In fact, the film's cinematographer Lawrence Sher recently shared that he had hiccups interacting with Gaga, whose birth name is Stefani Germanotta, until he adopted the moniker.
"I didn't know Stefani at all," Sher told the Trenches Talk podcast in a July 18 episode. "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.'"
Sher recalled being unable form a bond with Gaga—who stars as Harley Quinn opposite Joaquin Phoenix's titular Joker—until he was informed of the preference to be called Lee, which seems to be a nickname for her character.
"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 recalled, "And I was like, 100 percent. The next thing I said was something 'Lee,' and it was like everything changed."
From there on out, the dynamic shifted.
"It was like our whole connection changed," Sher said. "I was like, alright, cool. That's all I needed to know, and that changed everything. And then obviously, we made the rest of the movie, and it was much more of a connection that just grew over this point of the movie. By the end, I think we felt connected in the sense of like, we've done this thing together that was joyous and and fulfilling."
Last month, Mother Monster reflected on the Joker sequel filming process, noting she "prepared for months developing my character for Joker" and spent months filming Joker during "a very introspective time."
"I can say for the first time in many years that my love of making art, music, fashion, and supporting community has never been more fulfilling," she continued in a lengthy post. "I may not be sharing as much of myself online as I have in the past, but I hope you know this time to myself has been extremely healing and recharging for my heart, mind, body, and creativity—to create within myself and to have a personal life that's just for me."
And while we wait to see Gaga's transformation into the Clown Princess of Crime, keep scrolling to see all of her best looks throughout the years.