Lady Gaga, Norman Reedus, And That ‘Judas’ Video They Did Together [Opinion]

Lady Gaga and Norman Reedus were in a music video and people are still shocked and amazed. The music video for the song “Judas” is controversial, interesting, and still fresh years later. People want to know what the symbolism meant to Gaga, and why Reedus portrayed Judas.

Norman Reedus starred in Lady Gaga’s “Judas” video in 2011, scoring the title role in the video. Reedus revealed to The Rolling Stone that he didn’t have to audition. Lady Gaga wanted Norman Reedus for the job.

“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, ‘F**k yeah, that should be fun!'”

“Judas” featured shocking religious imagery mixed with lipstick and bikers. It’s rather unusual but surprisingly sound from a theological perspective, though not from a historically accurate biblical perspective. “Judas” is really about some heavy spiritual concepts for Lady Gaga, but for Norman Reedus, it was all just fun.

Norman Reedus says he’d like to make a video perhaps similar to “Judas” with Lady Gaga again, because “It was a blast.” Norman praised Gaga’s motorcycle “stunts” like leaning off the back of the bike, to MTV. Norman Reedus said the idea of the lipstick coming out of the gun was not only Lady Gaga’s idea but it was a last minute improvisation.

Lady Gaga portrayed Mary Magdalene in the video. Lady Gaga is, surprisingly to most, a devout Catholic. Norman Reedus explains in an interview with The Rolling Stone.

“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.”

Lady Gaga had a concept of what she wanted, and Norman Reedus was perfect to portray her Judas as a great motorcycle rider, who is devastatingly handsome and rugged in just the right way. It doesn’t hurt that Norman Reedus exudes a sort of built-in bad boy image either.

Norman Reedus went on to explain that Lady Gaga’s point of view is different than the bashers thought.

“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.”

Lady Gaga explained her video and the faith it reflected to the Independent.

“Mary Magdalene washed the feet of Christ and was protected and loved by him. A prostitute. Someone society shames as if she and her body are a man’s trash can. He loved her and did not judge. He let her cry over him and dry his feet with the hair of a harlot.”

Lady Gaga’s video “Judas” with Norman Reedus portrays a Mary Magdalene torn between serving Jesus and lusting after Judas who appears to represent the temptations of the flesh. This, of course, is not speaking of Judas and Mary Magdalene in the bible, who have never been romantically linked.

Norman Reedus, Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead
Norman Reedus, Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead [Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]

“Judas” is about the temptation to betray one’s faith and the forgiveness available. Norman Reedus as Judas simply symbolizes betrayal. Judas is a common metaphor for betrayal.

Lady Gaga explains her life from her own perspective to the Independent.

“We are not just ‘celebrities’ we are humans and sinners, children and our lives are not void of values because we struggle. We are as equally forgiven as our neighbor. God is never a trend no matter who the believer.”

Lady Gaga is well aware of the theological import of this video. The oddness of her visual statements are in line, not with Mary Magdalene’s feelings but rather, it expresses that torn feeling of loving Jesus and very humanly craving sin, as she infers in the song, and various theatrical symbolism.

Lady Gaga, James Hetfield sing Moth Into Flame at the 2017 Grammy Awards
Lady Gaga, James Hetfield sing Moth Into Flame at the 2017 Grammy Awards [Image by Kevin Winter/Getty]

Norman Reedus’ portrayal of Judas puts everything into the human perspective. Norman Reedus with his wildly attractive bad boy image was exactly the right symbol.

Lady Gaga uses the Magdalene as a symbol, that is in line with Catholic teaching, to represent the Church and each individual sinner that is part of Christianity. The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Study has this to say about Mary Magdalene.

“All of the key female figures in the Gospel of John are bridal archetypes of the Church. That is, they are ‘universal signs’ for the Church that is called into relationship with its spiritual spouse, Christ the Divine Bridegroom. Among those women in John’s text, Mary Magdalene is second only to Our Lady as a sign of the Church (John 2, 19).”

Mary Magdalene is the symbol for the sinner saved by grace and she is also a symbol for the redeemed church. The Magdalene as portrayed in the video is the symbol of the sinner as a bride to Christ, who may not be faithful all the time, despite their efforts.


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Lady Gaga’s Judas and his portrayal by Norman Reedus does not represent the actual Judas. It’s about a betrayal of Jesus, not just by Judas, but by all sinners, who nonetheless receive grace.

Lady Gaga’s “Judas” video, with Norman Reedus portraying Judas, has sparked questions and led to many good discussions. The religious symbolism was admittedly used in unusual ways, with the biker gang and the lipstick, but the message is there.

Lady Gaga and Norman Reedus in the “Judas” video are still a trending conversation.

[Featured Image by Christopher Polk and Jesse Grant/Getty Images]