Cat’s out of the bag. I was on American Horror Story: Hotel recently!
Yes. I got to wash Lady Gaga’s feet. But that’s not at all what I thought I’d be doing before we filmed. I actually thought I’d be filing or painting her nails. So one of the ADs who had previous experience as a nail technician taught me how to properly file and I even got to practice on one of the prop department guys.
Before we filmed, we had a quick rehearsal. Gaga had just come out of filming a sex scene and production was a little behind schedule, so things moved pretty fast. I was already grabbing Gaga’s feet and fake filing her nails before we even got to speak to each other. When we finished rehearsing, we looked at each other and said, “Hi!” She then introduced herself as “Gaga or Stefani” and said I could call her either because she loved both. I asked her if she wanted me to really file her nails and she said, “Absolutely! Do whatever you need to do!”
When the crew was setting up the shot, director Michael Uppendahl decided he wanted me to be in the earlier process of the pedicure. It was actually Gaga who told the props guys that there should be a water basin for her feet to soak in. She also had someone grab her personal essential oils so that she could add it to the water to make the experience as real for herself. She then said, “I might as well enjoy this!” and dabbed some lavender oil onto my palms, too.
I told her I didn’t have much personal experience with mani pedis, so she gave me a lot of pointers on what to do. She even showed me how I should grab her foot firmly and with full on eye contact that could either intimidate or empower, she said, “Don’t be afraid to touch me.” In between takes, she was nothing but encouraging. There was one take where I accidentally knocked over some of my mani pedi tools and when we reset for the next take, she said, “You’re doing great.”
For my first Co-Star experience, this was a dream. While my one line of dialogue was cut from the end product, I am still so thankful to have had this opportunity. It was definitely an honor working with someone as talented and empowering as Lady Gaga. It was also pretty awesome watching how she collaborated with the director and the crew. Whenever she spoke, she would command the room. And even with her megastar presence, she still had a grounded and real vibe about her. At one point, she laughed and said to our director, “You know, Michael, I have no problem exposing any other part of my body, but when it comes to my feet… this is terrifying.” Lol. Awesome, awesome memories.
Thank you, Gaga and AHS, for such a positive experience. <3