We knew going into Sunday's Lady Gaga sit-down on Oprah's Next Chapter that, other than this interview, Lady Gaga did not intend to speak to anyone for a very long time. (We knew it because the show leaked a clip of Gaga saying, "Other than this interview… I do not intend to speak to anyone for a very long time.")
To make up for it, Gaga’s chat on the Oprah Winfrey Network lasted two hours. And it was great. As an added bonus, she was joined for part of it by her mom, who’s never been interviewed before.
In case for some weird reason you missed the show and accidentally spent the evening watching Celebrity Apprentice, here are the 13 most interesting things we learned about Lady Gaga:
1. She is homeless.
The interview took place in her childhood home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where her parents still live. (It’s at 70th St and Broadway, if you believe the street signs shown). “I actually don’t own a house,” Gaga admitted. “I'm a wandering gypsy. So I sleep upstairs whenever I come to New York.”
2. Her parents keep her GRAMMYs in a hutch in the corner.
But there’s a rule in the Gaga household: For every award of Gaga’s that goes up, they also put up something from her sister.
3. She wrote “The Edge of Glory” while doing tequila shots with her dad.
They were sitting at the family piano in the New York apartment. Her grandfather was about to pass away, and she was comforting her father. While sharing a bottle of tequila. “I started playing, and I said to my dad, ‘Don't be sad… look at how much he won in life. He's on the edge of a glorious moment.’” The song only took her 10 minutes to write. “By the time we got through it, my dad was crying, I was crying and the bottle was half empty.”
4. Her biggest influence was Whitney Houston.
She was particularly blown away by Houston’s performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the 1991 Super Bowl. “I used to stand at the top of the staircase and sing ‘The Star Spangled Banner” every single day after school.”
5. Her mom calls her both Stefani and Gaga
Gaga when she’s angry.
6. She’s shutting out the music world.
That quote about not talking to the press? It’s because she’s shutting herself off to concentrate on her music. Here’s the remark in context: “The newest thing I do: I don't read a damn thing. No press. No television… I don't want to know nothing about anything that is going on in relation to music. I shut it all off. Other than this interview, Oprah, I do not intend to speak to anyone for a very long time. This is my moment for me to experience a rebirth of my own music. I have to shut it all out. The noise, it's loud. You have to cancel out the noise and remember that it’s your thoughts that matter.”
7. Her mom doesn’t like it when she swears.
Specifically, on stage. But both her parents were totally cool with the meat dress!
8. She spent two weeks dressed as a man.
It was while developing her alter-ego Joe Calderone—and she used it to help figure out her relationship with men. “I taped down my breasts. I went through a severe psychological change. I really wanted to delve into the mind of what I believe to have been my vice in men. Why am I dating the same guy over and over again?... It was about explaining that the woman you see on stage is the same woman that's in bed. I have struggled with that for a long time with dating… They want to know the real me. I'm sitting right here. When the spotlight's not on me, I sometimes don't know who I am because I feel alive on the stage. And that’s what Joe really was all about. If I had to do a performance art piece, confess who I truly am, that is my way.”
9. Her parents have had the same phone number since 1978.
They use caller ID to screen out all the strangers who have found the number and call it. But her father refuses to alter their life because of Gaga’s fame. “I had to buy him a new car to change his license plate because it said ‘Lady Gaga’ on it. He's like, ‘I don't understand why everyone stops me on the street.’ I'm like, ‘You have a big sign that I'm your daughter on the back of your car.’”
10. She wants kids.
“I don’t want to have one kid. I want to have a few… I want a soccer team.”
11. She was bullied as a child.
But then, you already knew that. She told a story about how boys in middle school once threw her into a trashcan. “Something inside of you is always scarred by those experiences. I work every day to become a more confident human being. But there are moments when you wonder if it's true. That is the shame of it all. That's what I really want to help with. It seems almost ridiculous that I would be sitting here with Oprah Winfrey in my mother's kitchen saying sometimes I feel worthless. But when you experience the feeling of being picked up and thrown in the trash in public—something like that can really stay with you for life. And it really stayed with me.”
12. Sometimes, she drinks too much.
“My creative process can be a bit overwhelming for my mom. Sometimes I need to really shut myself off. Whether I'm drinking too much or whatever it is that I go through—because it is a daunting task to want to please the world… I'm not a perpetually sad or turmoiled human being, but I do undergo cycles of hibernation, where I shut myself off and I beat myself up a little bit… It's part of my creative process, and it's nothing that I would want to teach or wish upon anyone.”
13. Oprah inspired her to journal.
Gaga’s mom had watched an episode of Oprah, where Big O told everyone to keep a journal about what they were grateful for. And both mother and daughter started writing. They still have an old journal. On August 1, 1997, this is what Lady Gaga was grateful for: “Courage. Dance classes. Loving mom. Fun dad. Sister that's sweet. Clothes.”