Author’s Note: I’m not much for conducting interviews with celebrities, given their massive egos, “off-limits” question restrictions, and evasive answers. But when a colleague of mine was called out of town on an emergency, I reluctantly agreed to step in and interview singer-songwriter-actress Lady Gaga. My recollections from that memorable, surreal evening follow.
I met Gaga in a restaurant in Walla Walla, Washington. (The exact location was hush-hush.)
Given her busy schedule, I figured it was fifty-fifty that she would even show, but she arrived bursting with energy. “Hello, hello!” she said.
We began by ordering dinner. I had steak tartare; Gaga had mahi-mahi with couscous, which she said was just “so-so.” “I should have ordered the pupu platter,” she lamented.
As Gaga nibbled on bonbons, I began the interview.
“Favorite rock band?”
“Biggest musical influences?”
“B. B. King, Dee Dee Ramone, and Yo-Yo Ma.”
“La La Land.”
I was beginning to detect a pattern.
“Favorite art style?”
“I have two. The cha-cha and the cancan.”
“Favorite place to visit?”
“Bora-Bora,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye.
“Coming down with beriberi.”
The coquettish Ms. Gaga was clearly playing with me. Nevertheless, I persisted.
“Favorite comic book?”
“Favorite Star Wars character?”
“Ha ha. Easy. Jar Jar.”
It was time to try a different approach.
“Tell me about the outfit you’re wearing.”
“It’s half muumuu, half tutu, quite froufrou.
“What are those things on the sleeves?”
“And the handbag?”
“Coco Chanel. Very chichi.”
I searched for words.
Well, well,” she said, looking at her watch. “It’s 10:10. I’ve enjoyed our little tête-à-tête, but it’s time to say ta-ta.”
“One more question before you go. What is your one guilty pleasure?”
“Ho Hos,” she said with a laugh. “But I’m also cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.”
Though she left my head spinning, I ended the evening goo-goo for Gaga.
John Ficarra, former editor of Mad magazine, recently tested positive for immaturity