Lady Gaga has transitioned from being one of the most mysterious, enigmatic performers of her generation to an open book ready to talk about her pain and struggles. In her new Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, the hit-making singer opens up about her past, her family, her battles with fame, her personal relationships, and her fibromyalgia, providing numerous eye-opening revelations about her life.
The public has learned about her passion for piano, LGBT rights and eccentric outfits before, but there has never been such an open look into Gaga's life before this. Even her biggest fans who obsess over every interview and public event she does have not had this kind of access before. The documentary tells the story of a woman on top of the world about to perform on the biggest stage of her career, the Super Bowl Halftime Show, while also dealing with some of the most intense personal struggles of her life. We also see her releasing her latest studio album, Joanne, a departure from the EDM bangers we've come to recognize as pure Gaga.
Here are the most eye-opening things we learned about the pop superstar in Gaga: Five Foot Two.
Ever since she broke her right hip while on tour in 2013, Gaga has been suffering from chronic pain. The documentary features several scenes of her struggling as medics, therapists and her own team try to ease her pain. At one heartbreaking point, she admits to being "embarrassed," noting that if she didn't have the kind of money she has she doesn't know what she would do.
"I just think about other people that have maybe something like this that are struggling to figure out what it is, and they don't have the money to have somebody help them," she says. "Like, I don't know what I'd f*ckin' do if I didn't have everybody here to help me. What the hell would I do?"
She still battles with fibromyalgia, having to cancel the entire European leg of the Joanne World Tour in early September 2017 to combat her issues.
Comparisons between Gaga and Madonna have abounded since Gaga first burst onto the scene in 2008. It came to a head when Gaga released "Born This Way," which many observed was very similar to Madonna's hit, "Express Yourself." Madonna did not mince words as she said in a 2011 interview that "Born This Way" was "reductive."
Gaga addressed Madonna's shady comments about her in one candid portion of the documentary, admitting that while she still admires her, there's one thing about her she doesn't like.
"I'm Italian and from New York so like if I got a problem with somebody, I'm going to f*cking tell you to your face. But no matter how much respect I have for her as a performer, I could never wrap my head around the fact that she wouldn't look me in the eye and tell me that I was reductive or whatever. I saw it on f*cking TV. Telling me that you think I'm a piece of sh*t through the media is like a guy passing me a note through his friend: 'my buddy thinks you're hot.'"
Even a superstar like Gaga has had to deal with sleazy male record executives over the years. In her early career especially she was simply considered another girl who wanted to get famous and would therefore do whatever it takes to get to the top. Gaga's talent has shown she's so much more than that, though, as she has continued to prove.
While she noted that Mark Ronson, producer on Joanne, was not this way, she did acknowledge that it has been a huge problem for her over the years.
"When producers — unlike Mark — start to act like, 'you'd be nothing without me,' for women especially, since those men have so much power, they can have women in a way that no other men can," she says. "And then I walk in the room, and it's like eight times out of 10, I'm put in that category, and they expect from me what those girls have to offer, when that's just not at all what I have to offer. That's not what I'm here for."
Fans were mournful when they first heard the news that Gaga had broken off her engagement with actor Taylor Kinney. The pair, who met on the set of her music video for "You and I," went their separate ways but were amicable in their split. Five Foot Two opens with Gaga talking about how she is fighting with Kinney again. She then goes on a particularly memorable rant about dealing with men.
"My threshold for bulls**t with men is… I don't have one anymore," she states. "I just don't care. Maybe 'cause I'm 30 and I feel better than ever, you know? All my insecurities are gone, I don't feel insecure about who am I as a woman. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of what I have."
While her words are defiant in this moment, she is clearly heartbroken after the breakup occurs, revealing that there has been a pattern where every time a great thing happens in her professional life, her personal life turns to crap.
"It's a sad day when I'm doing the Super Bowl, and I'm so excited to do it, but I can't help but realize that when I sold 10 million records, I lost Matt," she recalls. "I sell 30 million, I lose Luc. You know? I get the movie [A Star Is Born, with Bradley Cooper], I lose Taylor. It's like a turnover. This is the third time I've had my heart broken like this."