“It’s my first time at the rodeo,” said “House of Gucci” hairstyle artist Frederic Aspiras hours after the 2021 Oscar nominations were announced. Aspiras, a longtime stylist collaborator of Lady Gaga, was nominated alongside prosthetics designer Göran Lundström and wigmaker and hair stylist AnnaCarin Lock for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
It was the sole nomination that the Ridley Scott movie received – a surprise given that Gaga, who was cited by SAG and BAFTA, was widely predicted to make the cut for Best Actress.
The snub didn’t stop her from reaching out to her friend.
“Talking to Gaga this morning, she was very excited for me and very happy,” Aspiras told on a Zoom call, during which he apologized for the puffiness of his eyes from crying. “She just reminded me that this is something that doesn’t happen often in your life, and how amazing it is. She reminded me about how much work we put into it and how much we dedicated ourselves.”
Aspiras conducted most of his research into Patrizia Reggiani (the real-life woman played by Gaga) and wig-making while in the United States, before the production moved to Rome for filming.
“We had to produce so many looks to cover three decades in this character’s life,” he said. “I made 15 to 20 wigs and then 10 were selected for the (Patrizia’s) wigs to tell the story. At first, Ridley only wanted two wigs for the whole film, but I had to go through each page of the script and pitch every wig and every style to him, along with (costume designer) Janty Yates and ultimately Gaga.”
Aspiras added, “You can really destroy a scene with the wrong hair and makeup. We had to adjust to a lot of changes due to the COVID protocols, but perhaps if we’s had more time to prepare, we might have been less risk-taking with our looks. I think everyone did a brilliant job on the team.”
Most of all, Aspiras reserved special praise for Gaga, who he’s has been working with for 15 years, in everything from music videos, movies, television and photography. The relationship brought tears to the hair designer’s eyes as he spoke about his beloved friend.
“Honestly, that’s why I’ve been crying this morning,” he said, pausing to mention that his mother passed away in the summer of 2020, shortly before filming on “House of Gucci” had begun.
“It’s been such a hard year and sometimes when things in life happen, you just don’t care about anything anymore. But it was Gaga who really pushed me to work through my emotions and never give up on my art. It was so sweet of her to do that for me.”