Lady Gaga lives in her own world — and it’s turned into a cocoon this Super Bowl week. One of the most famous women on the planet has been in Houston all week, and there have been very few sightings of her. In fact, outside of Gaga’s one scheduled appearance — the official NFL halftime show press conference — the paparazzi have been thwarted.
Yes, we now know that Gaga’s uber anticipated Super Bowl halftime show will include hundreds of drones buzzing overhead. But Gaga herself has largely remained a woman of mystery this week in sharp contrast to her previous trips to Houston, which included highly publicized pool, dive bar and hole-in-the-wall Tex-Mex restaurant jaunts.
Super Bowl Gaga is a lady of shadows — and the type of laser focus that would make New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick grunt in approval.
Yes, Gaga is taking her moment on the world’s biggest music stage very seriously.
“The preparation for this show is the show business version of the athlete,” Gaga says. “Myself and my dancers have been training for months for this.”
Lady Gaga has also controlled her environment in a way that Tom Brady — who had daily media obligations Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Houston — could only dream of. The rules are different for Gaga.
She shows up a fashionably 15 minutes late for her lone press conference — and then rolls through an all-but scripted short spree of questions. The national entertainment press — Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, Entertainment Tonight and the like — are the only outlets allowed questions by the moderators. Outside of a token question each for an Atlanta and Boston-based news reporter. And all these queries are as soft as Charmin toilet paper, mostly seemingly designed to make Gaga remember the questioner with a smile. (A future one-on-one with Gaga would be ratings gold after all).
Is it any wonder that a president used to dealing with the entertainment press balks at the real thing?
Of course, Donald Trump is the specter that dogs Lady Gaga at this Super Bowl, too — even if Vice President Mike Pence is the one who actually will be at NRG Stadium for Sunday’s game. The NFL’s already reportedly warned Gaga to not get political (though the league strongly refutes reports that it put any such clause in her contract). The NRA even got involved with its own plea.
But will Gaga really do nothing and disappoint the fans she’s championed so hard over the years — the underdogs and the bullied? This is someone who often puts art over commerce.
“The only statements that I’ll be making during the halftime show are the ones that I’ve been consistently making throughout my career,” Gaga says. “I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality, and that the spirit of this country is one of love and compassion and kindness. My performance will uphold those philosophies.”
In other words, wait and see.
She shows up at her press conference in a red, white and blue jumpsuit dress, but don’t expect her to keep the same theme on the big stage Sunday evening.
Lady Gaga will be going through a number of wardrobe changes in the 13-minute set, but she objects to a reporter’s characterization of her cramming in different looks. “I don’t like to use the word cram when it comes to fashion,” she says sternly.
This is Gaga’s moment — and she’ll set the terms. Lady Gaga hasn’t turned herself into a nun this Super Bowl week, but she’s certainly not out there on the party scene like The Young Pope (Jude Law) or everyday party man Jon Hamm. She’s posted an Instagram photo of herself on the lush grounds of the $7 million Houston mansion she rented for the week and did cartwheels on the NRG Stadium field with her mom. She got to travel by black Lamborghini.
But mostly, she’s stayed locked in her final preparations.
Tom Brady takes his seventh Super Bowl shot on Sunday. A halftime show superstar such as Lady Gaga gets one.
So Gaga stays in her own cocoon, no distractions allowed. She’s not letting anything — or anyone — shake her.