The producers behind the 2023 Academy Awards revealed in a new interview Monday (March 13) just how Lady Gaga‘s performance came together at the eleventh hour.
As reported ahead of the awards show, the Oscar-winning pop star was originally not slated to perform due to her busy schedule filming the upcoming Joker sequel Folie à Deux opposite Joaquin Phoenix. However, that changed the morning of the show, when she was announced as a last-minute performer in a surprise about-face.
“Honestly, and this is not to pat ourselves on the back, because we’re very bad at that, but we’ve built up trust in the relationship with Gaga over the years,” Oscars executive producer Ricky Kirshner told The Hollywood Reporter. “I did the Super Bowl with her and Glenn has done many awards shows with her, including the ‘Shallow’ performance on the Oscars.
“She really wanted to do something,” he continued. “She honestly was shooting her movie — there was no trickery involved. And Thursday, at four-something, we got a text that she wanted to try something, didn’t have time to put together a big performance, but wanted it to be raw and people to see the real Gaga, and, with a voice like that, you don’t need much more than that.”
Mother Monster’s resulting performance of her best original song nominee “Hold My Hand” was far from a grandiose spectacle, with the singer opting instead to wear a simple black T-shirt and ripped jeans to run through a stripped-down rendering of the Top Gun: Maverick track. “It’s deeply personal for me, and I think that we all need each other. We need a lot of love to walk through this life,” she told the audience before launching into the song.
Revisit Gaga’s latest Oscars performance below.