Frederic Aspiras — a Joico celebrity stylist — has worked with Lady Gaga since 2009
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Fredric Aspiras
| Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc.

Fredric Aspiras, Lady Gaga's longtime hairstylist and friend, spent months preparing the hairstyles of Patrizia Reggiani, Gaga's character in the new film House of Gucci.

In the film, which was released on Nov. 24, Gaga, 35, stars opposite Adam Driver, who plays Reggiani's ex husband, Maurizio Gucci. The film details the story behind Reggiani, now 72, who was convicted of hiring a hitman in the 1995 killing of Gucci after they had ended their marriage.

Preparing Gaga for the role, however, was unlike anything else 45-year-old Aspiras — who celebrated the film this week at a private screening hosted by Joico — has worked on.

The various hairstyles seen throughout the movie were a result of Aspiras going page by page through the script and developing a real-life characterization of Reggiani.

Gaga's only request, recalls Aspira? "I don't want to see Lady Gaga on the screen!"

Lady Gaga stars as Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott’s HOUSE OF GUCCI A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film Photo credit: Fabio Lovino © 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Lady Gaga
| Credit: Fabio Lovino

"I sat with that script at my house during COVID, and for five months I went script page by page and thought of the characterization of the person, the inspiration of what this hairstyle was going to look like for that scene, and the actual real life photo of Patrizia at that time," he tells PEOPLE.

Adding, "Unfortunately, Patrizia's photos at 25 years old doesn't exist, except for maybe a photo of her wedding, where I think she was 25 or 26. That was it to go from."

In turn, Aspiras took on the challenge of creating what an Italian woman of that age, at that time period, by "talking to people, reading books, [and] talking to people who lived in Italy at that time."

The hairstylist also shared he drew inspiration from Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren. In the end, the development process took five months and resulted in 10 wigs and a 500-page directory detailing the hairstyles — something he considers a "passion project."

His work with Gaga is only the latest in what has now been 12 years of hairstyling and friendship. And though Gaga's hair has gone through various phases and change, Aspiras says her platinum signature blonde by Joico Blonde Life Color is "most her."

There was even an instance ahead of filming the movie, Aspiras recalls, where she asked him to dye her hair brown — leaving him "so beside himself" and "crying" at the request.

"We re-dyed her real hair from her platinum signature blonde hair back to brown months before the movie was shot, just so that she could feel be in the character. I mean, you're talking about someone who is so devoted to characterization and the art that she willingly wanted to color white hair," he recalls.

"It was past her shoulder, it was very healthy, gorgeous, and wanted to color it brown. And I was so besides myself. I was crying. I was like, 'Are you sure about that?' 'Like, yes.' And we colored it brown," he adds.

When asked to speak on his friendship with Gaga after all of these years, Aspiras says "her compassion speaks for itself."

Lady Gaga stars as Patrizia Reggiani and Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci in Ridley Scott’s HOUSE OF GUCCI A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film Photo credit: Fabio Lovino © 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Lady Gaga
| Credit: Fabio Lovino

What he admires most about the singer and actress, however, is her "heart and her friendship."

"That is something that I would treasure forever. I think that keeps me wanting to do better for myself. I don't think she's ever about wanting to do something better for her. She's very selfless in terms of her giving," he says.

Aspiras' mother, who was also a hairdresser, died six months before the movie was shot, he shares — and therefore decided to dedicate his work to his mother.

"This movie to me was a love letter to my mother, who was a hairdresser, and taught me everything I knew when I was 13 years old. And this movie, every time I look at a hairstyle, it reminds of her," he says through tears. "I'm very proud and very thankful to Gaga. She's like, 'You have the honor to honor her legacy,' and I did. And I'm thankful for her."

House of Gucci also stars Jeremy IronsJared LetoSalma HayekReeve Carney and Jack Huston. The film is directed by Ridley Scott and based on the Sara Gay Forden book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed.