Lady Gaga of “American Horror Story: Hotel” and Jamie Lee Curtis of “Scream Queens” are arguably some of the most famous new faces on TV. But fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be — at least not for Curtis, who told Gaga during their conversation for the fourth season of Variety and PBS’ “Actors on Actors” series, that it’s “isolating.” Surprisingly, Gaga agreed with the veteran actress.
“I don’t think I could think of a single thing that’s more isolating than being famous,” said Gaga.
But as Curtis pointed out, they both sought out fame. Well, actually, they both sought out the “art,” and fame was a side effect.
“It’s almost impossible for people even to probably look at my career and the things I’ve done and think, ‘Oh, she didn’t want [that] — of course she wanted to be famous, of course she wanted all that attention.’ It’s just, creative expression is what I am and I would’ve been doing this whether I became famous or not,” said Gaga.
“I wouldn’t have given up to try to get famous in another way,” she added. “I wanted to get a job being creative and I did.”
The hardest part of fame for Gaga has been the disconnect between herself and the people she interacts with who hold unrealistic, if not false, expectations. She assured Curtis that she’s not extraordinary.
“It is very hard to not be able to engage with people in a real and honest way because they either want something from me or they see me as something that I simply am not,” she said. “I am not some goddess that dropped down from the sky to sing pop music, I am not some extra-incredible human person that needs to be told how wonderful they are all day and kissed.”
Gaga said she would love nothing more than to have normal exchanges with people instead of being adored and showered with selfies. Curtis echoed Gaga’s sentiments about self-portrait photos, which have effectively supplanted autographs.
“There’s some idea that that is some evidence that they have met you and taken a moment with you, taken digitally a moment,” said Curtis, who’s skeptical about being able to change the new fame culture surrounding artists.
But Gaga bet Curtis that they’ll soon be able to inspire the public to see that famous artists “are real people.”
Challenge accepted, Curtis said.
The two-part fourth-season premiere of “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” airs June 12 and June 19 on PBS SoCal. Presented by Shopbop/East Dane, the episodes will also be available to stream on Variety.com.