The Real Reason Lady Gaga Left American Horror Story

Lady Gaga was still a relative mainstream Hollywood newbie when she made her debut on Season 5 of "American Horror Story" — "Hotel" — in 2015, but boy did the multitalented superstar leave a quick impression. As The Countess, a seductive vampire (also not above cold-blooded murder), Gaga helped the season premiere elicit 12.2 million viewers, exalting "Hotel" as "AHS"'s highest-rated season at the time (via Billboard). Moreover, the "House of Gucci" star scored critical legitimacy with a 2016 Golden Globe win for that very performance. At the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con panel discussion for "Hotel," show co-creator Ryan Murphy described working with Gaga as being "larger than life" and "very collaborative and incredibly fun" (via Billboard).

Reappearing on the anthology series as a powerful Celtic witch named Scáthach for Season 6's "American Horror Story: Roanoke," Gaga again made a favorable impression not just on fans but co-stars like "AHS" alum Leslie Jordan as well. As Jordan shared on his "Pillow Talk" IGTV series (per Entertainment Weekly), Gaga seemed quite the delight to work with. "When I met Lady Gaga on the 'American Horror' set ... beautifully brought up," Jordan recalled, adding an amusing anecdote about how Gaga, before a particularly violent scene the two shared, warned Jordan of her tendency to "sexualize all my acting partners" before NSFW but harmless playing ensued. 

Suffice it to say, the question on many "AHS" fans' minds is, why hasn't Gaga graced them with her presence since Season 6?

Lady Gaga's plate has been too full

Lady Gaga's undoubtedly busy schedule seems to be the cause for her long break from "American Horror Story" –  but the details are slightly more dramatic. Per Netflix's 'Gaga: Five Foot Two' documentary (released in September 2017), the singing-songwriting-acting multihyphenate apparently butted heads with "AHS" producers over creative disagreements amidst a long shoot day. In one scene from the doc, per Pop Buzz, Gaga revisits her filming Season 6, "American Horror Story: Roanoke." Still in wardrobe as the Celtic witch Scáthach, Gaga is seen in a filmed heated discussion with behind-the-scenes crew. "I'm doing my record, I have things to do, I haven't slept," Gaga says to them in one telling plea. 

More than anything personal against working conditions on the "AHS: Roanoke" set, Gaga seemed simply overwhelmed at the time with simultaneous projects and personal life issues. As Pop Buzz noted, the documentary alone follows Gaga finishing an entire album, planning for her Super Bowl LI's Halftime Show performance, and prepping for her Oscar-nominated role opposite Bradley Cooper in 2018's "A Star is Born." Additionally, Gaga was, per Elle, about to break up with ex-boyfriend Taylor Kinney at the time while grappling with chronic fibromyalgia (per The Guardian).

No confirmed reason was given for Gaga's absence from Season 7 on, but we wouldn't rule out a return to the "AHS" universe if the superstar's schedule should allow.

Lady Gaga originally reached out to Ryan Murphy for a part

Although Lady Gaga might have needed a respite from the rigors of starring on "American Horror Story," she once pursued a role on the Ryan Murphy show with a passion. Per an interview with Billboard, Gaga shared that she even cold-called "AHS" creator Murphy asking for a part. "I told him I wanted a place to put all of my anguish and rage and that I was excited to play a killer," the singer-actor stated. Murphy was more than happy to sign Gaga on, telling Billboard, "We relate to each other because we're both transformers. We do something trying to work out s*** in our personal life. And then the next year we put on a different costume and we're somebody else." 

Murphy even reminisced about the singer's emotional reaction to footage he showed her of The Countess' debut, which was shot and dramatically scored in very Gaga-esque fashion. "She burst into tears," Murphy told Billboard. "I was worried, but she told me later that it was because she was so happy that somebody had believed in her." 

Given the high ratings — no doubt garnered in part by Gaga's star power — for the season's premiere episode (and the Golden Globe she would score for her performance on the show's behalf), Murphy likely more than misses Gaga's presence amongst "AHS"'s recurring cast. Here's hoping artistic twin flames Murphy and Gaga collaborate again.