Lady Gaga kills it in ‘AHS’ premiere

By Managing Editor

Lady Gaga made her television acting debut during the fifth season premiere of “American Horror Story” Oct. 7.

Cast as The Countess, a vampiresque kidnapper who stays in the Hotel Cortez, Lady Gaga  slays—literally.

While “American Horror Story” is far from Lady Gaga’s first venture into acting—she’s had small roles in films like “Machete Kills” and “Sin City 2” and played a number of roles in her music videography—her performance as The Countess is her first major role in which people can truly get a taste of her acting skills.

Gaga enters nearly a half-hour into the episode. In a playful six-minute scene that involves no talking, the show illustrates The Countess’ tactics of seductively luring victims into her bedroom for a disturbingly casual combination of group sex and blood drinking.

The scene is creative, captivating and horrifying all at the same time. It is hard to look away even as Gaga and her partner-in-crime Donovan, played by Matt Bomer, slit the throats of their victims and continue making out amid the bloodbath. However, it is hard to view her as The Countess, rather than Gaga.

There is no denying Gaga’s talent. Before launching her pop career, Gaga spent 10 years studying acting in New York. Her capabilities as an actress are evident, but her larger-than-life persona makes it difficult to ignore the actress behind the character.

Gaga is famously known for her shock value tactics and has frequently conveyed darker themes in her music, videos and performances. This is not the first time fans have witnessed Gaga acting in a sexual situation, covered in blood or dressed in flashy, unique clothing. In fact, her six-minute introduction could easily be set to a number of songs in her catalog and pass for a new music video.

Much of her career has incorporated various characters—ranging from her male alter-ego Joe Calderone to mythical creatures like mermaids and phoenixes, Greek goddesses and even a modern interpretation of Mary Magdalene. In each of these roles, however, fans still recognized the star as their beloved Lady Gaga.

People are used to seeing Gaga in as a variety of different characters, so to be convincing as The Countess, Gaga will have to work extra hard to break out of her pop star image.

Throughout the rest of the episode, Gaga’s lines are few and far between. The Countess is portrayed as a cold-hearted killer with a love for glam, but much of her personality, motives and emotions have yet to be seen. The current image painted of The Countess—although entertaining—is very flat, which makes it difficult to see anyone other than Lady Gaga.

As the show progresses and viewers further familiarize themselves with The Countess, I am confident that Gaga will overcome these obstacles. The more we learn about The Countess, the less we should be able to see Gaga through her acting.

Until then, her performance as a lead actress is skillful, yet unconvincing.