AHS: Hotel blurs the lines between Lady Gaga and Stefani Germanotta

Oct 7, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Image: FX

Let's be honest here, the persona of Lady Gaga is intimidating.

She seems larger than life. Untouchable.

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Even the show's co-creator Ryan Murphy said it when he introduced Gaga at the AHS: Hotel premiere: "You think of her, and she's very intimidating." He added that she's so huge that she didn't even put out an album this year and still managed to be named Billboard's Woman of the Year.

But American Horror Story is about to change Gaga's persona for the better.

Even E! News noticed that change when they sat down with her for an interview ahead of the show's Season 5 premiere, describing her as Stefani (her birth name is Stefani Germanotta) rather than the famous icon she has become as Lady Gaga.

And Gaga herself has recognized the change. "I'm happier than I've ever been now because the people that I work with really, really care that my life is different and really, really work to make sure that I feel as normal as possible — so that I can have a great time and just be a normal girl, and just be a woman for Ryan on film, or you know... [laughs] a hemophiliac."

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Gaga plays a 100-year-old woman named the Countess, who is afflicted with hemophilia that has given her a huge hankering for blood and group sex.

Sex that is so intense, Murphy also felt the need to apologize to Gaga's family for some of the scenes after he finished gushing about his new leading lady.

Of course, he really had nothing to apologize for. Sure, the scene will make you uncomfortable. But only because you'll be so enthralled by the magnetic beauty Murphy and Gaga create on-screen that you will lose minutes of time. Gaga and Matt Bomer are electric. The scene in question involves very little dialogue — not because it is focused on being provocative but because dialogue was unnecessary to tell the story of the characters.

The AHS: Hotel premiere is probably the best episode in the history of the show. And Gaga's performance honestly took me entirely by surprise. There's no doubt she's brilliant in everything she does. What I didn't expect was how captivating her presence would be, translating to an eerie and beautiful character that is as desirable as she is terrifying.

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There are really not enough ways to gush about the amazingness of the premiere. All of the actors bring a sense of awareness to their characters that is sexy. The scenes are so brilliantly executed that they are breathtaking. And all of it is led by Gaga.

Of course, Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson really need no lead. They are masters in and of themselves and are so honored with striking moments of their own throughout the premiere.

But this really is Gaga's coming out in a lot of ways, as a woman we haven't seen before. One that will rival, if not exceed, the Gaga we have seen in the past.

"I'd really like people to watch it and not feel like they're watching Lady Gaga," she explained. "I'd like them to feel like they're watching the Countess. So that's important to me, and I've spent a lot of time working on that. I can't wait for everyone to just enjoy the show."

I'd say the result is somewhere in between. It's hard to forget you're watching Lady Gaga. Just as it's hard not to be entirely engrossed in the world of Hotel and the characters that exist within it. Gaga absolutely slays as the Countess. And she deserves that recognition.

American Horror Story: Hotel premieres tonight on FX. Do yourself a favor and tune in.