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February 18th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Cooper on interviewing Lady Gaga: 'She came to play'

ALT TEXT

"She talked about being very insecure," Anderson Cooper says of his "60 Minutes" interview with recording artist Lady Gaga, "But I think she always kind of felt she was meant to be a superstar." (Photo Credit: 60 Minutes/CBS)

CNN.com

Editor’s Note: Anderson Cooper speaks with CNN.com about reporting on recording superstar and Grammy award winner Lady Gaga.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned about Lady Gaga?

Cooper: I was surprised by how in control she is and how savvy she is about her own career. She’s 24 years old but she really has thought this out and is able to kind of execute her vision for herself in a way that’s very consistent. She says she art directs every moment of her life and I can’t imagine the amount of energy that requires. It must be exhausting but she’s been incredibly successful with it.

From your perspective of having reported on her and traveled with her, what do you think that vision is?

Cooper: Well, I think she views herself not just a recording artist but as a performance artist. And the clothes and the wigs and the outfits, it’s very thought out and it’s designed to get people talking, designed to make headlines and designed to make statements about politics or fashion or other commentaries that she wants. But it’s also designed in a way to direct people’s attention towards what she wants people to pay attention to which is her artistry and her music and not towards the kinds of things that a lot people focus on with celebrities like who they’re dating. And she’s able to kind of direct attention to her artistry and maintain it there. And it’s a very clever and interesting way she’s doing it.

But wasn’t she very candid with you about the remaking of her persona and the person she used to be and sometimes still is? She talked about being very insecure, right?

Cooper: Yes, she talked about being very insecure. But I think she always kind of felt she was meant to be a superstar. And from age four [she] was taking piano lessons and dance lessons and always had a vision for herself. She talked a lot about how taking the name “Lady Gaga” kind of allowed her to free herself of insecurities and transform herself into the superstar that she felt she was always meant to be.

Anything interesting happen off-camera?
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