‘It’s meant to be slightly linear and slightly twisted and confusing, which is the way that love is,’ she says during ‘MTV First: Lady Gaga.’
By Kara Warner, with reporting by Sway Calloway
Lady Gaga fans were treated with a very special gift Thursday (August 18), when the Lady herself graced MTV’s former “TRL” headquarters for the television premiere of her “Yoü and I” video, followed by a live, lengthy and revealing Q&A with MTV News’ Sway Calloway and a roomful of her most dedicated Little Monsters.
Speaking about the video, Gaga touched on several of the complex and layered metaphors in the clip, such as her various personas (male, female and non-human), wearing her mother’s wedding dress, the symbolism for some of her more intense life experiences, as well as the inspiration for the song.
“I wrote the song about this guy that I used to date,” she revealed, which drew surprised reactions from the fans in attendance, many of whom have assumed that Gaga was still involved with bartender beau Luc Carl. “But the song is about going back to anyone or anything in your life that means something to you. Nebraska [the video’s location] is the center of it all,” she said. “For me, it was all about capturing the true spirit of song, which is when you’re in love, you’ll be willing to walk and do the craziest and most inconvenient things you can possibly imagine. The video is quite complex in the way that the story is told, and it’s meant to be slightly linear and slightly twisted and confusing, which is the way that love is.”
Two of those twisted elements are Gaga’s performances as a mermaid and male alter ego Jo Calderone. One fan cheekily asked, “How do you have sex with a mermaid?”
“Well, that’s actually part of what the metaphor is — you can’t,” Gaga answered with a slight smile. “Sometimes in love, you can’t make it work. No matter what you do, there’s this giant boundary between you and someone else. So that’s what it’s about, perceiving in your imagination that there’s something magical inside of you that you can make it work.”
Speaking of Calderone, the Lady described the man as a bad boy who is not to be trusted. “He’s really hot. It’s so weird, because I’m usually really funny about men, but he does something to me,” she said, speaking of her alter ego as a personal acquaintance. “He took me out this one time when we first met, and he’s really fresh. I was really happy he wanted to be in the video and to model. He’s really fresh, though. He’s a bad boy, you know.”
Two other fan questions led to lengthy and fascinating reveals from Gaga. One asked if the wedding dress she wears in the clip is actually her mother’s.
“Yeah, that’s my mom’s dress. It’s so funny, because when I was younger, I hated my mother’s wedding dress,” Gaga admitted. “I would always say, ‘Mom, why don’t you have a long train and a tiara? I don’t understand.’ … I remember I was about 13 or 14 when I fell in love with my mother’s wedding dress. I asked her if I could use it in the video, because the love my mother and father have shared for almost 30 years now is what I hope to have someday.”
Finally, when asked to explain the significance of the ice-cream truck in the beginning of the video, Gaga revealed that it is about very specific and painful childhood memories.
“I’ve talked about some of it before with all of you: I had a lot of really intense experiences when I was younger, some of which I have shared with you and some of which I haven’t. The ice-cream truck represents all of the destruction of my youth at a very young time in my life,” she explained. “So while walking down the road to find love, the memories of the destruction of my youth sort of get in the way. That’s how I wanted to open the video, because I think it really sets up the rest of the story. It allows you to imagine you yourself are not just one person; you’re so many. That person has so many stories and memories to draw from, and they all affect your journey profusely. I’m battered quite brutally at the beginning of the video, but at the end, I’m not battered; I’m a bit strange. It’s not meant t to be an answer video; it’s meant to be a profuse number of the question.”
And that’s just the beginning of what Gaga revealed during her lengthy chat with Sway. Check back with MTV.com for more about the video, her VMA performance plans and more.
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live on Sunday, August 28, from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT. See the list of nominees, revisit last year’s highlights and vote for your favorites in the general categories by visiting VMA.MTV.com.