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    Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Anthony Ramos, and Sam Elliott Talk A Star Is Born with 'blackfilm'

    Playing at the Toronto International Film Festival after making a big splash at Venice Film Festival is Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut ‘A Star Is Born‘ starring Lady Gaga, starring himself 
    Also included in the film are Sam Elliott, Anthony Ramos, Dave Chappelle, Andrew Dice Clay, and Rafi Gavron.
    Based on the story by William A. Wellman and Robert Carson, the screenplay is by Will Fetters & Bradley Cooper and Eric Roth.
    The story is about a an famed aging, alcoholic country musician who mentors/is schooled by and then finds romance with a younger female star was first done in 1937 with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. Judy Garland and James Mason starred in the 1954 remake, and Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson were in the 1976 version.
    In the remake, Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a country music star on the brink of decline when he discovers a talented unknown named Ally. As the two begin a passionate love affair, he coaxes her into the spotlight, catapulting her to stardom. But as her career quickly eclipses his own, he finds it increasingly hard to handle his fading glory.
    While in Toronto, Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Anthony Ramos, and Sam Elliot sat down with a handful of journalists, including Blackfilm.com, to discuss the making the of the film.
    Can you talk about including a backstory for Ally and Jack, because in previous versions there wasn’t any on the family.
    Bradley Cooper: It just sort of came out of the story itself. I always wanted … movies I like are movies where you get to know the people. And you’re right about that. I remember watching the James Mason version, going, ‘I don’t know anything about him,’ which is kind of incredible that I cared so much about his character when you don’t know anything. It was kind of wonderful.
    And in the writing process of this movie, I thought about that. I really cared about telling a true love story and one that … in order to tell a true love story, it all comes about what happened before. What made you the person you are. And specifically with these two characters, this relationship, it’s about trauma as a child and it’s one of the sort of themes that I was playing with in the movie. How that dictates your behavior for the rest of your life. Because of that, branched off into kind of a different story really than the other ones.
    I loved it. It was everything I was expecting. And you, oh my God, you can sing anything.
    Lady Gaga: Thank you so much. That’s very humbling.
    Bradley Cooper: You should have been on set. We all would just look at each other like, ‘What.’ When we stopped crying she would sing.
    For Lady Gaga, in your documentary, and the thing that stood out to me is at the beginning of your documentary you talked about how you were so confident and everything now, at that point in your life. The interviews that have been leading up to this film, you’ve been talking about how insecure you’ve been. Can you talk about that? What was the transition? If it was because you were taking on a movie star sort of role or … what changed?
    Lady Gaga: I don’t know that I have been necessarily insecure about the release of this film. It’s more just transforming into Ally was so different from who I was when I started my career. I just really believed in myself and was like, ‘I’m gonna make this happen,’ and I was running around New York City banging down doors, singing my ass off as much as I could. Just trying to speak my truth and tell my story. And I believed I was gonna make it and if I was not sitting here at this round table with you right now, with these incredibly talented people, I would still be in a bar in New York singing.
    But Ally has completely given up on herself. Taking my makeup off, having my natural hair color, living in that for a few months before we shot … it provides for a vulnerability that I’m not used to. And I was so lucky to have such a tremendous director that would say to me, ‘All you gotta do is trust me.’ And all I had to do simply was that. Was trust him and trust in the truth of the character. And Ally is very different from me. She gave up on herself, she did not believe in who she was, she didn’t think that she could make it, she didn’t feel beautiful, and the movie, I believe, begins to lift off because he believes in her and he loves her. And that inspires her to believe in herself.
    The movie is incredible. Both of you should be nominated this year. I just want say that first and foremost, you were just incredible in this film.
    Lady Gaga: Thank you.
    The movie deals with addiction, which is not an easy subject. How closely does the addiction storyline connect to either one of you as people?
    Bradley Cooper: The two things that I wanted to make sure would happen, hopefully, when people watch the movie … anybody who’s a musician, and anybody who’s gone through that will say like, ‘Yeah, that’s the way it is.’ That was really important. You try to do anything you can to personalize the story. For all of us, I think, you find what it is personal to you so that you don’t have to act. That’s the bottom line.
    I was really captured by the way you told the story using the semantics, the close shots, and then kind of weaving in the vocals. What informed your decisions on when to really come in and pull out? And when to just let the song and the voice kind of just lead the audience on where the story’s going next?
    Bradley Cooper: The movies that I love, and the filmmakers I love. It’s always form follows function. I’m not watching a Martin Scorsese shot and saying, ‘Oh, that was all one take.’ It’s sort of an afterwards. After you go through the emotion of it, you go, ‘Oh, wow. That’s why I felt that way, because he did that.’ Or some sonic variation. I love filmmaking and I’ve always loved films. And I think I’m definitely a visual audio person. Every shot and every close up has to do with where the character is. It’s not like, ‘Oh, here’s a cool shot.’
    Jackson is constantly avoiding the camera in the beginning of the movie until he can’t. He has to face it. When she’s in the bed, the camera’s right in his face. His older brother is the same way. She’s the opposite. She’s not even aware that the camera’s there. She steps into the center of the bathroom on stage the first time you see her, not even knowing she’s about to be on stage. These are all just sort of things that you hope that the audience is feeling without recognizing the manipulation of what you’re doing.
    You can go over every detail of the movie and the performances, but the movie doesn’t work without the songs working. Can you just talk about creating the songs?
    Bradley Cooper: Yeah, I mean, they’re characters in the movie. Absolutely. There’s not one lyric that we have in the movie that isn’t at a specific point where either one of the characters is feeling that, hoping it, fearing it … absolutely. She was incredible, and we also had other wonderful writers and-
    Lady Gaga: We had so many songwriters.
    Bradley Cooper: Jason Isbell and Mark Ronson and Hillary Lindsay and Lucas Nelson and others. And it was a part of the development. The cultivation of the movie. It was happening simultaneously.
    Lady Gaga: And you. Bradley was in the studio all the time working with us and helping to craft the soundtrack. Jack’s sound and who he is as an artist completely came from him and it was so exciting for me to watch as a musician. I remember he came into the studio one day and we were working on something for him, and he was like, ‘This isn’t Jackson’s sound. This isn’t what he sounds like.’ I was like, ‘Oh, okay. I got a musician on my hands.’
    It provided for such an inspirational experience, and he had his hand in absolutely every single thing that was a part of this movie. It was tremendous. It was tremendous to be in the midst of … just an honor to watch, really.
    Regarding Anthony’s character. Which is an essential link between the connection between the two of you. Can you talk about what you were looking for when casting that role? And then Anthony, if you can talk about kind of what you saw on the page and how it changed once you were cast?
    Bradley Cooper: With all the characters, I wanted to represent their relationship to fulfilling their dreams, having enough to fill their dreams, their relationship to celebrity or … all those things. The Ramon character, always to me, was the purest character. Was filled with hope and the joy of doing it. Being around it, whatever it is. I knew I wanted to cast someone and hope someone to come aboard who has an internal light that is just unwavering and that was him. Ramon has this joy and he brought that plus myriad of other things.
    Anthony Ramos: It was pretty special just being on set and playing that role. I think everyone needs a real one in their life. No matter what you do, and the more successful you become at whatever you do, you have to keep the real ones. I think that was what I kept playing in my mind. Yeah, I saw stuff on the page and I said what was on the page half of the time, but that was only cause Bradley was like … he’d have moments, he’d be like, ‘Yo, forget about the script. Let’s just try this.’ It was like to lead with the heart. The words are here, we’re gonna say this, but if something feels like it wants to do this, let’s go there. Let’s just try that and let’s do that. And Bradley would be like …
    We were shooting a scene with Andrew Dice Clay and Stefanie on the steps outside the house and I think it was one of my first days on set. I was nervous. I’m like, ‘What’s that?’ These incredible actors and director and Bradley’s behind the steps like this with the monitor. And we cut and he’s like, ‘Go there’ and he’s all up in it. And ‘Just try it this way. Move here. Feel her. Feel her. She’s leaving man, she’s leaving.’ We’re working together real great, and then Bradley just sneaks right back behind the steps and you can feel your director. When you feel your leader there with you, you just feel safe. You feel safe enough to just run around like a kid. It’s like a parent with their kid and their just like, ‘Here, here’s the sandbox, do your thing. But I’m right here, I’m watching.’
    When you have that, it’s like, ‘Oh, look, we can fly. I can do anything.’
    Was this character in the script written as a specific ethnicity? Or you were just open to anyone playing the role?
    Bradley Cooper: Oh, totally open.
    This film has multiple, beautiful complicated layers, but it still does have that muse and the broken man kind of message also. Do you still and this is for everybody, do you still feel that story has a place in modern times?
    Bradley Cooper: I don’t. I never saw her as being his muse. She didn’t inspire him to create art. She wasn’t a muse for him. It’s not like a Pygmalion story. That’s what I kinda loved about him, because he’s this child. I feel like Jackson never changed from when dad died, and when he came home. It’s like he’s 13. That’s why he’s the most childlike, like in the James Mason one, he takes off her prosthetic because he’s angry that the studio was telling her to do this. Jackson’s coming at it from a … he’s like a child, like, ‘Oh, what’s under here? Can I … oh, wow. Look at you.’ He’s just enchanted with her. Then all of a sudden he sees that she has something to say. He likes her voice, but it’s in the parking lot when she starts writing a song right there. That’s that moment when he’s looking up at her almost like a child and she’s on the stage, even though it’s in a parking lot, where he’s just blown away. He just selfishly wants to see what she’s is going to produce as an artist.
    I never saw it as the broken man and the muse. That was the hope.
    In your documentary, Five Foot Two, you say, ‘I can always bring my past with me, but I can never go back.’ For all of you, what is the one thing that, in your past, that you would want to go back to? If you could.
    Sam Elliott: Oh, man, I don’t know. I’ve had such a blessed career that … God, it’s gone on so long. Cause a lot of things I’d like to go back to. I’d like to go back to my mom. I’d like to see my mom again. Nothing to do with this film. It’s where I come from. It’s what you guys were talking about earlier about the Pygmalion thing and as Bradley mentioned it … it’s like the muse thing, I guess is what it was. It’s not really that. It’s like all these characters are who they are because of where they came from. And that’s real. That’s as real as it can be. For all of us. We’re in this movie or not. And if we’re fortunate enough to have come from a good place, then we’re fortunate enough to be sitting here with these guys.
    Anthony Ramos: I’m 26, man. So I’m still here.
    But you can do a lot of stuff in your 20s that you wish you didn’t ever do.
    Anthony Ramos: No. Look, you’re right. You ain’t lying. You ain’t never lie about that. I guess just a moment that I think I always wanna go back to are the most innocent moments, man. When I was a kid and I just wasn’t worrying so much about life. Because somehow, things have always worked out the way they needed to. And I think as a kid, you feel this like … those moments …
    We had a wrestling federation in the backyard. I grew up in the projects in Bushwick in Brooklyn. We’re like a bunch of heathens wrestling on this concrete with the jungle gym. But we didn’t care. I think I need to go back to those moments a little more as an adult. Worrying about where’s my career going or what … is this gonna work out? Is that gonna work out? But at the end of the day, I always went back home upstairs and ate my rice and beans and chicken that my mom made and went to bed. And I was like, ‘Everything’s good.’ And I have to remember the rice and beans and chicken. It’s all good, you know? And it’s always gonna be alright.
    Lady Gaga: For myself, I often have a vision of me when I was around 19 years old, living on the lower east side. It was just me and this teeny tiny studio apartment with my piano and my futon. I used to wake up and I would either go to the café down the street to write, or I would just walk the streets of New York by myself and I was just dreaming. I had no idea what was in store for me. But I loved the freedom of not knowing. I think something over the years, as my career has progressed, you start to have some idea of how things are going to go. You experience things that you’ve never experienced before. I miss the innocence that I had. But I needed that for this character.
    It goes back to what Sam was saying and also what Anthony was saying … is that it’s your past that makes you who you are. But I would say that that independence of being alone and just being a singular artist by myself with nobody around me, no manager, no stylist, no hair and makeup. I miss that time.
    Bradley Cooper: When you said the question, I thought, ‘Well, I go back all the time.’ I mean, that’s the beautiful thing about imagination. Hell, I go back all the time. Various things. I was at Bruce Springsteen last night in New York. I don’t know if any of you has gone to see his show, but that’s what that whole show’s about. He takes you back to the tree in his neighborhood and sitting there with his father and we’re just so lucky we get to be in a profusion where we get to do that for a living. But, man, I spend half my day doing that.
    I wanted to ask about drag in the beginning. And obviously it’s great to see Shangela (Laquifa Wadley) and Willam and so many drag queens on there. I was curious how that sort of came about. I was also curious because obviously I know you adore and love the drag community and it’s important to you. Have you watched drag race? Do you have a relationship with drag? Or anything like that?
    Bradley Cooper: In terms of the structure, the movie, I always wanted there to be a special moment when he first sees her and make it unique. And Eric Roth and I, when we were writing the movie, we sat down with Stefanie and I would record, very much like we are here, hours and hours, I would just ask her tons of questions. And then he and I would listen to it back and try to take things and think, ‘How could we mold this?’ We really loved the drag bar idea. I wanted her to sing, so I was just trying to fit these things together and that’s kinda how that came about.
    And then I met these incredible … Willam just blew my mind, and Shangela. Once I met them, and we were on the set, it was like the possibilities became endless of what we could do in this space. It was so exciting.
    Lady Gaga: And it was so wonderful. His curiosity as well about drag makeup. And-
    Lady Gaga: Bradley’s. Yeah. I remember having a whole conversation with him about soaping the brow and how you get the eyebrow to stay down, and then you pat it with powder so that you can’t see it. Then we talked about doing the eyebrows and all of these little details. He was so interested in. I thought it made for such an authentic moment in the film and I’m so happy that it’s there.
    Bradley Cooper: Although, I do have to say, I just thought of it. One Halloween, Amy Poehler and I, in New York, I went drag and she had … now I remember that, yeah. I remember walking down New York City, and I was like, ‘Ah, I feel like a woman. Yeah.’ It was hard to find shoes that fit 13. Yeah, that was … yeah. I needed more prep. I needed more prep time.
    Was there a specific woman you had in mind?
    Bradley Cooper: No, my friend had this incredible wig so I just took her wig. There’s a photo somewhere.
    For today, what would be the one song that you would say you connect to the most? What do you go to right now that when you need to feel something? And this is for all of you.
    Bradley Cooper: Music’s amazing that way. I’ve worked with directors that play music during scenes to create an emotional atmosphere. That’s why I wanted to make a movie that had music as an integral part is because it’s just sort of mainlines it right to your soul. There’s no escaping it. I’m like all of you guys, there’s many songs that I’ll listen many different emotions. They’re also connected to a time period and who you were with in a setting, and a smell. Music is like … sound is like-
    Lady Gaga: Sensory.
    For me, ever since we left the Venice Film Festival, it was almost like we were on this extreme high and I got home and I just dropped and all I could think about was the film and the film just was preoccupied in my mind so deeply, the film affects me so much every time I see it. I kept thinking about the scene at the end. I actually have been listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark. That song actually plays back to my childhood. My father used to swing me around and dance with me to Bruce. So that’s what I’ve been listening to. Because even through the darkness, we can keep dancing.
    Anthony Ramos: There’s an artist, he’s on the come up, this guy named Ben Rector, and he’s one of the most beautiful story tellers I’ve ever listened to, yet. He’s got this song called The Men That Drive Me Places, and I’ll tell the story now at the end of my shows at the Encore.
    I had this driver in L.A. named Chris who told me that he came from the Philippines to L.A. to become a bartender and he has achieved his dream. And then I said, ‘Oh, so you’re driving in the mornings?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I do this so that my sister can come from the Philippines, so she can study to be a doctor and she doesn’t have to worry about her housing or anything.’
    And the song is just about … it’s like this song just isn’t … he’s like, ‘Isn’t that just the way it goes? You dealt a good hand. And you get celebrated. Oh, how am I the only one who knows I’m half the man of the men that drive me places.’ And it’s just about how we … there’s so many unsung heroes and it’s like … we should never take for granted the guy that’s holding the door for you, or the woman that’s like … or the man that’s like, ‘You want another glass of water?’ These people are helping us live life and get to the next moment and get to the next step. And everybody’s got a story. That’s kinda who I’ve been listening to.
    Lady Gaga: Sam?
    Sam Elliot: It’s all deep around this town. I wouldn’t single out any particular piece of music or any artist. I sit in these interviews, and I’ve thought about it before while making this film. I started singing in a church choir when I was four years old in Sacramento, California. My mother dragged me to a congregational church and I sang all the way through grade school, middle school, high school, college, and I always thought that maybe I was gonna end up having some sort of a singing career. Just probably fortunately that I took a fork in the road and ended up acting. But I thought about that a lot when I was making this film. I was like, ‘What the fuck happened to that singing career?’
    Listen to all these geniuses sing. And listening to Bradley over here that’s talking like me and singing like maybe I sounded, and it’s like … wow. Music is just the greatest, and I just … God, what a gift to be part of this whole thing and particularly to be anywhere in the same proximity to Stefanie is just … it’s just been mind boggling.
    Lady Gaga: There’s a lot of love here. There’s so much love here. And we felt it on set, and we still feel it now.
    Bradley Cooper: You should. You should. It’s a very touching movie.
    Lady Gaga: But that’s a testament to this guy, right here.
    Sam Elliot: That’s right.
    Lady Gaga: He created a family. And he nurtured us. He’s the nucleus to all of this. And I am just so forever grateful to have met you, Bradley.
    The interview was originally posted here.

    Sneak Peeks: 'A Star is Born'

    We are less than a month away from the official release of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's upcoming movie 'A Star is Born' (out on Oct. 5) and Warner Bross. has just released 4 new sneak peeks from the movie. Watch them all below!

    RECAP: 'A Star Is Born' premiere in Venice

    From glamorous boat rides to a blackout at the premiere of her first major film as a lead role, we have Lady Gaga’s “A Star Is Born” Venice International Film Festival premiere covered for you.
    It all began when Gaga mysteriously started teasing on Instagram that she had arrived in France, before heading to Venice. Within hours of the close-up picture of her watch telling the local time and the full-body outfit shots, it was confirmed she had touched down in Paris to promote “A Star Is Born”. For the next few days, she and fellow ‘ASIB’ star Bradley Cooper, who also directed the film, were seen meeting together filming interviews. Gaga also reportedly was spotted attending a photo studio, so keep a look out for her new photoshoot soon. It’s safe to say they will be used in upcoming media promoting the film.
    Then on Thursday, Gaga touched down in Venice, Italy ready for the world premiere of A Star Is Born, at the The 75th Venice International Film Festival. Before she even arrived at her hotel, which she arrived at via boat, glamorous paparazzi photos began taking the internet by storm of Gaga posing on the vessel. Who knew that candid photos would look like something out of a proper photoshoot?

    And finally, the big day came. Early morning on Friday, the very first screening of the film began. Critics and reporters had traveled from all around the world to watch the film. At midday, both Gaga and Cooper attended a press conference. In the 25 minute event, they answered many questions regarding the film and their experience in creating it. Gaga explained that Bradley “pull[ed] a vulnerability” out of her that she “may not have been able to get out of herself. "I never wanted to be viewed like other women, I wanted to be my own artist and have my own vision. I think its the same for Ally in this film, she’s navigating her career and she’s trying to find her place as she transforms”, Lady Gaga added.
    Later that night, the pair arrived once again at the big Gala, after both had an outfit change. Gaga stepped out in a fabulous feathered Valentino Fall/Winter 2018 Haute Couture ballgown. They walked side by side down the red carpet to hundreds of photographers, amongst all the flashing lights. Irina Shayke and longtime friend Donatella Versace also walked the red carpet. After posing for photographers for nearly a total of 10 minutes, both Gaga and Cooper met hundreds of fans who had waited all day (some since the night before) to get a glimpse of the pair. As she was about to wrap up her red carpet walk, she took one final step back out to pose, in the pouring rain, and kindly declined when offered an umbrella. She looked like a true Hollywood star and the photographs are priceless. Once done taking pictures and signing autographs, both took their seats inside the theatre to watch the final cut of their upcoming film, in a room of hundreds of others, for the very first time. We also attended and watched the screening of the film. You can read our review here.

    Barely twenty minutes into the screening of the film, the venue was reportedly struck by lightning and the power went out. While staff worked to get the power up and running, the audience began to applaud Gaga for the short tease of the film they had already seen. And soon enough, the power was back, and the film resumed.
    Following the film, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper received a breathtaking 8 minute standing ovation from the crowd. The reality of the audience’s applause became all too much for Gaga, who started crying tears of joy while the hundreds in attendance continued to show their great appreciation for the film. Gaga and Bradley then headed to the second screening of the film that night. 
    Then, the ratings and reviews began flooding in online, and the reaction to the film was outstanding. A Star Is Born was rated at 89% on Metacritic (now sitting at 87%) and received a score of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, both indicating Universal Acclaim, with some major publications giving the film 5/5 stars!
    On their final day in Venice, the pair sat down for an interview with Italian radio station 'Radio 101'. To finish off the trip, Gaga and the Haus went for a walk through the city. 

    The next day, both headed back home. Gaga was spotted in Malibu in a casual look and took selfies with a fan. After such an incredible week, she barely has a moment to rest before the next big event lined up; the Toronto International Film Festival, where A Star Is Born is next set to premiere. TIFF runs from September 6-16.

    Lady Gaga To Be Honored by SAG-AFTRA Foundation

    The SAG-AFTRA Foundation will present this year’s Artists Inspiration Awards to Harrison Ford and Lady Gaga at its third annual Patron of the Artists Awards.
    The event will be held on Nov. 8 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation annually honors two artists who have used their platform to advance humanitarian and philanthropic causes with Artists Inspiration Awards. Previous honorees include Leonardo DiCaprio, Lionel Ritchie, and Kate Winslet.
    “We are honored to recognize two of the most iconic and beloved artists worldwide who have not only made indelible impacts on our culture and the arts, but who have chosen to use their influence to make a difference for others,” said SAG-AFTRA Foundation Board President JoBeth Williams.
    “Lady Gaga, whose monster career as a performer and actor has won her hundreds of millions of fans around the world, has also worked tirelessly on behalf of young people, focusing on mental wellness and building a kinder, braver world through her Born This Way Foundation. Harrison Ford and Lady Gaga are shining examples of how extraordinary success and true legacy are about creating a better world.”
    Gaga has won six Grammy Awards and will next be seen in Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut “A Star Is Born,” which premiered Aug. 31 at the Venice Film Festival. She has supported charities including the American Red Cross, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Re*Generation, the MAC AIDS Fund, and efforts for Haiti disaster relief.
    The Patron of the Artists Awards benefits the foundation’s assistance and performers programs for SAG-AFTRA members and its children’s literacy program Storyline Online.
    This article originally appeared Here.

    REVIEW: A Star is Born - What to expect and what not

    Venice, August 2018, 7:15 PM.
    Lady Gaga enters the Main Hall for the first time to watch her movie at the Film Festival. Since a couple of hours, the critics have been allowed to share their reviews on the morning screening. The world was waiting for the first impressions to come out, alongside with the 76 millions fans who are following the new Hollywood star into this new surprising journey.
    The reviews are groundbreaking and to some extent some of them are hard to get, knowing the reputation of some journals. This overhype gives us hope. At the end of the movie, the entire room was thinking the same thing: the film is a success! But we were carefully wondering: are the top reviews spoiling the fans’ expectation? Or do we just need to understand their perspective?
    The movie begins with Bradley and his first song. The room vibrates and becomes instantly excited, a solo rock guitar sound fills the air and immediately everyone understands something they may have underestimated: Bradley’s voice is unbelievably good. Deep, controlled and rock.
    Lady Gaga has undoubtly one of the most powerful and interesting voice in the modern industry, but Bradley shows unexpected skills which confirm that the main male character of the movie is as solid as his female counterpart. 
    While still watching this incredible first scene, hype and expectations go to their highest, but an unexpected movie direction takes away the fun. Still confused, we see Gaga for the first time, almost immediately put on trial by an important scene. Are we satisfied but her first impression? Of course we are, but maybe we are blinded by our feelings for her. At the moment she is still Gaga in our eyes, the true Ally still has to show herself. And she will come kinda late.
    During the first half of the movie, Bradley’s directing hands stand out. The fast screenplay and the character’s background are thrown into a cauldron that makes the viewers feel a bit dizzy, and may result confusing. The photography seems accurate, but some scenes are so hard to digest that, before it happens, another one starts. 
    We start to feel that we are far away from the modern style of La La Land; Bradley surprises us with his directing skills, every songs looks like a live tour video, but still he does not convince us entirely even if it is just the first half of the movie.
    A Star is Born is a raw movie, rock, almost dirty. There’s nothing colourful or fresh in this movie like the recent musicals. This remake feels like something new, a fresh wind that smells like whiskey. A movie like this really stands out against the other. We are very far from the dialog-songs of Les Miserables, and also much farer than the catchy pop songs of The Greatest Showman. The Soundtrack sounds immediately like a Titanic work.
    The more you go on with the movie, the more you understand that each song is a hit. Not just commercially; if every musical in history has a couple of songs that stand out and represent the movie in the coming years, with A Star Is Born we find a dozen of songs that already sound immortal.
    Bradley Cooper himself said that he wanted to make this movie after attending a Metallica Concert. That is the main reason why Bradley songs are totally rock, meanwhile Gaga’s ones are lighter, but still immortal.
    The first half hour of the movie does not let the viewer feel comfortable with the screenplay. Probably that’s because we are more focused on watching Gaga, but some of the first dialogues sound like nothing special. Still, there are some highlights in some of these dead moments of the movie which wake up the entire room. In the first scenes, for example, we find some known faces from Ru Pauls’ Drag Race, who gives the movie that little taste of Gaga. 
    It feels like Gaga dropped some little pieces of her essence in this movie. But the more we keep watching, the more we understand that it’s not just a little piece, it’s the entire movie that smells like Gaga. The entire Ally’s background and story, totally recalls Gaga’s s career since she was Stefani.
    Some lines sound literally ripped of from a bunch of her famous interview. We think that this choice was made to make Gaga feel closer to her character. But for us Little Monsters, it feels like an never ending way of referencing Gaga’s story. There are even a lot of familiar faces in the movie and there is also an entire dialog (which will probably be remembered forever) about Ally’s nose. 
    Getting closer to end of the movie, when Ally’s story goes a little in the background and the movie switches to Jack’s problems, the viewers finally understand the deep meaning behind. Depression, addiction, fame and family, all these topic are interconnected in a perfect direct and not censored way. Sam Elliot (who plays a very important role) sparks like a gem, thanks to his acting skills, which we think could totally lead him to a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
    At the end, the movie seems simple, dark and it makes you feel like to watch it again. The core is undoubtedly the soundtrack. It almost feels like the entire movie was recorded around it. Imagine the underground - rock stile of Born this Way mixed with the eternal old school and simple style of Joanne. BAM! This is what it feels like. The soundtrack is all sung LIVE. This details should not be forgotten, because it really gives the movie a lot of good points in production.
    We are really sure that every fan will love the movie and will also be surprised by his deep and dark mood. Probably even the general public will. Some people will find it boring and cheap, but it is okay to have different opinion. Personally we loved it very much, Gaga really plays a convincing Ally character most of the time, and Bradley is a PERFECT partner. The screenplay could have been written better, just like the picture, and the directing that makes the viewer feels a little lost sometimes. Each song still brings the public down on earth, and gifts us something that will accompain us in the coming years. Each Gaga song makes you cry (except for the few pop songs that have a particular role in the movie), and this makes you understand the power and beauty of the composition. 
    The true hit in the soundtrack shows up during the first part of the movie, where the characters are introduced. The song gets stuck in the head for the hours and days later. 
    Everything, anyway, becomes tiny if compared to the masterpiece that is the final song. Whitney Houston. A perfect song in the style of The Bodyguard, which Gaga wanted to customise with an amazing falsetto, giving that touch of originality without any fear to dare. From the first 2 seconds of the song you already feel like it will become an immortal song that everyone, even the future generations, will remember.
    The movie is solid and it certainly has some flaws, but with some other highlights and its soundtrack becomes a very enjoyable movie, in which a lot of people will see themselves. It will mark history for sure, even without all the overhype from the press that usually distorts the expectations and the focus; A Star Is Born doesn’t need any push to get directly nominated for an Oscar.
    Vote: 9.5/10

    A Star Is Born soundtrack available to pre-order

    The soundtrack for Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's upcoming film "A Star Is Born" is now available to pre-order on iTunes! It consists of original music by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and sneaks in a few classic covers. Collaborators include Luke Nelson and Promise Of The Real, DJ White Shadow and Diane Warren. The album will be released the same day as the film, on October 5th. Check out the full tracklist below:
    1 Intro Cast       2 Black Eyes Bradley Cooper       3 Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Dialogue) Cast       4 Fabulous French (Dialogue) Cast       5 La Vie en rose Lady Gaga       6 I'll Wait for You (Dialogue) Cast       7 Maybe It's Time Bradley Cooper       8 Parking Lot (Dialogue) Cast       9 Out of Time Bradley Cooper       10 Alibi Bradley Cooper       11 Trust Me (Dialogue) Cast       12 Shallow       13 First Stop, Arizona (Dialogue) Cast       14 Music to My Eyes       15 Diggin' My Grave       16 I Love You (Dialogue) Cast       17 Always Remember Us This Way Lady Gaga       18 Unbelievable (Dialogue) Cast       19 How Do You Hear It? (Dialogue) Cast       20 Look What I Found Lady Gaga       21 Memphis (Dialogue) Cast       22 Heal Me Lady Gaga       23 I Don't Know What Love Is       24 Vows (Dialogue) Cast       25 Is That Alright? Lady Gaga       26 SNL (Dialogue) Cast       27 Why Did You Do That? Lady Gaga       28 Hair Body Face Lady Gaga       29 Scene 98 (Dialogue) Cast       30 Before I Cry Lady Gaga       31 Too Far Gone Bradley Cooper       32 Twelve Notes (Dialogue) Cast       33 I'll Never Love Again (Film Version)       34 I'll Never Love Again (Extended Version) You can Pre-Order the soundtrack and pre-save it on Spotify/Apple Music here.

    LA Times interviewed Lady Gaga for 'A Star is Born'.

    She walked downstairs and there he was, staring at her. He stepped toward her, examined her face: concealer, mascara, rouge.
    “Take it off,” Bradley Cooper told Lady Gaga.
    She noticed something in his hand. It was a makeup wipe. With it, he erased the colors from her forehead down to her chin.
    This is the woman Cooper wanted in his film, “A Star Is Born.” Not the pop star masked with face paint and headdresses and hairpieces. Just Stefani Germanotta. “Completely open,” he said. “No artifice.”
    Until that moment in 2016, during a screen test in her home, Gaga didn’t realize how much she wanted the part — one played by Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand before her. And to get it, she was going to have to “completely let go and trust” Cooper. She couldn’t be that girl from the Lower East Side who spent hours doing her makeup before her gigs. She had to let the camera zoom in on her face wearing chapstick and eight-hour cream and nothing else.
    “It put me right in the place I needed to be, because when my character talks about how ugly she feels — that was real,” Gaga recalls. “I’m so insecure. I like to preach, but I don’t always practice what I preach.”
    Just days before flying to Italy for the world premiere of “A Star Is Born” at the Venice Film Festival, Gaga was sitting in the living room of her Malibu home — a $23-million, six-acre estate with a two-lane bowling alley, dressage ring and safe room. The movie, Cooper’s directorial debut, is the fourth version of the story to be made for the big screen. In this latest take, which will be released by Warner Bros. on Oct. 5, Cooper stars as Jackson Maine, a rock ’n’ roll star whose success is at risk as he struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. But his life finds renewed purpose when he meets Ally (Gaga), an aspiring singer who becomes both his creative muse and his girlfriend. Jackson decides to take Ally on tour with him, but as her career takes off, his demons threaten to sabotage their happiness.
    Although she’d already won a Golden Globe for her performance on “American Horror Story” and performed on some of the world’s biggest stages — including at the Oscars and the Grammys — Warner Bros. still wanted Gaga to audition to play Ally.
    “That was the studio — that wasn’t Bradley or the producers, but a former executive at Warner Bros. who wasn’t convinced Gaga should get the role,” explains Bill Gerber, one of the film’s producers who has been attached to the project since 2007, when Clint Eastwood was set to direct it. “So we convinced them. Bradley believed in her, and Warner’s was generous enough to budget a proper screen test. It wasn’t unanimous until we did the test, and when they saw it, it took them seconds to say yes.”
    Gaga says she understood why the studio wanted to test her, noting that some people “don’t really know what I look like.” Anyway, naysayers fuel her: “I’m totally that girl that’s like, ‘Bring it. I’ll show you.’”
    At 17, after studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, Gaga was admitted to New York University’s prestigious Collaborative Arts Project 21, a musical theater conservatory and off-Broadway theater company. But she didn’t thrive there. She wasn’t getting auditions, and the ones she went on went poorly. She was almost cast on a domestic tour of “Rent,” but producers ultimately decided she was too young. So after just a year at NYU, she dropped out.
    "I was frustrated with the system,” she says, “so I decided to go off on my own and pay my own rent, work three jobs, make my own music, and record in my apartment.”
    It’s somewhat difficult to envision that version of Gaga as she perches on the edge of her couch, back erect, still wearing the black Alaïa dress and stilettos she put on for a photo shoot earlier that afternoon. The coffee table in front of her is covered with pink crystals and magazines, including one with her on the cover.
    An assistant walks into the living room to offer bottled water. Also floating around Gaga’s house: her manager Bobby Campbell; a member of her publicity team; and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, who is visiting from New York. Gaga’s French bulldogs are outside on the patio, which overlooks the Pacific, and whine occasionally at the glass sliding doors.
    All of this is being watched from afar by cameras over in the barn, which houses both Gaga’s horses and her security team, which holds cellphones for guests while they are inside the performer’s residence.
    To play Ally, Gaga tried to distance herself from all this. She remembered the little girl who grew up obsessed with Garland — the one who would watch the Oscars wrapped in a gown made of blankets, accepting a fake Oscar on a crate in front of her television. And she thought a lot about how she came up in the music industry when — just like her character — she was told she had the right sound but not the right look.
    “I never cried, but I would just hold on to my records for dear life and say, ‘You’ll pry them from my cold, dead fingers,’” Gaga recalls of her early conversations with music executives. “What made things easier for me is that I wrote my music, so I didn’t have to beg for songs or for anyone to help me. I did it myself.”
    For Ally’s musical performances — some of which were filmed onstage at Coachella the week between Gaga’s two headlining gigs at the 2017 musical festival — she decided to tone things down. She wouldn’t grit her teeth or shout at the audience or throw her hands in the air. And she tried to hone in on the character’s depression, focusing on how close Ally was to giving up her dreams before meeting Jackson.
    “What’s different from Ally than me is that when I wanted to become a singer, I hit the concrete running,” she says. “I was dragging my piano from dive bar to dive bar to play music. I was calling people, faking being my own manager to get gigs. I really believed in myself that I could do this and that I wasn’t going to stop until I made it. ...The truth is, when we meet Ally, she’s given up on herself. And that’s very different from me. I just wasn’t overwhelmed by the odds. The truth is, if we were not sitting here today and I hadn’t sold as many records as I have, I’d still be in a bar somewhere playing the piano and singing. It’s just who I want to be.”
    Gaga worked with acting coach Susan Batson, who has trained Nicole Kidman and Juliette Binoche. The teacher said she found the fledgling actress “exceedingly receptive to the work,” describing her as “almost beyond professional.”
    “It was her first [leading role], but you would have never known it, and I think that has something to do with the fact that she’s done so much performing already,” Batson says. “The Lady Gaga that the public knows? They won’t see her.”
    Getting comfortable on set, Gaga admits, took some time. After months of preparation, she turned up for the first day of shooting with her lines memorized. Cooper came on set to join her in a scene, but he started off by saying a line that wasn’t in the script. He was trying to get Gaga to loosen up, but she didn’t understand and responded by saying the same line over and over again.
    “Finally, he said, ‘Are you OK?’ And then I started crying,” she says with a laugh. “Then I got that out of the way and then we did the scene. I had to let go of the words.”
    The two would go on to form a close bond during production, developing a shorthand while working on set. If Cooper wanted Gaga to evoke a feeling of warmth, he’d whisper “Tony,” knowing that she has a close relationship with singer Tony Bennett and that whenever she thinks of him she gets “a certain feeling of love.” If he needed her to focus, he’d say things like “ninja” or “assassin.”
    “Her learning curve was insane, just from the first day to the second day,” Cooper remembers. “Everybody already knows that she’s got a God-given talent as a singer, and she was able to utilize that plutonium to act. If this is something she wants to pursue, I will just have been lucky to have been part of her story as an actress.”
    Gaga also helped inform Cooper’s performance as a musician. She wrote a handful of songs for the movie’s soundtrack and sat with the actor in the studio, answering his questions about the logistics of what goes on backstage during a big concert. She was also candid about her personal experience with drugs, sharing how readily available substances were to her after she became famous.
    “There was a buffet of options,” Gaga says. “It’s very lonely being a performer. There’s a certain loneliness that I feel, anyway — that I’m the only one that does what I do. So it feels like no one understands. And the urge to use is because you’re searching for a way to quell the pain. When I first started to perform around the country doing nightclubs, there was stuff everywhere, but I had already partied when I was younger so I didn’t dabble. I was able to avoid it because I did it when I was a kid.”
    As “A Star Is Born” embarks on the fall awards circuit — the film is headed to the Toronto International Film Festival after Venice — Gaga says she’s proud of her performance because she knows she “gave it everything.” After being forced to cancel a slew of concert dates this year due to her fibromyalgia, she’s readying a return to the stage on Dec. 28, when she’ll launch a Las Vegas residency. (She won’t reveal whether songs from “A Star is Born” will make the cut.)
    She’d like to do more acting, but not just “for the sake of being an actress. I want to tell great stories that pull from real places inside of me, from real pain, from real emotion, from my real life.”
    Gaga does seem to have a gift for easily accessing her emotions. When the conversation returns to self-confidence — how she began to feel beautiful after that early industry scrutiny over her looks — her eyes fill with tears.
    “To be honest, I think what makes me feel beautiful is when I see happiness in my fans,” she says, her voice choking a bit. “When I see or hear from them that the music that I’ve made has changed their life in some way, that’s what makes me feel beautiful. Because this is just the outside, you know? And at the end of the day, I could be in a million movies and put out a million songs and everyone could say, ‘She was so beautiful,’ but that’s not really what I want. I want them to say, ‘I saw that movie and I cried my eyes out and I learned something about myself.’”
    Lady Gaga by Jay L. Clendenin for LA Times. Click on the picture to see the full photoshoot.

    This article originally appeared here.

    Lady Gaga's Deposition in Kesha's Lawsuit: ‘“I would Look After Her”.

    In recent years, Kesha's legal battle against her former producer and alleged abuser, Dr. Luke, has become one of the most prominent legal battles in the industry, garnering tremendous support across social media, fans and fellow celebrities. In case you're unaware, Kesha came out as a sexual assault victim in 2014, accusing her then producer Dr. Luke of said abuse, thus opening a legal battle against him in hopes of getting out of her multiple album contract with the producer and his record label under Sony.
    As of recently, texts between Kesha and several other female artists in the industry have been made public, including those between herself and Lady Gaga, in which Kesha alleged that her former producer may have also sexually assaulted Katy Perry. 
    On August 27, 2018 Lady Gaga's deposition on aforementioned texts had been made public. In her deposition, she recalls talking with Kesha and CEO of Intercope, John Janick, about a rumor that Mr. Janick had heard regarding Katy Perry's alleged abuse. She states that Mr. Janick and herself had been talking with Kesha about what they could do to help Kesha out from her legal binding with Sony and Dr. Luke's record company, Kemosabe Records, suggesting that somehow they could bring Kesha over to Interscope and that Gaga would look after her. 
    Later on, in his own deposition, Mr. Janick redacted his claims of ever alleging Katy Perry had been raped, making it seem as if Kesha was lying to Gaga with her claim over text, ultimately contradicting both Kesha and Gaga's claims that they had heard the rumor from Mr. Janick and making Gaga's deposition appear to lack knowledge of the subject and evidence. 
    Ms.Perry herself also stated on record that she had not been raped, assaulted, or drugged. 
    Lady Gaga's support for Kesha throughout her legal battle has been anything but secret, taking to her various social media accounts to advocate for the singer and helping Kesha continue to spread her message and shine her light as this lawsuit draws on. #FreeKesha


    Producer and indie veteran Lynette Howell Taylor talks about Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper's 'A Star Is Born'

    As director Bradley Cooper’s high-profile remake debuts at the Venice Film Festival, producer and indie veteran Lynette Howell Taylor opens up about the one thing that star Lady Gaga insisted upon.
    Bradley Cooper's A Star 
Is Born, in which the actor makes his directorial debut starring opposite Lady Gaga, will be unveiled Aug. 31 at the Venice Film Festival before traveling to Toronto's fest and hitting theaters Oct. 5. The $36 million Warner Bros. release is the fourth telling of the time-tested showbiz love story (the first was in 1937) about a male star whose career nosedives while that of the female star he discovers rises — and for producer Lynette Howell Taylor, it is the most high-profile project of her career.
    A native of Liverpool, England, Howell Taylor, 39, first worked 
on stage productions for East of Doheny before 
segueing into independent film with such critical successes as Half Nelson, Blue Valentine and Derek Cianfrance's 2012 The Place Beyond the Pines, where she first collaborated with Cooper, who invited her to come aboard Star two years ago. Her new production company 51 Entertainment, which has three employees, has also partnered with Shivhans Pictures on the currently filming Wander Darkly, directed by Tara Miele and starring Sienna Miller and Diego Luna as a couple in the aftermath of a devastating car crash.
    She and husband Graham Taylor, co-president of Endeavor Content, live in Pacific Palisades with their young children, daughter Avery and son Atticus — and a third is on the way in October. But they don't spend much time talking shop, says Howell Taylor with a laugh. "With two children and soon a third, when we get home, we talk about schedules, who's going to be where and who takes what shift."
    Why is A Star Is Born such an enduring story?
    Ultimately, it's a love story, and audiences love to watch stories about love. It's also a love story told with music, which is why it is timeless and why it is fresh. The music is fresh to this generation, and each previous incarnation has very much been about that time period when the movie came out. So this new one stands alone as its own contemporary retelling.
    Even though you shot the film before the Time's Up movement, has the balance between the male and female characters changed?
    I don't think it changed the story. The movie is about a woman in a man's world. There are not a lot of women in the film, and that's by choice, because the music industry has been very dominated, especially behind the scenes, by men. That's very much a part of the 
contemporary telling of this story.
    You were the fifth producer to join the project. How did you each divide up roles?
    Jon Peters made the '70s version. Bill Gerber came on in 2009, and he had very much been spearheading it. Todd Phillips and Bradley are producing partners and have 
a wonderful creative collaboration. So we all collaborated and supported Bradley's vision. Each individual producer on any project could often do what the other producers are doing, but on any given day, you naturally fall into a rhythm — OK, today I'm going 
to sit with the first A.D. and do the schedule and you're going to deal with how to get Coachella to let us film there.
    Does working with a first-time director like Cooper change 
the dynamic for you as a producer?
    I've been working with first-time directors since I started. My first movie Half Nelson was with Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. And I've worked with several actors turned directors, like Matt Ross and Brie Larson. What I love about actor-directors is they so fully understand what everybody needs in front 
of the camera. They're always so great at getting performances 
out of other actors because they really understand the craft.
    Lady Gaga hasn't had a lot of 
experience as an actor. Did you make any adjustments, like 
extra rehearsal time, for that?
    It was not about extra rehearsal time. It was about the environment that Bradley created on set that allowed everybody to bring the best that they had to give. All the music in the movie was sung live, which was something that Lady Gaga insisted on to have the most authenticity. Bradley fully embraced the idea and committed to it. And she was a real warrior. She performed both weekends at Coachella — and 
then we shot on their stages, 
and brought in our own crowds, during the week.
    Live Nation also produced — what was their involvement?
    It was a financial partnership on the movie. And music is such a huge part of the movie, there was an element of that, too, in terms 
of support.
    Did your background in indie film come into play?
    Obviously, it was very much 
a Warner Bros. movie, and you have the support of the Warner Bros. back office and the wonderful people who work at that studio. But then there's never enough money to make movies like this, and you have to get really creative — Bradley called Kris Kristofferson, who [starred in the 1976 version and] was performing at [the] Glastonbury [Festival], and asked if he could have part of his set, 
and Kris gave us four minutes. Bradley went with our cinematographer and one camera and our sound guy, and they went up on the stage and he performed a song twice, and 
it has a very electric feel to it. That was more in the spirit of independent filmmaking — beg, borrow and steal — and sometimes 
it makes the film feel more alive.
    With the emphasis on hiring more women and minorities, how was that reflected in your staffing?
    Bradley's a very inclusive filmmaker, so there was a lot of diversity on the set. That 
happened naturally. Our first 
A.D. was a woman, our costume designer, our production designer, our music supervisors were women. The area that needs to be addressed is on the union level. It's not that there aren't amazing, competent people available; it's that the unions in certain departments haven't caught up 
to that. If you're shooting a movie in Los Angeles and you want 
to hire a diverse, female location manager but the person you want is not in the union, the union 
is telling you to go through its list before you can hire a non-union person, and that list is full of men. There's your conundrum.

    EXCLUSIVE: 'A Star Is Born' Soundtrack Release Date

    Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's upcoming film with will be in theatres worldwide in less than 2 months, and we can exclusively reveal all the details about its soundtrack release. The soundtrack will feature all original music written specifically for the film, performed by both Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. 
    The 'A Star is Born' Soundtrack will be released on all digital platforms and also have a physical release. The digital version will contain 19 tracks, and the CD will also feature additional audio from the movie. Pre-orders will be available from the August 30th, and the worldwide soundtrack release is scheduled for October 5th. There are no plans to release any single before the movie release, also scheduled for October.
    Be sure to follow our team or me on Twitter for further updates.