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We can exclusively reveal that Lady Gaga will release Shallow along with a MUSIC VIDEO tomorrow!
The song is the main theme of her upcoming movie with Bradley Cooper 'A Star is Born', out next week. You can find the timetable below, just click on it and make sure to pre-order the soundtrack here and you will get Shallow tomorrow!
Here's a preview of Shallow (acoustic version).
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper premiered their upcoming film “A Star Is Born” on Monday night in Los Angeles, officially launching the movie in the US before its release next Friday.
But they weren’t the only stars to attend! Others spotted included Lea Michelle, Kathy Bates, Cheyenne Jackson, Alyssa Milano, Julianne Hough, Rupaul, Adam Lambert, Steven Spielberg, and other artists involved in the creation of the films music like Lukas Nelson, Diane Warren, Marl Nilan Jr. and DJWS!
Gaga stunned in a sparkling custom Givenchy gown and cape and walked the red carpet with Bradley. The pair met fans and posed for photos before heading into the Shine auditorium for the premiere, the same location where the last scene was filmed last year, as well as scenes for a previous remake with Judy Garland in 1954!
The pair are next heading to London for the UK premiere of the film on Thursday.
Lady Gaga was interviewed by the French Magazine 'Public'. She shared stories about her past and confessed an emotional desire about her future. You can read her interview below translated by us.
Public: Why did you choose to shoot in A Star Is Born?
Lady Gaga: First because I'm a fan of Bradley Cooper, it's his first movie as a director! Also I was excited to act with him, but the truth is, I've always loved this story. You know, this film allows me to combine the two passions in my life: singing and acting.
You say you feel "vulnerable" when you see yourself on the big screen.
It's destabilising because it magnifies everything. Your face and your body are bigger. If you have an attractive physique it becomes more perfect, but if you haven't you only want to dig yourself!
Is it about your nose?
I am very happy with my nose today but it wasn't always like this. At school, they made fun of my aspect. I come from a family of Italian immigrants. I was different than the blond, blue-eyed, tall, well-behaved girls in the schoolyard. It was hard for me. Then I grew up. I realised that my nose and the rest of my body was a legacy and I should be proud. What I like the most about A Star Is Born is that I'm natural. It's my real hair color and I do not wear makeup.
No make-up at the cinema?
On the first day of shooting, Bradley was waiting for me in front of my house. When I came out, he approached me with a cleansing wipe. He said, "Stefani, I do not want any make-up." He wanted to show my vulnerability on screen.
Have you ever been asked to show more than you wanted?
When I wrote my first songs, people tried to give them to other singers. Why? Because I wasn't a very skinny and pretty girl. The producers did not want me, They liked my songs but felt that they should be interpreted by girls who were not cold-hearted and who would show their sexuality on command. From there, I started thinking a lot about myself.
Are you scared of ageing?
What scares me is that we never ask this question to a man. Ignorance, lack of compassion, children and teens who get bullied at school, that's what really scares me.
You said that one day a student put you in the trash of a restaurant. Why did you hide it to your parents?
Because I was ashamed! I was devastated. You know, you can have the most awesome and coolest family in the world, there are things you can not reveal. I was so shocked by this event, because the other person was one of my neighbours. Everyone made fun of me. I was the general joke, humiliated. On the other hand, having been harassed and ridiculed made me understand how much I am suffering, and it is precisely this suffering, these cracks that made me, I think, someone capable to write strong songs and with content.
What do you mean by other cracks?
Depression, anorexia, bulimia, I knew everything. It's hereditary in my family. I am Catholic, Italian and neurotic. Music is my cure. But even in my environment I've been abused. They made me sign contracts, they used me and they threw me away. I was hurt but I survived...
Are your outfits a protection?
They are a space of expression and always reflect my state of mind. If it looks crazy, it's because I'm crazy. If I look classic, it's because I feel very focused on something. (Laughter) I'm aware of having forced the line. I also admit that the more I added in my extravagances, the more I protected myself.
Why did you post a picture showing your stretch marks on your chest?
To show that I am not perfect. For many young girls, I am an example. So, of course, I could modify the picture, but it is essential that I show my fans that I have imperfections and that I'm proud of them.
Is being a superstar hard for you?
Yes, but it's my fault. I cut myself off from the reality. Every minute of my job is programmed, ultra secure. To avoid the crowd, I'm going through parking lots, discreet passages, back doors etc. I'd love to go back on the streets, sit at a table on the terrace and talk normally with people I meet. For years, I locked myself in a prison and threw away the key.
What would make you really happy?
A child. Being a mother, starting a family: I am ready to live this adventure fully. And, as my mother did with me, I will practice talking with my children. I believe very much in the virtues of dialogue.
He's become a father in the last year, she has a love story of her own, but there’s a connection between them. The actor made his directorial debut while the singer changed her hair color and became a movie actress. And together they gave music life (again) in A Star is Born.
Lady Gaga has a theory. She says that when someone thinks for too long how to express themselves through another platform than the one they usually use, then that person becomes a "Petri dish". A Petri dish is a container used in biology to make things grow: Lady Gaga explained this to me, because I had never heard of it before.
Anyway. Gaga says that talent lives on the dish like a seed, it grows more and more until it becomes a vortex and explodes in all its strength. This metaphor can be applied to Bradley Cooper but even to herself. Because in this movie, A Star is Born, Gaga acts like she has done it for ages. Lady Gaga as an actress was waiting on the Petri dish, just like there was Bradley Copper as a singer and director on it. Together they revitalised a script that is as classic as a jazz song and has made it to Hollywood three times already.
A Star Is Born is the story about a girl becoming famous in the industry while a man goes through a downfall between alcohol and the end of his career, it’s the perfect metaphor of Hollywood and the absence of Fame as a disease and the presence of it as something that won’t last. This version of the movie, which clearly recalls the one with Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand (even with some identical lines), debuted at the Mostra of Cinema di Venezia, and it will come out on October 11 (in Italy) and will probably dominate the topics, box offices and the main awards of the next months.
Gaga and Bradley are here in front of me like 'modest' personified, even if she’s wearing jewellery like a Queen. He has a shirt and blue jeans, she has a black dress, high chignon and they both look like they are waiting, waiting for everything to be fine. The alchemy between these two sparkles on the screen just like on this interview. They listen to each others answers, like a rhythm, just like when they sing in the movie.
I make a joke, quoting Lady Gaga’s song The Edge of Glory, and she challenges him "did you get it?", he replies quickly saying that he got it, and that he knows all her songs. "He’s so good, isn’t he?" She says, and they both laugh. Almost like two kids.
She describes him "as focused as a laser". Bradley replies "She’s the most talented, respected by all kind of artists that I know, from the country singers to the heavy metal guitarists".
If this friendship sounds fake, then they both deserve two Oscars each, not one. Because beyond the promotional aspect, these two aren’t here without a reason. Both of them, fought their demons (Bradley's alcoholism and Gaga's mental and physical issues), and thanks to discipline and talent, they are both here, winning in everything.
The last two versions of "A Star is Born", the one with Judy Garland in 1954 and the one with Barbara Streisand in 1976 were both made to re launch the career of the main actresses. Barbra Streisand for example, who was selling millions of records and already had an Oscar back then, was looking for something to expand her career to the young public. The idea of A Star is Born moving to the world of pop/rock (made possible by the writers Joan Didion and John Greogry Dune) sounded perfect. And it was.
Despite negative reviews from critics, the previous remake of the movie earned a lot of success and 'Evergreen' won an Oscar.
This 2018 version of A Star is Born, isn’t a comeback move. Lady Gaga is at the top of the her career as a singer. Ten years ago her first single Just Dance came out. Today she is 32 years old and she can do whatever she likes, even nothing. But instead, she agreed on Cooper’s offer, while he agreed to direct the movie on his own, which was originally planned for Clint Eastwood and Beyoncé.
Bradley and Gaga met for the first time backstage of Saturday Night Live. "She had to sing, and I had a little sketch, we talked for few seconds". Says Cooper. "I recently saw a picture of that day. I wouldn’t believe that such a special bond between us could be born".
They aren't a couple in real life of course: Cooper lives with the super model Irina Shayk, who last year gave birth to their daughter Lea, and Gaga is engaged to Christian Carino.
"Our is a story of admiration and friendship" explains Bradley. "Everything was born during a charity night at Sean Parkers’s house (Facebook co-founder). Gaga sang La Vie en Rose on the piano leaving me breathless."
In the movie, you can actually experience this scene. The two main characters meet when Jack (Cooper's character) goes to a drag bar and starts watching Ally (Gaga's character), a waitress by day and singer at night, singing La Vie En Rose. In A Star is Born, Lady Gaga isn’t blonde, she doesn’t wear make up, and she isn’t wearing strange outfits. "It was a real challenge for me to go like this", she says. "I felt vulnerable without my looks, but I jumped in, just like a dive in cold water. There is so much about me in this story that Bradley wanted to show. Just like Ally says in the movie, I was used to going in a room full of men that kept saying they love my voice, and how I wrote my songs, but they would give them to other singers because they were prettier than me".
So, when did she notice that a star was born in her career? "I was touring in America doing small shows in clubs, even three shows every day. And then, near the end of the tour in Canada, the speaker began playing Just Dance, and I started crying", Gaga said.
"Wow" adds Bradley. Which tells us about his "A Star is Born" moment. "I Was in Miami, and they hired me for a tv ad for Wendy’s which never aired, and I was staying in hotel that looked very luxurious (but it wasn’t really), and I called my dad just to tell him that I was on a room with a balcony."
Three Oscar nominations later, he became a director, just like many other actors, from Redford to Warren Betty to Clint Eastwood who choose to take another path for their career. In 2019 he will play in another very anticipated movie: they biopic on the Orchestral director Leonard Bernstein, produced by Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. "I always wanted to direct. This was my ultimate dream." He explains. "I became an actor first just because I was afraid of something so hard". Now he found the courage. He learned to play and sing and he even wrote some songs for the movie. "That’s all thanks to Gaga. She trusted me, she believed in me". He watches her in the eyes with gratitude.
They tell me about when Barbra Streisand came on set one day. Like a blessing. And how some scenes were recorded during a Kris Kristofferson show. Their dream has become reality.
Before leaving, I ask both of them if they are afraid of performing in front of the public. "Just if I’m not prepared", replies Bradley. And Gaga: "Me, even if I’m always ready, I’m always nervous. Tony Bennett once told me that it’s ok to feel like this: if you are afraid it means that you care. Sometimes I shake backstage. Then I walk up the stairs, they the spotlights turn on, and everything goes away". Gaga starts clicking her fingers, because she feels like she wants to dance, right here, right now.
Translation by Lady Gaga Now.
Bradley Cooper found the missing piece to his musical puzzle -- and the living, breathing inspiration for Jackson Maine, the romantic rocker he plays in A Star Is Born, his directorial debut -- strumming next to Neil Young in the middle of the desert.
It was a balmy October night in 2016, and Young was playing classic rock festival Desert Trip with Promise of the Real, the folk-rock outfit fronted by Lukas Nelson, Willie’s son. After the performance, Cooper asked Nelson to be both a musical consultant and a contributor to the soundtrack of his grittier, twangier update on the classic love story.
Before A Star is Born's much-anticipated release Oct. 5, Nelson spoke about his experience working with Cooper and his co-star, Lady Gaga.
How did that first conversation with Bradley Cooper go?
He’s a pretty serious actor and definitely takes his art very seriously, but in a level-headed way. I appreciate that very much. He came up to me and said, “I’d love for you to come and be a musical consultant on the whole thing.” I said, “Yeah, sure!” Stefani [Germanotta, a.k.a Gaga] came, and we ended up writing together a bunch. I produced it, and it just kind of grew from there. It was an organic sort of happening where we all really had a great thing going together, and then the band wound up being perfect for the movie, so, [Promise of the Real] ended up in the movie as [Maine’s] band. It’s kind of a full circle from Desert Trip to A Star Is Born, with those same musicians he was inspired by -- us with Neil. He just kind of made that the template for what he was doing with this movie, in a way, or at least how he wanted to portray the character.
What was it like working with Lady Gaga?
I’ve been around successful people for a long time, and I know real good talent when I see it, just from growing up in the family I grew up in. She fits the bill. She’s quite a performer; she’s an actress; she’s just an entertainer, you know? When we were writing together, we definitely saw eye-to-eye. We kind of finished each other’s sentences a lot of times when we were writing. It just felt really natural. It’s a great collaboration and it’s a beautiful friendship that we have. I cherish her and her abilities and her heart. Same with Bradley: we’ve become really close friends and we love each other. It seems more like an extended family with those guys.
Does Jackson Maine remind you of anyone?
Me! Oh, man -- he would study how I would hold a guitar, and then he would make it his own. We talked a lot about how to look and feel onstage, being in a band and what it’s like. It was so great to have Promise of the Real there in the movie… He was part of our band and that authenticity really shows.
Cooper was clearly an eager student, so as the person guiding him through that musical education, was there anything that surprised you about that process?
It was beautiful to watch him grow and see the level of dedication he put into it. Nobody will be able to say he didn't give 100 percent and more. I think that that’s paying off for him. A lot of people are excited, and I don’t think they’re going to be disappointed, either. I was surprised at his level of musicianship. I didn't realize that he was that into music and that he already knew so much. He’s definitely a musician; he just hadn't tapped into it, and now he’s gotten the chance to. I hope he continues to do things as time goes by, musically, because he’s got a talent for it. He’s got an ear -- the same with Gaga and acting.
In regards to writing, how did that differ from your experience writing your own music? Was it different to write from a fictional viewpoint as Jackson? Did you change anything up in terms of your approach?
In a way, it was more like playing with Neil, because I’m playing sideman: I’m stepping back from my lead role and playing sideman to other artists, who were Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Having that ability to be a lead, I think it’s also really important to know how to be in a band. The way that I approach my songwriting, I think there’s a lot of me in [A Star Is Born]. These are songs that I’ve written about my own life, and in a way they can be applied to any situation.
You’re obviously very familiar with Kris Kristofferson; you know each other well and have worked together, too. He starred in A Star Is Born with Barbra Streisand. Have you and Kris ever discussed A Star Is Born?
No, Kris and I didn't talk about it too much. But I know he’s really proud of Bradley and he’s happy to sort of pass the torch down. This movie’s been made four times, now; the first was in the ‘30s, almost in the silent film era. Then there was a later one with Judy Garland in the ‘50s, then in the ‘70s with Kris and Barbra Streisand, and then this one. There’s actually sort of a tradition of this movie being remade, you know, as time goes by.
Scenes like the ones filmed at Stagecoach and Glastonbury really highlight Cooper’s commitment to that authenticity. Why was it important for him to make those festival appearances?
I think [Stagecoach] was a big moment for him. Actually, we filmed the scene right before dad’s set. Dad actually cut his set short just a little bit to let us come on and film this little segment for the same crowd -- it was right after Jamey Johnson played. It was fantastic. It was a big moment for him to be able to get up there and just take charge and sing and sing it well in front of tens of thousands of people.
That must’ve been cool for your dad, too, to witness your own major Hollywood moment!
I don’t know; I think he was on the bus at the time. He might’ve been chillin’. [Laughs.] I’m sure he heard it!
Do you enjoy musical theater and musical films, generally?
I really loved O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which was a great soundtrack and a beautiful movie with good music. That’s the only one I can think of. Of course there was the last A Star Is Born, which was great; then there was that movie with… oh, god, I can’t remember. Whitney Houston --
Yeah, The Bodyguard! Right! I know that Stefani was really into that movie -- it was part of the inspiration, she mentioned, for her, and other movies as well. They all did their research, Bradley and Gaga. This is gonna be a good one. My favorite is probably The Blues Brothers -- the original Blues Brothers is fantastic. It has so many great musicians.
Let’s talk about Stefani’s Americana chops: she’s such a versatile performer, but how did she take to this material?
I think she’s just a consummate entertainer no matter what. Whatever she put her mind to, she’d do really, really well -- she’s just that type of artist. The last record that she put out, Joanne, was my first introduction to her, really; I thought it was just fantastic. I heard her hit songs and they’re all great, but there were some songs that resonated with me on that record. There are some songs in this movie that really resonate with me, the ones with Mark Ronson that she wrote, and the band actually played it, so it was great to be a part of that in a way.
What happens after the movie premieres and you’re back to your life on the road? Will you incorporate these songs into your live shows?
I mean, probably, especially “Music to My Eyes.” There are songs that I’d probably want to play and cover, absolutely. I’ve thought about covering some songs of hers from before, too. “Million Reasons” is a great song; that’s just a classic song. I heard Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead covering that song not too long ago. She’s got a good sense of songwriting and songcrafting and by anyone’s standards, not just an artist in the pop world.
This article was originally posted here.
If you missed the wild weekend that just passed, we’ve got you covered! Lady Gaga touched down in Toronto to premiere A Star Is Born at Toronto International Film Festival, and she’s been very busy. Through all the outfit changes, parties and events, Gaga again stunned a brand new wave of critics, bringing in even more incredible reviews.
News first broke that she had arrived in Toronto on Saturday when Gaga was spotted with actor Hugh Jackman. The pair snapped a photo together before she headed off to film interviews for A Star Is Born with Bradley and the cast.
They sat down with various people, including Good Morning America, e Talk and Fandango. Many of the interviews have now aired and can be watched below.
She then attended a private reception and screening of the film, chatting with guests. Gaga finished off the night heading to Entertainment Weekly’s TIFF party. Don't be fooled by the pictures - all of this happened in one day! She was sure to show up in a different outfit at each event.
On Sunday, Gaga and Cooper joined the ASIB cast for an hour long press conference at TIFF. They all answered questions from the host and the press, revealing more about the film and the process creating it. You can watch the full chat here.
A few hours later, Gaga re-emerged on the red carpet in a stunning black dress and veil by Giorgio Armani. She met fans, signed autographs, posed for photos before heading off to stop for a few quick interviews. By the time she appeared inside the theatre to screen the film, she had made yet another outfit change and said a few brief words before the film began.
Following the film, the cast took part in a 40 minute Q&A on-stage. The audience at one point gave her a roaring applause and standing ovation, which she felt overwhelmed by and began crying. You can watch it below.
Gaga then went to the premiere’s afterparty at Masonic Temple. After a tight packed day of promotion and events, Gaga took the time to chat with a small group of fans who had waited for her. She posed for a few photos and signed their tickets as they chatted about the film and red carpet look.
On Monday morning, Gaga shared a new set of photos to Instagram, before heading off to film more interviews with the A Star Is Born cast! The cover and article for Vogue Magazine’s October Issue starring Lady Gaga also hit the internet, which you can read here. After a short, tight paced trip, Gaga headed back home. She was spotted one more time at the airport where she met a few more fans.
Lady Gaga’s house in Malibu is on a relatively nondescript road just off the Pacific Coast Highway, situated in what feels (for Malibu) like a normal suburban neighborhood. When the gates to her compound swing open, you head down a long gravel driveway that threads through the multi-acre property, past the fenced-in ring where she rides her horse, Arabella, past the barns and the stables and the giant barking dogs, Grandpa and Ronnie—and pull up to a house made of fieldstone that looks, at first glance, as if it belongs in the South of France. A cheerful young fellow greets you at your car, explains that he is the head of security, and asks you to sign an NDA. There are at least a dozen other cars parked around, most of them belonging to people who are doing some kind of work here—taking care of the property or the lady in residence in one capacity or another. The whole setup is both grand and yet, somehow, unassuming (for a rock star’s house in Malibu).
When Gaga comes down the stairs and makes her entrance on this hot, do-nothing August afternoon, she is wearing a diaphanous periwinkle robe with ruffled edges that sweeps the floor, nothing underneath but a matching bra and thong—along with nude kitten heels and Liz Taylor–worthy diamond jewelry. Having just returned yesterday from a long, restful vacation on some remote tropical island with her boyfriend, she is uncharacteristically tan, and as she leads me out through the French doors into the garden, I can see nearly every one of her tattoos—and her shapely behind—through the robe. There are roses trembling in the breeze, and a long, sloping, grassy lawn that leads down to a pool and the Pacific Ocean beyond, flickering in the high afternoon sun. “This is my sanctuary,” she says. “My oasis of peace. I call it my ‘gypsy palace.’ ”
She bought this palace about four years ago, when she was going through a rough patch—both physically and mentally—and has been spending more and more time here lately. “I just got rid of my place in New York—it was too hectic every day outside on the street,” she says. As we stand there looking out at the ocean, I ask if she’s happy. “Yes—I’m focusing on the things that I believe in. I’m challenging myself. I’m embarking on new territory—with some nerves and some overjoyment.” (Gaga has a funny habit of making up words that always make perfect sense.) “It’s an interesting time in my life. It’s a transition, for sure. It’s been a decade.”
In April, Gaga noted on her Instagram that it was the tenth anniversary of her first single, “Just Dance.” It was the song of the summer of 2008—the final hours of the golden years, just before the economy imploded and the Great Recession took hold—and almost immediately, she became the biggest pop star in the world, haunting our dreams—and nightmares—with monsters, meat dresses, and some of the stickiest melodies ever written (GAAAA-GA OOOH-LA-LA!). When I ask her what has changed for her over these last ten years, Gaga, who’s 32, says, “A galaxy,” and laughs. “There has been a galaxy of change.” She pauses for a moment. “I would just say that it’s been a nonstop whirlwind. And when I am in an imaginative or creative mode, it sort of grabs me like a sleigh with a thousand horses and pulls me away and I just don’t stop working.” Another pause. “You . . . make friends, you lose friends, you build tighter bonds with people you’ve known for your whole life. But there’s a lot of emotional pain, and you can’t really understand what it all means until ten years has gone by.”
On October 5, Warner Bros. Pictures will release the fourth iteration of the tragi-musical love story A Star Is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. The first version came out in 1937, starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, followed by Judy Garland and James Mason in 1954 and Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson in 1976. Gaga thinks of it less as a remake than as a “traveling legacy.” Directed by Cooper, in his debut, the film is remarkably assured, deeply engaging, and works on several levels: as a romance, a drama, a musical, and something else entirely, almost as if you’re watching something live, or documentary footage of a good old-fashioned rock-’n’-roll concert movie.
“I wanted to tell a love story,” says Cooper, “and to me there’s no better way than through music. With music, it’s impossible to hide. Every fiber of your body becomes alive when you sing.” As Sean Penn said, after seeing the film more than once, “It’s the best, most important commercial film I’ve seen in so many years,” and he described the stars as “miracles.” Cooper and Gaga, and the film itself, are likely to be nominated for all manner of awards.
Cooper is a revelation, having utterly transformed himself into a booze-and-pills-besotted rock star: He learned how to play guitar, worked with a vocal coach and a piano teacher for a year and a half, and wrote three of the songs. “All because of Gaga,” he says. “She really gave me the confidence.” His singing is astonishingly good. Gaga, whose only acting experience is in some of her early videos (Google the long-form versions of “Telephone” and “Marry the Night” if you want to see the early promise), various episodes of American Horror Story, and a couple of cameos in Robert Rodriguez films, not only holds her own with Cooper but somehow manages to make you completely forget that she is Lady Gaga—no small feat. But what really makes this film sing, as it were, is the impeccable chemistry between the two stars, particularly their early scenes of meeting cute and falling in love, which are some of the most touchingly real and tender moments between two actors I’ve ever seen.
Gaga and I have moved inside and taken up spots on the boho-chic sofas in the sitting room off her kitchen. She opens a bottle of rosé. There are candles flickering, cut flowers on the table. Gaga first met Cooper at Saturday Night Live about five years ago, but only briefly, and then one day in 2016—having signed on to make A Star Is Born and in the early stages of figuring out who could play Ally to his Jackson Maine—he went to a cancer benefit in Sean Parker’s backyard in L.A. “She had her hair slicked back,” says Cooper, “and she sang ‘La Vie en Rose,’ and I was just . . . levitating. It shot like a diamond through my brain. I loved the way she moved, the sound of her voice.” He called her agent and, the next day, drove to Malibu. “The second that I saw him,” says Gaga, “I was like, Have I known you my whole life? It was an instant connection, instant understanding of one another.”
Cooper: “She came down the stairs and we went out to her patio and I saw her eyes, and honestly, it clicked and I went, Wow.” He pretty much offered her the part on the spot. “She said, ‘Are you hungry?’ and I said, ‘I’m starving,’ and we went into her kitchen for spaghetti and meatballs.”
Gaga: “Before I knew it, I was making him lunch and we were talking. And then he said, ‘I want to see if we can sing this song together.’”
Cooper: “She was kind of laughing at me that I would be suggesting this, but I said, ‘The truth is, it’s only going to work if we can sing together.’ And she said, ‘Well, what song?’ And I said, ‘ “Midnight Special,” ’ this old folk song.”
Gaga: “I printed out the sheet music, and he had the lyrics on his phone, and I sat down at the piano and started to play, and then Bradley started to sing and I stopped: ‘Oh, my God, Bradley, you have a tremendous voice.’ ”
Cooper: “She said, ‘Has anyone ever heard you sing before?’ and I said no.”
Gaga: “He sings from his gut, from the nectar! I knew instantly: This guy could play a rock star. And I don’t think there are a lot of people in Hollywood who can. That was the moment I knew this film could be something truly special.”
Cooper: “And she said, ‘We should film this.’ So I turned on my phone and we did the song. It was crazy. It kind of just worked. And that video is one of the things I showed to Warner Bros. to get the movie green-lit.”
Weirdly enough, the film was originally to be directed by Clint Eastwood—at one point, starring Beyoncé—and Eastwood offered Cooper the part of Jackson. “I was 38 then, and I just knew I couldn’t do it,” says Cooper, now 43. “But then I did American Sniper with Clint and The Elephant Man for a year on Broadway and I thought, I’m old enough now.” Pop stardom seems to befall mostly the very young these days, but this is a story about grown-ups. “I would often say to Lady Gaga, ‘This is a movie about what would have happened if you didn’t make it until you were 31 instead of 21. We talked a lot about where she started on the Lower East Side, and she told me about this drag bar where she used to hang, and I thought, Oh, this is just ripe for the story.”
Indeed, one of the best scenes in the film comes right at the beginning, when Jack, desperate for a drink, stumbles into a gay bar on drag night. Ally is the only woman the queens let perform on their stage, and as she sings “La Vie en Rose,” Jack falls hard. Gaga says that the chemistry between her and Cooper is so good on film because it’s real. But she also thinks that Cooper “nailed” the complicated voodoo that happens when love and fame get intertwined. “They’re both very complex, layered things, with a lot of emotional depth, and he captured that. This is what I think makes the film so successful: that it was so real. And I’ve lived it, so I can testify to that.” (Another thing that gives the film its authenticity: Cooper cast a few drag queens he knew from Philly, as well as Gaga’s actual dancers, choreographer, and hair and makeup artists, who appear in a few scenes.)
Last December, I went to Cooper’s house in Los Angeles to watch some early footage, and as we sat in the screening room he built in his garage, surrounded by guitars and an old piano, his editor cued up scenes. What struck me immediately was how intensely visceral the musical sequences are. Cooper explained that at Gaga’s insistence, they were all shot live. “All the music is as real as you can get it,” he said to me that day. They shot some of the concert scenes at the Stagecoach country-music festival in Indio, California, and more at the Glastonbury Festival in England. “At Stagecoach, four minutes before Willie Nelson went on, we hopped onstage,” says Cooper. “That was real. At Glastonbury, I got onstage in front of 80,000 people. It was nuts. But Lady Gaga is so good that if the world I’d created wasn’t authentic, it would stand out in a second. Everything had to be raised to her level.”
One bit of history that’s gotten lost in the Gaga saga is that while she started playing piano at four and writing songs by eleven, she wanted to be an actress before she wanted to be a singer. When she was twelve, she began taking Method-acting classes at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and later at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. “I loved it so much,” she says, “but I was terrible at auditioning—I would get too nervous and just couldn’t be myself.” So she decided to make a go of it as a musician—and had a record deal within a year. Was she nervous making a movie? “Of course—but I knew I had it in me, in my heart, to give an authentic performance.”
The biggest challenge for Lady Gaga was creating a musical character that was not like . . . Lady Gaga. “I wanted the audience to be immersed in something completely different,” she says. “And it’s almost hard to speak about, because I just sort of became Ally.” For as good as the Garland and Streisand versions are, you do sometimes sort of feel like you’re watching movies about . . . Garland and Streisand. That being said, there may be no more perfect person to take up this franchise than Gaga. “It’s so humbling,” she says. “Judy Garland is by far my favorite actress of all time. I used to watch her in A Star Is Born, and it’s devastating. She’s so real, so right there. Her eyes would get glassy, and you could just see the passion and the emotion and hear the grit in her voice.” Streisand came to the set one day. “It was a magical moment. She really made me feel like she passed the torch.” When I mention Streisand’s voice, she says, “The singing is beyond, but what is even more beyond is how involved she was in everything she did. She was a part of creating that film. That made me feel good, too, that we approached making this film the right way.”
The soundtrack will be released the same day as the movie, and because this is a Lady Gaga production, she has had a big hand in it. There were many writers and producers who worked on different songs, but the brain trust was Gaga and Cooper, working closely with the blues-oriented producer and songwriter Ben Rice and Lukas Nelson, who’s Willie’s son. “She’s a fan of my dad’s, but she’s got a tattoo of David Bowie, and Bowie was my hero as well,” says Nelson. “I tend to gravitate toward rockers who were kind and stood for change and the right to be who you are—to be a freak and be proud of it. And I think a lot of people have turned to Gaga in that realm—as a sort of beacon of hope: I can do whatever I want. She invented herself.”
It was Gaga’s idea to thread bits of dialogue throughout the record, and there are a few songs that are not in the movie—“treats,” as she calls them. She asks if I want to hear some music, and we head into a tiny vestibule off the kitchen, a kind of office with a desk, computer, and two very loud speakers. She plugs in her phone and cues up a jaunty, mid-tempo piano banger called “Look What I Found,” and as it begins to play, Gaga dances and sings along, at full volume, about two feet from my face. Suddenly I feel a bit like James Corden in a new segment: Kitchen Karaoke. I cannot resist, and start dancing too. “Our own little discotheque,” says Gaga.
She cues up another song—a huge, soaring, sad ballad called “Before I Cry,” with a full orchestra. It is the first song for which Gaga composed the string arrangements—and conducted the orchestra in the studio—and it was inspired by a harrowing scene in the film when Jack has fallen off the wagon and picks a fight with Ally while she’s taking a bath. On the soundtrack, it begins with this bit of dialogue:
Ally: “Why don’t you have another drink and we can just get fucking drunk until we just fucking disappear? Hey! Do you got those pills in your pocket?”
Jack: “You’re just fuckin’ ugly, that’s all.”
Ally: “I’m what?”
Jack: “You’re just fuckin’ ugly.”
As the song plays, we stand facing each other in the little cubicle, and before it’s halfway through, we both have tears in our eyes. She hugs me and, as we head into the kitchen for more wine, says, almost to herself, “I love that we’re dancing and crying. Like, real Italian style.” That’s my natural state, I say: dancing and crying. “Me, too,” she says.
One of the many things about Lady Gaga that go underappreciated is that she doesn’t tell us everything. For example, we know very little about her new boyfriend, Christian Carino—other than that he’s a 48-year-old CAA agent—because she doesn’t talk about him. She doesn’t want to talk at all about the new music she’s working on for a future album, or the scripts that are suddenly rolling in. She understands more than most that a little bit of mystery and magic go a long way in this world of too much. She has sort of inverse boundaries: She won’t tell you, for example, where she just went on vacation, but she’s totally open about having been sexually assaulted when she was a teenager.
Her 2015 song “ Til it Happens to You,” which she wrote with Diane Warren for the sexual-assault documentary The Hunting Ground, was nominated for an Academy Award. When she performed it at the Oscars in 2016 on a stage full of 50 other assault victims, it eerily presaged the #MeToo movement that unfolded a year later, much to Gaga’s surprise. “I feel like I’ve been an advocate but also a shocked audience member, watching #MeToo happen,” she says. “I’m still in disbelief. And I’ve never come forward and said who molested me, but I think every person has their own relationship with that kind of trauma.”
She was still Stefani Germanotta when she was raped at nineteen by a music producer. She told no one. “It took years,” she says. “No one else knew. It was almost like I tried to erase it from my brain. And when it finally came out, it was like a big, ugly monster. And you have to face the monster to heal.” In late 2016, Gaga revealed in a Today interview that she suffers from PTSD because of the assault. “For me, with my mental-health issues, half of the battle in the beginning was, I felt like I was lying to the world because I was feeling so much pain but nobody knew. So that’s why I came out and said that I have PTSD, because I don’t want to hide—any more than I already have to.” When I ask her to describe how she experiences the symptoms, she says, “I feel stunned. Or stunted. You know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and you’re just about to go down the really steep slope? That fear and the drop in your stomach? My diaphragm seizes up. Then I have a hard time breathing, and my whole body goes into a spasm. And I begin to cry. That’s what it feels like for trauma victims every day, and it’s . . . miserable. I always say that trauma has a brain. And it works its way into everything that you do.”
In September 2017, Gaga announced on Twitter that she suffers from extreme nerve pain caused by fibromyalgia, a complex and still-misunderstood syndrome she believes was brought on by the sexual assault and that then became worse over time, exacerbated by the rigors of touring and the weight of her fame. (Earlier this year, she had to cut her European tour short by ten shows because of it.) In the Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, which aired that same month, Gaga allowed cameras to document her suffering to shed light on the syndrome. “I get so irritated with people who don’t believe fibromyalgia is real. For me, and I think for many others, it’s really a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and panic disorder, all of which sends the nervous system into overdrive, and then you have nerve pain as a result. People need to be more compassionate. Chronic pain is no joke. And it’s every day waking up not knowing how you’re going to feel.”
Today, Lady Gaga is the picture of health: bright-eyed, sun-kissed, fit as a fiddle. “It’s getting better every day,” she says, “because now I have fantastic doctors who take care of me and are getting me show-ready.” Speaking of shows, she recently signed a $100 million contract with MGM Resorts International to do a Las Vegas residency at a 5,300-seat theater. It will be called Lady Gaga Enigma, and beginning on December 28 she will perform 74 shows spread out over two years—a reasonable pace that will allow her to take better care of herself and make more movies. “I’ve always hated the stigma around Las Vegas—that it’s where you go when you’re on the last leg of your career,” she says. “Being a Las Vegas girl is an absolute dream for me. It’s really what I’ve always wanted to do.”
As she sits before me on our respective couches—in her periwinkle chiffon, dripping in diamonds—Gaga and Vegas make perfect sense. She has always been a master at swirling together the nostalgic with the startlingly modern and coming up with something that feels entirely new. Creating the shows for Lady Gaga Enigma, of course, has brought back together the Haus of Gaga—her team of stylists and monster-conjurers, including Nicola Formichetti. “We’re plowing away, making something brand-new, but still with the iconography that we’ve already created—and making sure fans leave with the feeling that they went home for a bit with their community.”
Speaking of Gaga iconography! I have somehow failed to notice that for the past couple of hours I’ve been sitting next to a half-mannequin with a heavy metal harness wrapped around it that resembles a sort of human/reptilian rib cage and spinal column. It was made by Shaun Leane, a jewelry designer who worked regularly with Alexander McQueen. Gaga picks up another piece, a kind of metal orbiting fascinator, also designed by Leane, that was part of the “Savage Beauty” exhibition at the Met, and gently sets it on her head. “I bought it at an auction,” she says, batting her eyelashes. And now she wants to show me something else, and goes in search of a key. She finds it in the kitchen, and then along the way to wherever we’re going I get a quick tour. In her ballroom-size living room there is a grand piano and a giant modern pink blob sofa, and an even bigger pink rug. “I like pink,” she says. “It’s a relaxing color.” There’s her Golden Globe (for American Horror Story, in 2016) and a framed photograph of Patti Smith, along with pictures of Elton John and David Furnish’s boys, Zachary and Elijah, Gaga’s godchildren. Resting on the mantel is a framed letter from David Bowie (“Dear Lady, Unfortunately I will not be in NYC for a few months but many thanks for the cake”). On one wall is an enormous George Condo painting of a woman in a ball gown, her face obscured by smears and smudges. “Reminds me of myself,” she says with a wink. “Beautiful but a little bit messy.”
Finally we arrive at the locked door. She turns the key and opens it to reveal . . . a room filled with fashion! Two rooms! “This is mostly Saint Laurent from Hedi Slimane’s work there,” she says. “I’m excited to see what he’ll be doing at Céline. Here’s a McQueen cape that was custom-made for me for the ‘Alejandro’ video. And then in here”—we move into yet another chamber, deeper into her fashion closet, racks upon racks of leather and feathers and sequins and a lot of black—“this is all Gianni Versace from the nineties. I wear some of it, but I mostly collect it to keep and preserve to give to a museum one day. Because I just love these designers.” Pause. “There’s my Joanne hat!” That is the pink fedora she wore in nearly every video and every performance from her Joanne album and tour, when she began presenting herself as . . . herself, mostly.
When did all of the crazy-brilliant obfuscating costumes fall away? “For me, fashion and art and music have always been a form of armor. I just kept creating more and more fantasies to escape into, new skins to shed. And every time I shed a skin, it was like taking a shower when you’re dirty: getting rid of, washing off, shedding all of the bad, and becoming something new.” I wonder aloud where all that began. “I just remember feeling so irritated at the thought that I had to conform to being ‘normal,’ or less of whatever I was already born as. And so I took such radical enjoyment in expressing who I am in the most grandiose of ways.” She laughs. “It was sort of like a very polite ‘Fuck off.’ It was never about looking perfect—it was always about just being myself. And I think that’s what it’s always been about for my fans, too. It was a form of protection, and a secret—like a wink from afar. I’m a monster, and you’re a monster too.”
She locks the door, and as we head back out to the living room to say goodbye, she picks up a glass vase filled with fresh-cut roses from her garden and hands it to me: “Just a little something,” she says. For all of Lady Gaga’s histrionics and grandiosity and obfuscation and mucking around with monsters—and despite the fact that she claims to have “concrete in her veins”—most people seem to get that she’s all heart. “I am not a brand,” she says. “I have my unique existence, just as everyone else does, and at the end of the day, it’s our humanity that connects us—our bodies and our biology. That’s what breeds compassion and empathy, and those are the things that I care the most about. Kindness!” She lets out a mordant chuckle. “It can drive you mad. Someone very important in my life says to me often, ‘You cannot stare at the carnage all day.’ And I think . . . you have to stare at the carnage to an extent because if not, you’re being ignorant and complacent—to not view injustice and want to be a part of advocating for others. But. . . .” She pauses for a long time. “Once we just look each other in the eyes, if we can keep that contact, that contract, I think the world will be a better place.”
Suddenly we both notice the sound of music wafting in from somewhere, as if someone opened a little girl’s jewelry box. It’s a Mister Softee truck.
“It’s down by the beach,” she says, “but can you believe that? The sound travels all the way up here.”
The sound is a little creepy, I say.
“Or,” she says, “it just sounds like kids having ice cream at the beach.” We both laugh. It reminds me of something we talked about earlier: that while Gaga’s music is often funny—with a wink or a bit of camp—she herself is a serious person. This has been a very serious conversation, I say. “Yes, it has,” she says. “Isn’t that funny?”.
This interview originally appeared here.
Lady Gaga recently sat down to speak with Swiss newspaper 20 Minutes to discuss "A Star Is Born", her upcoming Las Vegas residency and also confirms that she is working on her sixth studio album! The interview was not published in English, so we have translated it below. You can read the original here.
After appearing on the big screen, the New Yorker takes the lead in the first film directed by actor Bradley Cooper. She plays ... a singer.
What made you decide to accept the role of Ally in "A Star Is Born"?
I took comedy classes as a teenager, and this is a facet of my life as an artist that I have always wanted to explore. My meeting with Bradley Cooper (editor's note: director of the film) was decisive for this project. He came to my California home and I read his passion in his eyes. I totally trusted him by giving me his full staging.
This is the first time we see you without the makeup and costumes of Gaga ...
It scared me, at first, to be natural. But Bradley had such strength in him that he pushed me to show my vulnerability to the camera. There was not a single time I was afraid of my appearance in this movie. I just wanted to be in the skin of the character.
In "A Star Is Born", your characters father has a preponderant place. What about you and your father?
I am a real daddy girl in the sense that I have always loved my father and that I do everything today to take care of him. It also helped me play my character, Ally, who works in a restaurant all night and looks after her dad when she comes home. My father has not yet seen the final version of the film, but he will be with me at the premiere in Hollywood in late September.
What advice would you give to young Swiss artists who will read this interview?
You have to believe in yourself and not try to change yourself to please others. There are some details of my character in "A Star Is Born" that have been added to the storyline from my personal experiences. When I started, I was really advised to have my nose altered. And I refused because I am proud of my Italian origins and my appearance. An artist must know how to be loved for what he represents. And especially not to comply with the expectations of others. It's my originality that made me Lady Gaga.
You will give a series of concerts from the end of the year in Las Vegas. What can we expect?
It was Elton John who decided me because we are longtime friends and I am the godmother of his children. I saw his show in Vegas and he brought tears to my eyes with his energy and dynamism. I've been working on my career for ten years and this engagement in Vegas will allow me to invent something new for my fans. There will be two totally different shows to show various facets of my personality. Enigma will be a gathering all my hits and the second will be more jazzy and retro.
When will Gaga return to Switzerland on stage?
Not in the next two years. In addition to my Vegas shows, I'm working on a new album. And I just finished the last details of the soundtrack of "A Star Is Born". Apart from the songs in the the film, it also includes several unreleased tracks that only appear a few seconds on the screen, so full of surprises. And tell your readers that I'm waiting for my Swiss fans in Vegas this winter!
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.
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.