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    M△⃒⃘tt

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    1. Lady Gaga: "Today I wear the pants".

      Lady Gaga attended ELLE’s 25th annual Women in Hollywood event yesterday in Beverly Hills. She was one of many women honoured, along with fellow November Elle issue cover stars Shonda Rhimes, Sarah Paulson, Charlize Theron, Yara Shahidi, Angela Bassett, Keira Knightley, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, and Mia Farrow. Gaga walked the carpet in a statement piece by Marc Jacobs accompanied with Giuseppe Zanotti heels. She ultimately decided to wear this over-sized men's suit to make a stand against what Hollywood expects women to appear as. Mentioning in her speech below, she says: "I tried on dress after dress today getting ready for this event, one tight corset after another, one heel after another, a diamond, a feather, thousands of beaded fabrics, and the most beautiful silks in the world. But to be honest, I felt sick to my stomach. And i asked myself, 'What does it mean to be a woman in Hollywood?' We are not just objects to entertain the world. We are not members of a giant beauty pageant meant to be pit against one another for the pleasure of the public. We, women in Hollywood, we are voices. We have deep thoughts and ideas and beliefs and values about the world and we have the power to speak and be heard and fight back when we are silenced." Gaga made a long acceptance speech, opening up about mental health, her own sexual assault, and encouraged women to lift each other up using their voices. She also confirmed her engagement to Christian Carino following tons of speculation. Jennifer Lopez presented the award to Gaga. After the dinner, Gaga and her fellow Women In Hollywood recipients made their way to the press carpet to take some photos with their new awards.
    2. Lady Gaga is Being Born Again

      I feel like I’m still a fetus,” says Lady Gaga, looking impeccably glamorous in a wide-belted black Alaïa dress, stabby heels, extravagant lashes, and dark brows, her platinum hair framing her face in soft waves. What she looks like (no doubt deliberately) is a midcentury Italian film star—Monica Vitti in some long-lost Antonioni picture, or a tiny, blond Sophia Loren. What she means is that she feels like she’s just getting started as an artist—that she’s only accomplished a fraction of what she still plans to do—but I have a hard time wrapping my head around this notion, considering the decade she’s just had. Ten years ago, with the release of her first album, The Fame, Lady Gaga went from struggling burlesque performer and New York club kid to global pop phenomenon in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Since then, she’s put out five studio albums, one soundtrack album, and 18 singles; performed at the Super Bowl; and won six Grammys and a Golden Globe, among other things. She’s won fashion awards and collaborated with famous artists and sung duets with Tony Bennett. Two years ago, while filming a Netflix documentary about her life, Gaga: Five Foot Two, she landed the leading role in a major Hollywood movie. She would play the Janet Gaynor/Judy Garland/Barbra Streisand role in A Star Is Born, opposite Bradley Cooper. All of which is to say that if anyone inhabits a parallel universe where the bar for achievement is set so impossibly high that Lady Gaga ranks as artistically prenatal, it’s probably just Lady Gaga. A few days after our meeting, A Star Is Born premieres at the Venice Film Festival. Lady Gaga is there in a Valentino gown adorned with billowy pink ostrich feathers. Halfway through the screening, a fluke lightning accident momentarily interrupts the film, which nonetheless goes on to get an eight-minute standing ovation and mostly rapturous reviews. In 2016, while accepting the Golden Globe award for her role in Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Hotel, Lady Gaga said that she’d wanted to be an actress before she wanted to be a singer, but that music had worked out first. Now that acting has worked out as well, it’s unclear what more she could do. Mars colony, maybe. Flying cars. Universal health care. “The character of Ally is informed by my life experience. But I also wanted to make sure that she was not me. It was a cadence of both.” Lady Gaga has a commanding presence. She sits like an Olympic gymnast nailing a landing. Chatting with her in the kitchen of her otherworldly, six-acre Mediterranean-style estate, which features an eight-horse stable, a dressage rink, a bowling alley, a saltwater pool, and a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, I have the feeling that I may have temporarily crossed over into this other, extra dimension. The woman comes across as a sweetheart, but the artist is a machine. In person, she’s warm but guarded, friendly but cautious, passionate but preternaturally poised. Her house is cozy and filled with people—assistants; her manager; her mom, Cynthia, visiting from New York. (“Don’t we look alike?” Lady Gaga asks after introducing me. They really do.) The house is more traditional than you’d expect, more befitting a Stefani Germanotta (her given name) made insanely good than the pop performance artist who once wore a dress made out of meat to the MTV Video Music Awards. I mean, the French provincial sofas are draped in quilts. The fireplace is flanked by a big TV and an old Italian movie poster of A Star Is Born starring Judy Garland, a gift from Gaga’s boyfriend, CAA agent Christian Carino. It’s all slightly disorienting. We could be in a Nancy Meyers movie. Or a Star Trek episode. A decade into her career, Lady Gaga is being born again, as a movie star, and she truly is a revelation. This might just be the most remarkable thing about A Star Is Born—that, beyond the fact that she’s unrecognizable, she feels new. Among the most notable things about her character, Ally, is how stripped down she looks, how vulnerable. Gaga has shown glimpses of this before. We’ve seen it in her hilarious Saturday Night Live sketches, her album Joanne, and her documentary, in which she appears in sweatpants. “The character of Ally is informed by my life experience,” Lady Gaga says. “But I also wanted to make sure that she was not me. It was a cadence of both.” Ally is talented but insecure. She writes but won’t perform her own songs. She’s been dissuaded from pursuing her dreams by an industry that doesn’t believe in her, that tells her she looks wrong for the part. She reluctantly allows Jackson Maine (played by Cooper) to draw her into his world, to involve her in his music, until she meets the manager who begins her transformation into a commercial pop star. Metallic pleated dress, Givenchy, $9,490.Stainless steel watch, Tudor, $2,200 .Leather pumps, Manolo Blahnik, $695. Hair by Frederic Aspiras for Amika Haircare; makeup by Sarah Tanno for Marc Jacobs Beauty; manicure by Miho Okawara for Miho Nails; produced by Gabe Hill at GE Projects For all Lady Gaga’s talents as a singer, songwriter, and actress, it’s her metatalent for fame—a condition she single-mindedly pursued, investigated, interrogated, and named an album, an EP, and a fragrance after—that catapulted her into global stardom. It’s on this theme, one on which the movie largely hinges, where Gaga and her fictional counterpart, Ally, diverge the most: Once Gaga made the decision to become a performer, she didn’t let anything stop her. Early in her career, she understood that Stefani Germanotta, the classically trained Catholic schoolgirl, was talented enough to be successful, but that only Lady Gaga could erupt on the global scene, fully formed. Ally’s character, by contrast, is like a window into a Sliding Doors–like look at how things might have gone. “When I watched the film for the first time,” Gaga says, “I said, Oh my gosh, I thought she was really sad at the end of the movie, but I didn’t realize how sad she really was at the beginning. She’s really kind of a depressed girl. She works as a catering girl. She has her friend Ramon, who is very important to her. She takes care of her dad at home and takes care of all the drivers who come and have breakfast in the morning. But she’s truly given up on herself as a musician." This latest version of A Star Is Born is the fourth iteration of the classic melodrama about the effects of fame and addiction on a relationship. Cooper’s Jackson Maine is an alcoholic rock superstar on the wane who falls in love with a singer-songwriter he happens to meet at a drag club, where he’s stopped for a drink after a concert because he can’t face going home. “He said to me, ‘There can be a hundred people in the room, and 99 of them won't believe in you, but all you need is one. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper first met years ago on the set of Saturday Night Live, but it wasn’t until she performed at Sean Parker’s 2016 cancer benefit that they connected. Lady Gaga’s reps had alerted her that the actor would be in attendance, and that he planned to direct A Star Is Born and was looking to cast the female lead. Lady Gaga knew she wanted it. She sang “La Vie en Rose,” which ended up in the movie as the first song Jackson watches Ally perform—the song that makes him fall in love with her. “I was completely blown away,” Cooper says of that night. “I called her agent and said, ‘Can I meet with her?’ And then, the next day, she said yes, and I drove up to her house, and then that was it.” Gaga says the connection was instantaneous. “Before I knew it, I was making him pasta, feeding him, and we were talking and laughing. Then he wanted to hear us sing together, and asked if I would sing a song called ‘Midnight Special’ with him. I printed out the sheet music, and I brought it out to the piano, and I was so nervous. And so I’m sight-reading the music at the piano, and we start to sing, and I hear Bradley’s voice, and I just stopped playing, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, Bradley, you can sing.’ It’s incredible,” she says. Once she was cast, Cooper and screenwriters Eric Roth and Will Fetters worked on the script while Gaga worked on the soundtrack. “I wrote it for her, to play it. I asked her so many questions, and wanted to mine so much of the things that she told me. That completely formed the creation of Ally,” Cooper says. “We really were very vulnerable [together]. I had a lot of belief in her magic. It’s one thing to have a sense of it, and then watch it, before your eyes, every day, shooting.” In order to portray an unknown singer, Gaga drew from her insecurity as an actress. “I will never forget the first scene we did together in this Mexican restaurant. Bradley got some tacos and brought them to the table. Then he said something to me, but it wasn’t what was in the script, and I didn’t know what to do, so I just said my line. Then he said something else, and I didn’t know what to do because I thought I was just supposed to be saying what was on the page. So I just said another line—the next line. Seeing that I wasn’t going off-script, he said, ‘Are you okay?,’ and I just started to cry.” Through this, she learned to focus more on the story than the lines. So when it came to the concert scenes, where their experience was reversed, she tried the same technique. “When we sang ‘Shallow’ together at the concert, after he runs over and starts to pull me on the stage, I didn’t think, ‘I haven’t made it yet as a singer.’ All I had to do was go, ‘I haven’t made it yet as an actress.’ ” Heather Perry: The thing that I was most impressed with was that she’s a very strong businesswoman. In anything she does, you’re like, She’s such a boss. When Gaga was 14, she was shopping at a boutique on the West Side—singing, as one does—and a sales guy approached her and offered to give her the phone number of his uncle, a vocal coach. Don Lawrence, whom she calls the aortic valve to her career, made time in his schedule to work with her. “Later, I remember we were talking one day—we used to talk a little bit during our lessons, because we liked each other so much—and I said, ‘I just don’t know how I’m gonna make it,’ ” she says. “I was taking meetings with entertainment attorneys and knocking on people’s doors, trying to get them to listen to demos that I made on a four-track Tascam cassette player, and he said to me, ‘There can be a hundred people in the room, and 99 of them won’t believe in you, but all you need is one.’ ” After high school, Gaga enrolled in Collaborative Arts Project 21 through NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts but dropped out after a year—“when I decided to really say, ‘Sorry, Mom and Dad,’ and be a starving artist on the Lower East Side,” she says. She worked three jobs, including one as a go-go dancer. She used to call clubs and pretend to be her own manager. She would haul her piano from gig to gig. Once, while performing at a jazz bar where a crowd of frat boys wouldn’t be quiet, she stripped down to her underwear to get their attention. The moment was a turning point—it made her understand something about commanding attention. “I already knew that she was this authentic, open, raw, real artist who could sing and write songs and be this quadruple threat,” says Heather Parry, who produced the Netflix documentary and executive-produced the film. “But the thing that I was most impressed with was that she’s a very strong businesswoman. In anything she does, you’re like, She’s such a boss.” A Star Is Born, of course, is an evergreen, regenerative parable on the price of fame—which may be a bit of a chestnut, but it works. The best stories about the human experience are the ones in which ordinary people are made to withstand extraordinary forces—alcoholism, physical and emotional trauma, global stardom, the merciless machinery of capitalism. Lady Gaga is an artist. She feels things profoundly. She’s grappled with the inherited trauma of the death of her father’s sister at 19; with the emotional trauma of having been bullied in school and later sexually assaulted; with the physical trauma of a hip injury and surgery that left her with chronic generalized pain. But pain is the ballast against which sublimity takes shape. I can’t make music or act without using and accessing the pain that I have in my heart. I mean, what better place to put it? In one of the most moving scenes of her documentary, Gaga is getting ready to perform at the Super Bowl, but she’s feeling melancholic. “I’m so excited to do it,” she says, “but I can’t help but realize that when I sold 10 million records, I lost Matt [Williams, her ex-boyfriend and ex-stylist]. I sold 30 million and lost Luc [Carl, her ex-boyfriend]. I did a movie and lose Taylor [Kinney, her ex-fiancé]. It’s like a turnover,” she says. “This is the third time I’ve had my heart broken like this.” At the start of A Star Is Born, it’s a scene about Jackson, not Ally, that gets at the heart of the experience. “For me, in music and in acting, I’m always pulling from my past experiences, family dynamics, relationships, pain, happiness, joy, the roller coaster ride of my life—how that has kind of created this beautiful disco ball that’s somehow refracted and fractured,” she says. “The opening moment, where you see him pop some pills, down some booze, hop onstage, and just electrify the audience until the last bass note hits, and the limousine door shuts as the cameras are flashing, and it goes to total silence—this is how I feel as a performer. That’s what it feels like when you go onstage, and there are 20,000 people screaming, and you’re singing, and dancing, and performing, and then the show is over, and there is no sound. It’s emotional.” “Success tests relationships,” she continues. “It tests families. It tests your dynamic with your friends. There is a price to stardom.” But, she adds, “I can’t make music or act without using and accessing the pain that I have in my heart. I mean, what better place to put it? Otherwise, it’s of no good use. This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of ELLE.
    3. A Star is Born + ANSWER Streaming Party

      To celebrate the release of Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper's "A Star Is Born" Soundtrack and BTS' "Answer", Gaga and BTS fan accounts will be hosting a huge streaming party on Twitter! We will be joining fellow Twitter users @btschartdata, @BTS_Billboard, @btsanalytics, @btsvotingteam, @LadyGagaLGN, @gagamonster96, @antpats2, @gagadaily, @LGMonsterFacts and @RDTLadyGaga for the largest streaming party our fanbase has done! An identical playlist on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal will be provided, interchanging between songs from both albums. The streaming party will take place on both today and Sunday at 7pm EDT (see poster below for more). Be sure to join us! Add the hashtags #BTSxGaga and #ASIBxAnswer to your tweets. Click on the picture to start streaming! Alternative link: http://smarturl.it/ASIBxANSWER
    4. Lady Gaga joined Zane Lowe on Beats 1 to discuss her movie 'A Star Is Born' with Bradley Cooper. You can watch the full interview below.
    5. Lady Gaga appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote her new movie A Star is Born. Gaga sat down with Stephen to discuss the film soundtrack, Bradley's Cooper support and her thoughts on the debate Dr. Ford - Kavanaugh. You can also find some candids of Lady Gaga's arrival at the studios on our gallery.
    6. A Stair Soundtrack Release

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      A Stair Soundtrack Release
    7. This article contains A Star is Born spoilers LADY GAGA WANTS TO WEAR EVERY COSTUME, LIVE OUT EVERY TYPE OF KNOWN STARDOM. ‘‘A STAR IS BORN’’ IS JUST HER LATEST REINVENTION. OCT. 2, 2018 Lady Gaga did not so much arrive at the Venice Film Festival this August as she floated into it, a platinum Aphrodite borne on the waves, black stilettos skimming the sea foam. Which is to say, she took a water taxi. An image of her zooming across the canal — perched precariously on the side of the lacquered motorboat in a little black dress, her legs elegantly entwined, her hair shaped into three victory rolls like a crown of croissants, holding a single red rose in one hand and blowing kisses with the other — immediately became a meme. Of course she couldn’t just walk up to the premiere of “A Star Is Born,” the first feature film in which she has a leading role, playing the titular supernova. Walking is for rubes. Sailing, on the other hand, is timeless. It is an activity for sirens, of both the mythological and screen persuasions. It is also joyfully, unapologetically hammy: high camp on the high seas, a playful pastiche of all the celebrity cruisers who came before. In mere hours, several internet sleuths began to post pictures of Gaga on the boat along with photos of classic Hollywood stars, including Marilyn Monroe in a one-piece black bathing suit. The next day, Gaga and Bradley Cooper, her director and co-star, arrived hand in hand to a screening; she was wearing a swingy white dress, the kind made for walking over subway grates. The wink was complete. We could have seen this coming. Lady Gaga is our pop laureate of the grand entrance, our patron saint of operatic ingress. She has never, in a decade of global fame, been content to simply appear in a room; she has to plummet into it, shimmying down a cable like a diamond-encrusted spider. Or she hobbles in, a fembot on fake crutches, a high-fashion Tiny Tim. Before performing at the 2011 Grammys, she claimed to have slept in an oversize translucent egg for 72 hours, so that when she finally emerged, she could feel that she had experienced total “creative, embryonic incubation.” For the first decade of her career, she was often at least seminude when descending every staircase. In her younger, more tenderized years, she trotted into the MTV Video Music Awards in a now-infamous gown and snow boots made of raw beef, not just a sight gag but a full-on olfactory happening, abattoir fabulous. Gaga once described herself as “a show with no intermission,” but it might be more accurate to view her career as a glorious series of overtures; her curtain is always rising. This is why her water ride in Venice elicited such collective delight in the form of vigorous retweeting. She may now be a serious actress, but she hasn’t lost her sense of play. When I met Lady Gaga on a hazy afternoon a few days after her Venice tour, at her house so high up in the Hollywood Hills that I broke through the fog line before I reached it, she was still in full Marilyn mode. Her duckling-blond hair was molded into a halo around her face. Her lips were matte red, slightly overdrawn, an enthusiastic valentine. She was wearing the same towering patent-leather stilettos from the boat and a brown tiger-print wiggle dress, a midcentury silhouette favored by celluloid bombshells that vacuum-seals the calves into place. Her earrings, obsidian chandelier dangles heavy as hood ornaments, cast prismatic shadows on her clavicle and seemed to threaten the general integrity of her otherwise regal posture. Having seen “A Star Is Born” the day before, in which Gaga gives a notably stripped down, unbleached performance, I was slightly jarred as I watched her shuffle through her house (which also happened to have been the house of the avant-garde rocker Frank Zappa before she bought it from his family trust in 2016) in a full face and spike heels. In the film, her character, Ally, starts off makeup-free, a frustrated waitress with mud-puddle hair (Gaga’s natural hue) who long ago abandoned her songwriting dreams and has settled for crooning live covers one night a week at a drag bar, the only woman on the bill. One night, Bradley Cooper, as the shambling, alcoholic rock star Jackson Maine, stumbles into the bar looking for a nightcap and instead discovers a muse — he is bewitched by her performance of “La Vie en Rose” in an Edith Piaf costume complete with thin eyebrows fashioned from electrical tape. Later that night, Jackson asks Ally why she doesn’t pursue a music career. She tells him that she tried, she really did. She just couldn’t find any industry types who could get past her face. They loved the way she sounded, hated the way she looked. Hearing this, Jackson reaches out with a single finger and traces the contours of her nose. While this is on its own an erotic gesture, it is Ally’s reaction that makes the scene: She just breathes as he gently outlines the organ she feels worst about. It’s an arresting moment, in which she seems both receptive and completely assured. Now, as we toured her house, Gaga was as opaque as Ally is transparent. She spoke carefully, in a breathy tone, as if she were in an active séance with an old movie star whose press agent advised her to remain enigmatic and demure. She showed me a bizarre bathroom, where she had found a bed over the shower; she gestured delicately at her backyard, announcing: “Some beautiful lemon trees. It’s a nice place to come and just create.” When we got into the studio, she tiptoed through the cavernous live room, pointing out a grand piano in a voice so quiet I could barely hear her. We made our way to a small alcove with whitewashed walls and 20-foot ceilings, which looked like the storage room of an art museum — an echo chamber, she explained. I asked about the acoustics, in part because it seemed the polite thing to do, but in part because I was trying to open any conversational tap I could find. Whether she was feeling legitimately shy or was simply method-acting as a restrained ingénue, she had yet to speak at full volume. Suddenly, she broke into song. A cappella, unprompted, voce forte, her arms flung out to full wingspan, her head tossed back to bare her throat. She was singing the chorus of “Shallow,” the song she co-wrote for “A Star Is Born” that has become the de facto theme song for the movie. It is sung at the cathartic apex of the trailer (which has been viewed almost 10 million times on YouTube) — the moment when Ally reluctantly steps onto an arena stage for the first time to sing with Jackson. Gaga plays this moment with incredible restraint; it’s hard to imagine her not wanting to storm a stage, but she really sells it. Ally has been down for so long that she hesitates, not fully believing that this is her shot. But then something shifts. She straightens her shoulders, struts out to the microphone and sends her voice soaring over the crowd. In the echo chamber, the words of the song ricocheted, shaking the room: “I’m off the deep end! Watch as I dive in! I’ll never meet the ground!” When Gaga sings, her whole body vibrates. She clenches her fists, squeezes her eyes shut. After she finished belting, Gaga looked beatific, almost giddy, having answered my banal question with undeniable certainty. The acoustics in here, we agreed, were very good. She may now be a serious actress, but she hasn’t lost her sense of play. The title of “A Star Is Born” is misleading and always has been. It implies spontaneous generation, Athena popping fully formed out of Zeus’ forehead. In reality, it is a story about hard work, about the grueling machinations behind celebrity. In each version of the film, fame can destroy (by enabling addiction or worsening self-destructive behaviors), but it can also be a sacred rite; it anoints the truly worthy with laurels and fragrant oils, no matter how aquiline her nose. The narrative takes a nobody and brings her together with a fading legend. He falls in love with her and her artistic potential, and thrusts her straight into the crucible of mass popularity. It is a love story as unshakably perennial as “Romeo and Juliet,” except slightly less crushing, because only the man is doomed and the leading lady gets to walk away from her tragedy triumphant, her suffering noble, her name in neon lights. “A Star Is Born” has never really been a film about an unknown actress shooting across the screen like a rare comet. Instead, from the very beginning, it has always been a film about an already superfamous woman shooting a movie. That’s the real reason the franchise works: It comes with a built-in insurance policy. In 1937, when Janet Gaynor stepped into the role of the farm girl Esther Blodgett in the first version (which was itself a remix of a 1932 drama called “What Price Hollywood?”), she was making a comeback, but she had been a box-office titan of the silent era, the first woman to ever win an Academy Award for acting. Judy Garland, who tackled Esther in 1954 (a studio executive quickly changes her name to Vicki Lester in the film), was a household name at 17, no longer a vaudevillian striver but a minted studio girl, kept on a steady infusion of amphetamines and barbiturates and praise. In 1976, Barbra Streisand, whose character’s name was Esther Hoffman (we have to believe she goes from mieskeit to swan), was already an Oscar winner for playing Fanny Brice, and fresh off another nomination, for “The Way We Were.” These actresses were all at least a decade into their careers, and they used the material less as a coming-out party and more as a victory lap. Of course the Esthers would succeed; their real-life counterparts had already pushed through every obstacle. This is why the lead role is so alluring to divas who want to explore the boundaries of their fame and what they had to endure to lasso it. These actresses, in drag as younger versions of themselves, get to wrestle with their flaws and air out their darkest fears. But we don’t fear for them, not really, because we know how the story turns out. Garland, who always felt so intimidated by the leggy army of MGM blondes that she spent her life making self-deprecating jokes, fashioned herself into the world’s most beloved brunette. Streisand, whose line “Hello, gorgeous” was soaking in wry irony, turned a prominent bridge into a locus of desire. Gaga’s innate New York City toughness brings a different flavor to the role than her predecessors. Where Janet Gaynor plays the starlet as pure and cornfed, Garland plays her as a plucky troubadour in pert ribbon bow ties and Streisand plays her as a wisecracking prima donna in colorful ponchos (hey, it was the ’70s), Gaga’s Ally is more world-weary and knowing. She is the kind of woman who gets into fistfights, who alternately sasses and fusses over her father (Andrew Dice Clay), a chauffeur who once had showbiz aspirations himself but never had a lucky break. When Cooper offered Gaga the role, he told her that “this is what it would be like if you were 31 and had never made it,” and she readily embodies the ferocious hunger of the would-be famous. She’s no innocent when she walks onstage to sing. She knows exactly what to do, and exactly what this will mean for her career. She’s ready to go. Ally’s journey is not about a singer developing her talent — that’s already there. It is about finding her way toward an aesthetic once she has the world’s attention. She dyes her hair Tang orange, begins working with a choreographer and sings springy pop songs about butts, all of which she does without wavering, even when Jackson drunkenly criticizes her for being inauthentic. Some viewers may read a rock-versus-pop hierarchy into Ally’s transformations — that she is more “real” when she is harmonizing with Jackson’s twangy melodies or sitting at her piano — but Gaga’s onscreen mastery over both genres is a pre-emptive rebuttal to what is essentially a gendered bias. What “A Star Is Born” makes clear about Lady Gaga is that she possesses the dexterity to make whatever kind of music she likes. Cooper told me that he cast Gaga after seeing her perform “La Vie en Rose” at a cancer benefit. The very next day, he drove to her Malibu home to test their chemistry. They bonded right away about their families (both East Coast, both Italian) and ate spaghetti on her porch. “She was completely illuminated by the sun,” he said. “So charismatic. I thought inside my head, Oh, gosh. If she is like this on film, if that’s the worst case scenario that she’s this present on film, the movie will work.” It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when Lady Gaga, the international superstar, was born. Past a certain level of fame, the origin stories of pop artists begin to tilt into the mythological. “I have a nerve inside of me to do this,” Gaga said, sitting on a swivel chair in her basement studio, when I asked what drives her. She kept her legs crossed at the ankles and her spine rod-straight, with her shell-pink nails gingerly intertwined in her lap, as if she were practicing to meet Queen Elizabeth (side note: When Gaga did meet the queen, after performing in the Royal Variety Show in 2009, she curtsied while wearing a floor-length, puff-sleeved dress made entirely of slick red latex). “And I have no idea where it comes from, except that it might come from God. No one knows.” What she does know is that at some point, she felt free: to drop her birth name (Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta), to turn herself into an event, to keep shedding old skins. Lady Gaga’s early career was a study in this invitational freedom: Look how free I am, look how free you could be. This is what she was selling, at 21, with her platinum oversize hairbows and gigantic sunglasses and skyscraper shoulder pads. This is the realization that led her, after growing up on the Upper West Side, attending a private Catholic girls’ school and studying piano minuets, to move downtown in 2004, first to study theater arts at N.Y.U. (she dropped out during sophomore year) and then to sing in grungy bars on the Lower East Side while she sent her demos to record labels. She read Andy Warhol’s books and realized that what most people want, when they dream of fame, is not necessarily wealth or power but limitlessness: the ability to change. So many artists start out gritty and homegrown but calcify into hardened personae over time; when Lady Gaga adopted her new name (sometime around 2006, most likely from a Queen song), she decided to flip the formula. What if she began with the character, and the character was the physical embodiment of flux? What if she never wore the same outfit twice, or gave an interview out of costume, or claimed to be a paragon of creative authenticity? Gaga’s debut album, “The Fame” (quickly reissued with extra songs as “The Fame Monster”), came out in August 2008, a season of optimism and political overhaul, when young people were ready to accept jangly pop hooks from a chimerical sprite who told them they could continually redefine themselves. Her first recordings may not have been too deep — “Poker Face,” still her second-biggest single to date, after “Just Dance,” is an ode to mirrored surfaces, to remaining willfully inscrutable — but they were catchy (she changed the way an entire generation hears the phrase “ooh la la”), and their agile lightness was intentional. Much of her early music was thumping and linear: big synths, big hooks, the beats clinking together like a wristful of silver bangles. The music was a tool for propagating her radiant image, which was continually surprising to behold. She insists the performance is the reality. When Gaga first emerged onto the pop scene, she was a phenomenon — a kooky amalgam of New York club-kid toughness, art-school experimentation, record-label grooming, classical vocal training and bona fide radio hits. She clearly took her cues from previous incarnations of major pop stardom (David Bowie’s amphibious glam, Madonna’s blond ambition, Michael Jackson’s dual love of sparkles and precision), but she was even more focused than her predecessors on the live event, on the coup de théâtre. She started pushing boundaries and stopped wearing pants; she became a walking billboard for avant-garde fashion (Alexander McQueen’s ankle-bending hoof heels, a jacket covered in felt Kermit the Frogs, several gowns made of human hair, that meat dress), a fact that served to make every other artist at the time who wasn’t rolling around onstage in a pool of fake blood seem, frankly, dull. Gaga’s initial obsession with masquerade predicted the double lives we all live now, our simultaneous existences as living, breathing people and disembodied avatars. But instead of seeing those identities as segmented — the real person, the facade — she put forth the concept that it’s possible, and ultimately adaptive, in a fractured world to try to free yourself from old boundaries. You can be an insider and an outsider at the same time, a human and an alien. All that is solid melts into Gaga. If this seems paradoxical, it is; but the paradox is where Gaga shines. Postmodern double truths are her milieu. She started calling herself a monster, not just to embrace a kind of outré bizarreness that had mainly been the province of male pop icons like Bowie or Prince, but also because she was monstrous, a pop creation that devoured the zeitgeist and then gleefully regurgitated it. She mock-hanged herself with a noose onstage, she dreamed up a hat filled with live cockroaches, she sucked on a rosary in the “Alejandro” video, she hired a “vomit artist” to spew lime-green milk on her outfit at South by Southwest, she delivered an awards-show speech as her male alter-ego, Jo Calderone. Her whole project was a Technicolor dream ballet, a gauzy hallucination. And it sold records (over 27 million, worldwide) and won awards (six Grammys). “I do keep transforming into a new shell of me,” she told me. “So sure, there is an acting component to what I do, or a showbiz component to what I do. But the word ‘acting,’ it’s hard for me to talk about in that way, because ‘acting’ to me almost implies faking it.” She insisted to me that all her iterations form an unbroken line, that the performance is the reality. Gaga has, over the last decade, arguably moved the entire pop apparatus toward forceful weirdness. Her influence is everywhere — she opened the doors for more female hitmakers to be cheekily bizarre (Miley Cyrus grinding on a wrecking ball, Katy Perry with her sniper-rifle bra filled with whipped cream, Sia living under her wig, even St. Vincent’s indie Fritz Lang affect) — but as a result, Gaga’s early maximalism began to feel less vital to the cultural conversation. In 2011, Adele’s “21” cemented a new austerity in pop; all she had to do to sell 11 million records was stand in one place and sing plaintively about heartbreak. So Gaga swerved again, and again, and again. She made a jazz record with Tony Bennett. She made a crunchier, heavy-metallish album called “Artpop” that mostly failed to connect with the public, at least on the large Gagagian scale she was used to (it sold fewer than a million copies). When she turned 30, she released a more minimalist fifth record called “Joanne,” after an aunt who died young of complications from lupus. She promoted the album in ripped T-shirts and a plain, pink felt hat. She toured dive bars before the arenas. She also released the Netflix documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” a vérité glimpse into her daily life as she prepped for the 2017 Super Bowl, produced and promoted “Joanne” and spoke openly about the debilitating pain caused by her fibromyalgia (something she had been dealing with privately for years). The documentary presents Gaga with a striking lack of vanity. She appears on camera with dirty hair and a bare face. This is Gaga the Vulnerable, Gaga the Sensitive Soul. That film ends with her performance at the Super Bowl, where she sang all the karaoke staples of her back catalog — “Bad Romance,” “Telephone,” even “Just Dance” — with gusto in a sequined bodysuit, thrusting through the jangly disco beats of “Born This Way” in high-heel boots, surrounded by an army of dancers in iridescent capes. It was a blistering set, a Greatest Hits Cardio Workout and a truly impressive display of her cultural dominance. But it also felt elegiac, as if it belonged to a different era, when Gaga was giving stump speeches about overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the song became an anthem of the fight for gay marriage on a national scale. In recent years, queer culture has become more anti-institutional, less about normalizing and more about resisting norms. In a way, Gaga’s galactic fame, which once gave her such a huge platform as an advocate for equality, became a liability when the conversation became more intimate and nuanced. Pop is not entirely post-spectacle (Beyoncé’s recent Coachella performance was a multiact extravaganza), but it is evolving into a less bombastic space. It is getting more raw, smaller. And Gaga is doing the same. She has not given up on the power of an audacious live show (this winter, she will put on a pyrotechnic Las Vegas residency called “Enigma”), but in making “A Star Is Born,” she is entering into a softer conversation with the public — about talent, about ambition, about her own trajectory. Ally is the most human of all of Gaga’s creations, and offering her to us — her fear, her loyalty, her shattered heart after tragedy — is a different kind of gamble than stepping out in front of millions dressed like a holographic Muppet. She is, in essence, making exploratory autofiction on a grand scale, even as she is playing yet another character. Lady Gaga bought Frank Zappa’s eccentric woodland estate not as a place to live while in Los Angeles — she already has a Mediterranean-style villa on an isolated, craggy cliffside in Malibu for that — but as a work retreat, the new nerve center of her countless creative pursuits. She wants to paint here, write music here (she told me that currently she is feverishly writing songs on a white piano upstairs; literally on the surface of the piano, with a black Sharpie) and plan her Vegas spectacular from here with her production team, like a war council plotting some dazzling siege. In her recording studio, after her “Shallows” serenade, Gaga played me five tracks from the coming film soundtrack. As the music blasted, she began to loosen up — this was her turf, her major contribution to the film. She lip-synced to her own songs from her swivel chair, looking straight into my eyes and drawing me insistently into her joy. The studio is her sanctuary, and one of the main reasons she felt she had to have the property. She is also working to preserve as many of the home’s oddities as possible: the vintage submarine doors with thick portholes, a giant dragon mural, the library floor painted to look like a lily pond. She told me she loves the house’s “intricate chaos.” Gaga is an auction shopper — she likes to acquire iconic objects, created by iconic personalities — and as I toured Zappa’s house it occurred to me that we were standing in a giant collector’s item of sorts, an 8,000-square-foot twig in the magpie’s nest of pop cultural artifacts that she has been building for a decade. In 2012, she purchased 55 items from Michael Jackson’s private archive, including his leather “Bad” jacket and a crystal glove. That same year, she bought an eggshell silk Alexander McQueen gown from the collection of the British fashion maven Daphne Guinness. In 2016, for her Dive Bar Tour in support of “Joanne,” Gaga rolled up to a show in Elvis’s pink 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood (she was just borrowing it). Perhaps this collector’s impulse is what she absorbed from her early study of Warhol. Gaga is an artist of accrual, of remixing and reimagination, of pulling her heroes into her gravitational orbit. She once told an interviewer that her “whole career is a tribute to David Bowie,” but her career is really a tribute to all the different ways a person can be monstrously famous: She wants to wear every costume, live out every type of stardom to its maximalist extreme. If she was going to be a movie star, she couldn’t just step into a role, or a film, that no one had ever heard of — she wanted to waltz into a lineage. When she was younger, she told me, she used to watch “The Wizard of Oz,” over and over, convinced that Judy Garland was the greatest entertainer alive. “Judy, I just think she’s tremendous,” she told me. “There’s a vulnerability behind her eyes, the way she speaks, she has big features. I just always wanted to be like her. It’s as simple as that.” And now she is standing on the very same stage. Earlier in the afternoon, she showed me a room that was empty save for a gigantic photograph of her own face, at least 15 feet across, in a gilded frame. “It was a gift from Bradley,” she said. “It’s the last frame of the movie. Do you know the scene?” I did know it. It is the moment when Ally is standing on the stage of the Shrine Auditorium — where Garland shot her final scene — in an ice blue evening gown, singing a homage to her late husband. She starts out timid and drained of expression, explaining to the audience that she is going to sing the last song that Jackson wrote for her, and that maybe with their support, she can get through it. But as the ballad goes on, her voice swells and becomes an avalanche. It’s a bravura performance in extreme close-up, a sort of symphonic summoning of every woman who has played the part. Gaga channels both the way Garland sang (wounded, tonally bright, barely holding it together) and the way Streisand did (forceful, sweeping, with a diffident jutting of the jaw). But Gaga adds something of her own: a sensual, earthy confidence, like gasoline in her veins. When she finishes, a single elephant tear rolls down her face. Magically, the moment somehow avoids bathos — the tear feels truly earned. After watching her perform this scene, I felt elated by what Gaga managed to do, not just for her character but for herself. You desperately want to know what her future holds after the curtain falls. I asked Gaga later what we can expect from her next phase. Of course, there’s Vegas and a new record on the way, and she’s reading piles of scripts. But she really didn’t want to discuss any of that. Instead, she just smiled enigmatically. “Oh,” she sighed. “I’m just shape-shifting again.” This article originally appeared here.
    8. "The following review contains spoilers" “I want you to look right in my eyes
 To tell me you love me, to be by my side..." It seems like a simple request: To have someone look at you and see you for who you truly are. Having someone like what they see – and want to stay – isn’t as easy. On the surface, A Star Is Born may be a film about the rise of Ally’s (Lady Gaga) career, and the demise of Jackson Maine’s (Bradley Cooper), but beyond ‘the shallow it is about their complicated and unyielding love for each other. From their very first encounter, we can feel the beating hearts of both characters on screen. One of my favorite moments in the entire film is when Jackson comes backstage to meet Ally after her performance at the drag bar. Jackson asks if he can take off one of Ally’s taped eyebrows. He is so gentle when he peels off the thin black piece of tape, and when he looks at her, it is a look of admiration, never judgement. As both the actors and characters, Gaga and Bradley never have an ounce of judgement toward each other. They share an electric and singular chemistry that is difficult to fabricate. Of course, not all relationships are perfect. Jackson’s alcoholism and drug abuse is the ticking time bomb of their union. Ally is very patient and at one point she even says, “It’s not your fault. This is a disease.” However, as much as she wants him to be alright, it isn’t her choice. Jackson was already deteriorating before he met her, and continues to do so even if she gives him the best years of his life. Bradley Cooper is at his best. With a single glance, we can see when he is sober and when he is wasted. Beyond the slurred speech, and stumbling, his eyes radiate years of pain and, when he’s looking at Gaga, glimmers of hope. As Ally, Lady Gaga is a selfless actress and focuses on intently listening to Bradley and empathizing with his character, never once shying away from trying to alleviate his pain. It is no secret that Lady Gaga and Ally are quite similar: Italian American aspiring singer- songwriters who are given an opportunity to succeed if they conform to the music industry. This role was familiar territory for Gaga, but that’s what would make it all the more challenging. Nobody likes confronting their fears or vulnerabilities, but A Star Is Born forces Gaga to hold up a mirror to herself and deal with the aspects of her life and career that scare her the most. The most difficult part about acting is being believable – being human. Lady Gaga has proven herself to be a natural by unapologetically revealing her humanity on screen without trying to hide behind wigs, costumes, or even music. Every lyric she has written, and every note she sings, only elevates her authenticity and thus our compassion for Ally. The songs in the film are truly of musical theatre standard. A song comes when words are not enough to convey emotion. Bradley and Gaga may not be breaking into song, but the film’s music is a heightened language for the two of them to communicate their love for each other. In the final scene of the movie, Ally sings a song that Jackson wrote for her: “I’ll Never Love Again.” It is one of the most beautiful songs in the film. Back to her natural hair, stripped of the pop facade she created, she pays tribute to Jackson. She may have lost the great love of her life, but he helped her fall in love with herself. Jackson helped her believe in herself and gave her the push she needed to chase her dreams. The great love story of A Star Is Born is actually the one Ally has with herself. Through Jackson’s love for her, Ally finds who she is as an artist and the belief that she’s worthy to succeed. Sometimes it only takes one person to believe in us, as Lady Gaga says of her director and on screen partner Bradley Cooper, but you have to be willing to agree with them. Bradley and Gaga are exceptional as actors and musicians and leave you wanting to experience the journey of their love story over and over again. This is a true marker of the beginning of Lady Gaga’s career as an actress, and what an explosive way to start. - Marc Cohen
    9. Lady Gaga joined her fellow co-star Bradley Cooper on The Graham Norton Show. The magic duo sat next to Oscar winning Ryan Gosling and Doctor-Who Jodie Whittaker to answered funny questions, play strange instruments and talk about their upcoming movie A Star is Born. You can watch the full episode below. This video can only be played using your Browser not Twitter or Facebook. (remember to close all adds)
    10. Lady Gaga to receive Artists Inspiration Awards
    11. Lady Gaga finally returned to Ellen after five years since her last appearance. She discussed about her upcoming movie with Bradley Cooper 'A Star is Born' and played some funny games. You can watch the episode below.
    12. Lady Gaga on Late Show with Stephen Colber

      Lady Gaga on Late Show with Stephen Colber
    13. Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper will arrive in Leicester Square to join the Premiere of their upcoming movie 'A Star is Born' in London tonight. You can watch the event LIVE below.
    14. Shallow Release!

      until
      Shallow Release!
    15. 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).
    16. Lady Gaga is about to walk the red carpet of her movie premiere 'A Star is Born' in Los Angeles! Watch the live stream below.
    17. 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.
    18. I Want Your Love cover release

      I Want Your Love cover release
    19. Vogue on newsstands

      Vogue on newsstands
    20. Cheek To Cheek release - anniversary

      Cheek To Cheek release - anniversary
    21. Lady Gaga guest on The Graham Norton Show

      Lady Gaga guest on The Graham Norton Show London, England
    22. A Star Is Born WorldWide Release

      A Star Is Born WorldWide Release
    23. Lady Gaga guest on Ellen show

      Lady Gaga guest on Ellen show
    24. Lady Gaga at the Tokyo International Film Festival
    25. 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.
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