Norman Reedus – best known for his roles in AMC’s The Walking Dead and the Boondock Saints movies – tells Rolling Stone what it was like playing Judas in Lady Gaga’s new video (watch below), how religious Gaga is and what it was like to have her wash his feet.
Did you have to audition to get the part?
No, no audition process, I was in L.A. doing a movie and had the weekend off and my manager had been talking to Gaga and she asked if I wanted to do the video so I said, ‘Fuck yeah, that should be fun!’
Was it a long shoot?
It was actually really long, it was a couple days. They beat the shit out of you for music videos, I guess.
How’d you feel about Gaga having a gun to your head and then putting lipstick on you?
That was actually a real last minute thing, I was going in for the kiss and then Jesus and I looked at each other like, “Are we going to make out? What’s going to happen?” But then she runs over in that outfit and she goes, “I got an idea! I’m going to pull out this gold gun, one that shoots lipstick out of it, and then I’m going to put it on you!” and then gave me a look like, “Is that cool with you?” and I just said, “Rad!” So she said, “Great!” It was totally last minute.
Were those actually your feet she was washing in the video?
Yeah! I mean I told the guys, “I’m not sure you guys want to show my feet, have you seen them? They’re like hobbit feet! I don’t think you want them on film forever.” But yeah, those were really my stinky little feet in there. I’m a method actor. Did you notice that Jesus’ feet were much nicer than Judas’ feet?
What religion are you?
I don’t really follow any particular religion, to be honest. I went to Catholic school for a minute when I was a kid and it kind of terrified me.
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Were you afraid of any religious backlash?
No, I’m not scared of that. I think there’s a lot of other things I could be worried about. To be honest, she’s really religious. Gaga is super Catholic, and gets everyone together for a prayer before everything she does, she’s super religious. She’s definitely cool enough to not want to offend people or be offensive. Her idea behind it was a little different than the groups that bash it. I mean it’s not like it’s never been done before. And it’s not always black and white. The thing with Judas is – wasn’t his fate sealed already? You kind of can’t hate on him. If God created him and made him do it then…poor bastard.
Would you film a video again?
Fuck yeah, of course I would. It was a blast.