TORONTO — Salma Hayek says it was only a matter of time before Lady Gaga took “House of Gucci” to the next level.
Hayek, her castmates and crew from the Italian fashion label’s explosive Netflix fashion docuseries gathered Thursday at The Frank Gehry-designed Art Gallery of Ontario to preview a three-day art installation from the brand.
The opening featured a slice of the show in an interactive immersive installation that explores the collaboration between Gucci and famed photographer David LaChapelle.
LaChapelle took photos on location of Gaga’s outfits for the 10-episode series, which premiered last month.
“She just blew me away in her character,” said Hayek, who joined Gaga, Anthony Mazzola, designer Frida Giannini and LaChapelle for the unveiling.
The actress explained how Gaga, an Oscar-winning actress and singer, tackled her role as a hard-hitting, poker-faced Gucci model while the cameras rolled.
“When I had met her, she has a phenomenal ability to just be fully the character, without letting anything affect her,” Hayek said. “There’s nothing that’s outside of her character.”
But then things got weird.
“When I took her to the bathroom, there was a fight. … The water was supposed to be — never in my life in my whole career — an exclusive bathroom, so that all these doors and closets could remain in their natural state of turquoise,” Hayek said. “I took her to this shot and in my mind it was the best, closest shot. And she had too much hair. She was in her high heels. All that stuff happens. But we didn’t end up with a real shot.”
Gaga stood at the front of the room, waiting for her turn to discuss the collaboration and elaborate on her racy — and on-screen — take on clothing designer LaChapelle’s portraits.
“So, I shoot the photos. Every single one of the first 20 was incredible. In that first 20 they were the ones I fell in love with the most. Then I went home and kind of opened the book and I was like ‘OK, I need to do this,’” Gaga explained. “Then the real work started after the book came out.”
Lechapelle didn’t miss a beat as he re-created one of the images of Gaga — stilettoed and unhinged — on board a green bench. But he wasn’t quite at ease with the media frenzy.
“Not yet, not yet, not yet,” he said, adding that the opportunity to portray a star was “a dream come true.”
This is one gig Gaga doesn’t mind promoting for the next 30 years.
“We shot for 12 hours straight,” she said. “I literally did nothing but, I’m happy to say, nothing of any consequence happened. Nothing!”
(And Hayek, after an initial tease that there might be trouble on the set, admitted Gaga did indeed get into an altercation with an unscripted male actor. But Hayek said they worked it out and made it through the rest of the shoot without incident.)
The exhibit runs through Aug. 25.