important. It’s gotta be important. If it’s coming out of my mouth, if it’s going on my body, if it’s going on TV, it better be important."
ON PEREZ HILTON:
"Perez Hilton is brilliant to me. Because he’s taken something that people don’t think is valid, don’t think is important, and he’s made them obsessed with it. People are obsessed with him. They’re obsessed with his site, they’re obsessed with what he does. They love him. They all love him. They love you, they hate you, what you don’t want is indifference. The day that I put a record out that nobody says a damn thing about, that’s bad."
ON COMPARING HER TO OTHER ARTISTS:
"Just because I have underwear on in a video — you could say that’s "Justify My Love," that’s Britney in her "Womanizer" video, you could say it’s Grace Jones…. Women have been taking their clothes off in videos since the ’80s. Lita Ford. Dale Bozzio. Blondie. I mean, not to be so direct, but I just think that people need to come up with better references than Christina and Gwen and Madonna all the time. There’s so many other artists that have been provocative for decades."
"I’m not trying to prove to anybody that I’m going to be here for 30 years. You either are or you’re not. You either have passion for it, or you don’t. It’s either important for you to stop, and buy a condo, and have babies, and marry a rich actor, or not do any of that, and continue to make music and art, and die alone. Which is what I’ll probably do."
ON AMERICAN IDOL AND HER DRIVE TO SUCCEED:
"I don’t care what f—ing contest you win. To stay on top, you’ve gotta be a certain kind of person. The contest is the contest, there’s a winner and there’s a loser. But the winner is going to fall off the face of the earth in a month if they don’t have the real genuine drive and heart. I just, I don’t think it’s fair to drag people down about how they got there. I’m of course very confident in the way that I got here, and I feel that it prepared me, and at six o’ clock in the morning on my 23rd hour on a video set, I dig way down into my soul and I find that place where I was born to be an artist, and it carries me through. I am everything about what I do. Every marrow in my bones and blood is for this work. GaGa is the greatest creative journey of my life."