Lady Gaga once revealed Quentin Tarantino had some involvement in the music video for her song “Telephone.” During a lunch together, Tarantino urged her to use a prop from Kill Bill in the clip. Notably, audiences in the U.K reacted to “Telephone” differently from audiences in the United States.
What Lady Gaga wanted from her music videos for ‘Paparazzi’ and ‘Telephone’
During a 2010 interview with E! News, Gaga discussed working with Jonas Åkerlund on her music videos for “Paparazzi” and “Telephone.” “There was this really amazing quality in ‘Paparazzi,’ where it kind of had this pure pop music quality but at the same time it was a commentary on fame culture,” she opined. “In its own way, even at certain points working with Jonas really achieved this high art quality in the way that it was shot.”
Gaga explained how she wanted the “Telephone” video to be similar to the “Paparazzi” video. “I wanted to do the same thing with [the ‘Telephone’] video — take a decidedly pop song, which on the surface has a quite shallow meaning, and turn it into something deeper,” she said. Gaga wanted the “Telephone” clip to comment on young people in the U.S. and their relationships to information and technology.
What Quentin Tarantino said to Lady Gaga when they discussed ‘Telephone’ at lunch
Gaga discussed the connections between the “Telephone” video and Tarantino. “There certainly is a Tarantino-inspired quality in the video,” she said. “I mostly love the way he uses different forms to create something new.”
Tarantino asked her to use a car Uma Thurman drove in Kill Bill: Volume 1. “[Tarantino’s] direct involvement in the video came from him lending me the P**** Wagon,” Gaga said. “We were having lunch one day in Los Angeles and I was telling him about my concept for the video and he loved it so much he said, ‘You gotta use the P**** Wagon.'” The car appears in multiple scenes of the video.
The way audiences in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to the song and its parent album
“Telephone” became a hit in the U.S. The song hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for 33 weeks. Gaga released “Telephone” on her EP The Fame Monster. The EP peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 74 weeks.
“Telephone” was even more popular in the United Kingdom. The Official Charts Company reports the song topped the chart there for two weeks. In total, “Telephone” stayed on the chart for 52 weeks in the U.K. Meanwhile, The Fame Monster did not chart in the U.K.
“Telephone” had an impact on pop culture. Little Mix covered the song, as did the cast of Glee. “Telephone” became a juggernaut and its music video wouldn’t be the same without Tarantino.