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Lady Gaga's 'Telephone' Lesbian Prison Gal Heather Cassils Talks Gender, Kissing and Queers

Lady Gaga's 'Telephone' Lesbian Prison Gal Heather Cassils Talks Gender, Kissing and Queers

Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video has a new star in Heather Cassils, the lesbian prisoner that made out with the eccentric singer. Out.com chatted with Cassils to find out how she ended up in the internet phenomenon. In the interview, Cassils dishes on the epic "Telephone" video, kissing Gaga, queer women and gender roles. Cassils on Gaga: "She was extremely professional and very, very funny. After we did the [kissing] shot, she screamed across the yard to me, 'I think you got me pregnant!'" 

Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video has a new star in Heather Cassils, the lesbian prisoner that locked lips with the eccentric singer.

Cassils was handpicked by Gaga to play the role of her prison yard girlfriend and Out.com chatted with her to find out how she ended up in the 10-minute internet phenomenon.

In the new interview, Cassils dishes on the epic "Telephone" video, kissing Gaga, queer women in the media and gender roles.

Out: What was Gaga like on set?

Heather Cassils: She was extremely professional and very, very funny. After we did the [kissing] shot, she screamed across the yard to me, "I think you got me pregnant!" [Laughs] She was also very present and real. She took the time to ask people what they did for a living and who they were and where they were from. She was a very genuine, grounded person.

OK -- let's get to the juicy stuff: What was the kiss like?

I think we did several takes -- to be honest, it was a little bit of a blur because it happened so quickly. On the first, take her cigarette sunglasses were steaming a little bit, but by the third or fourth take we were both inhaling a lot of secondhand smoke [Laughs]. It was kind of intense. And it just kind of happened naturally because she didn't really give me explicit instructions to kiss her -- it just felt like a natural thing to do. In fact, I sniffed her like a kind of aggressive beast. And as we got closer, she actually put her tongue in my mouth. She just went for it. [Laughs] It was really good.

Tell me about your feelings about depictions of queer women in popular culture.

I've been in shoots before, and I've worked with other artists, and there's this thing where they try to femme anybody up -- especially when it's mainstream media. And there's this expectation that you're either going to fit on one end of the spectrum or the other, so I really appreciated that I literally showed up on set and was allowed to go just as I am. My body is a complete construction. I feel there's a lot of pressure, even in the queer world, to go trans or whatever and take these real extremes, and I don't really think there's anything wrong with that, but I do think there's a lot you can do with your own body.

Right. I think it's important to have people who complicate our notions of gender -- whether they be playing with butch/femme or consider themselves gender queer or just don't fit into the gay/straight/bi/trans spectrum so neatly -- because we still have a long way to go with our understanding of gender and sexuality, even in the queer community.

Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. One thing I like about Lady Gaga is that strange rumor about whether or not she has a penis. I'd like the same rumor to circulate about me. [Laughs] The not knowing and the suspension of disbelief and what that does to people -- it starts with the body, but it can translate into all kinds of other important things.

Read the full interview here.

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