In Lady Gaga’s upcoming Netflix documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” viewers will get a glimpse of Gaga’s life away from the spotlight — including her struggles with chronic pain. While promoting the documentary, Gaga opened up about why she included these difficult scenes in the film and the support she hopes her fellow pain warriors feel while watching it.
At a press conference with the film’s director, Chris Moukarbel, in Toronto ahead of the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival today, Gaga reportedly became teary-eyed as the conversation turned to why she chose to document her struggles with chronic pain. She said it’s “hard, but liberating,” and explained that she believes pain is a “microphone.”
“My pain does me no good unless I transform it into something that is. So I hope people watching it who do struggle with chronic pain know that they’re not alone. It’s freeing for me… and I want people that struggle with it to hear me,” Gaga said.
She also acknowledged the shame that is often associated with chronic pain, but that struggling with something doesn’t make her “weak.”
There is a degree of self-deprecation and shame with feeling in pain a lot. And I want people that watch it — that think there’s no way I live [with chronic pain] because they see me dance and sing and don’t think that could possibly be — to know I struggle with things like them. I work through it and it can be done. We have to stick together. I don’t have to hide it because I’m afraid it’s weak. It’s a part of me, and I’m grateful to Chris for caring. The compassion is overwhelming. That’s why it makes me emotional. It’s very touching.
Mourbel said it was “incredibly hard” filming Gaga while she was in pain, but said she still wanted him to keep shooting. “I think she was very aware of other people who struggle with similar chronic pain. She is not even sure how to deal with it, and that’s a reality,” he said.
Last month, Gaga released a series of short clips from the documentary, including one that showed her at a doctor’s appointment discussing treatment options for an unnamed health condition.
Gaga has spoken about her health issues before — in 2010, she revealed she had tested “borderline positive” for lupus, the autoimmune condition that led to her Aunt Joanne’s death before Gaga was born.
Last year, Gaga posted on Instagram about her chronic pain and shared the methods she uses to treat it. “Having a frustrating day with chronic pain, but I find myself feeling so blessed to have such strong intelligent female doctors,” she wrote.
Earlier this year, Gaga appeared on the cover of Arthritis Magazine. She told the magazine that she had been dealing with chronic pain due to a broken hip and synovitis, an inflammatory joint condition.
“Gaga: Five Foot Two” will begin streaming on Netflix on September 22.