"I was there. I knew what he was filming."
At a press conference on Friday morning at the Toronto International Film Festival, a sometimes emotional Lady Gaga spoke about Gaga: Five Foot Two, a tour documentary directed by Chris Moukarbel, also on hand. The movie, which debuts Sept. 22 on Netflix, will premiere Friday night at Princess of Wales Theatre, where the pop star is expected to perform before the screening.
Dressed all in black and with eyes adorned with silver glitter, Gaga often deflected moderator George Stroumboulopoulos's questions to American director Moukarbel. "This film is not my vision," she said when asked about the motivation and timing of the all-access documentary. "I'm just a party to this because it's my life."
On Wednesday and Thursday, Gaga performed a pair of concerts at Air Canada Centre, as part of her Joanne World Tour. On Monday, she cancelled her show in Montreal due to illness shortly before she was set to perform. After the cancellation was announced, Gaga notified her fans by Twitter that she would be supplying free pizza to anyone who came to the Montreal hotel where she was staying.
Asked about Gaga and the filming process, Moukarbel described the singer as a "reluctant participant" in the project. "It's a difficult thing to let somebody into your life to radio out a picture of what it's like to be you," said the director.
That difficulty is made clear in the documentary, in the scenes involving her chronic hip issues. At the press conference, her eyes welled up as she spoke of the pain. "It's hard," she said, struggling to speak, "But it's liberating, too."
In 2013, Gaga cancelled 22 shows of her Born This Way Ball tour because of the injury.
"There is an element and a very strong piece of me that believes that pain is a microphone," continued the 31-year-old New Yorker, who said she has not seen the documentary. "My pain really does me no good unless I transform it into something that is."