Lady Gaga wins praise for Joker: Folie à Deux performance

Lady Gaga has been lavished with praise by the casting director of the Joker sequel, saying she rivals lead star Joaquin Phoenix.

The 38-year-old pop sensation plays Harley Quinn in the new film, which is set to be released in October.

Casting director Francine Maisler has promised fans of the first film, which was released in 2019, that the singer's inclusion in Joker: Folie à Deux is unmissable.

The casting expert gushed to Variety, "She's so good in it, you guys. She's going to blow your mind.

"I didn't suggest Lady Gaga. It wasn't my idea. That was (writer and director) Todd Phillips, before me. But I will tell you, she's really surprising - and really good."

Heaping further praise and expectation on the star, Francine continued, "I saw it and I was really surprised. I mean, we all knew what she could do in A Star Is Born, but I thought, 'Oh, well, that's kind of in her wheelhouse.' Something she could do and just be real. But this... Man, she's good."

And explaining how Gaga easily holds her own against Oscar winner Joaquin, Francine says, "Joaquin blows your mind, but that she could keep up with him, and be real - and not just wiped off the screen by what that role is and what the performance is - shows she's good."

The first Joker film was a critical and commercial smash - earning over $1 billion (£780,000,000) at the box office and bagging 49-year-old Joaquin his Best Actor Oscar.