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Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Shine Brightly in A Star is Born!

Read their interview for A Star is Born about love and the cost of fame.

Oct 01, 2018

By: Lynn Barker

In A Star is Born (warning: Rated “R” for language throughout, some sexuality/nudity and substance abuse), Lady Gaga (real name Stefani Germanotta) plays lead character Ally, a shy and talented songwriter who feels she can’t sing and be in the spotlight until she is discovered by iconic Western performer Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper who also directs the movie). She is then on her way up while he is headed in a downward spiral. 

Jackson and Ally's relationship startsJackson and Ally's relationship startsCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Of course Gaga is an award-winning singer/songwriter and actress (she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance on TV’s “American Horror Story” in 2016). Bradley has acted in tons of movies (The “Hangover” films and American Sniper) but this is his first big directing job.

Ally and friend at a Jackson concertAlly and friend at a Jackson concertCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Gaga and Bradley (voice of Rocket Raccoon in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies) co-wrote the music for the film and both decided to record it live, no lip synching. “There is something about the purity of a live vocal,” says Bradley. “And all the vocals in the film are live, nothing’s pre-recorded, and I think that is how we captured the truth in each performance”

Jackson and Ally work on a new songJackson and Ally work on a new songCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Gaga made sure her fans, affectionately referred to as her “Little Monsters”, got to play audience members in the film and after a day’s shooting at L.A.’s Greek Theater, Gaga gave them a piano performance of two of her hit songs to thank them for participating.

Read what these two talented performers have to say about their new film.

Q: Bradley, what do you love most about Lady Gaga’s musical ability?

  • Bradley: Her masterful ability to cultivate talent. We all know that she’s so talented but she’s such a cultivator of talent and so selfless with giving her knowledge and enthusiasm to other people which was really wonderful. That created a harmony of all of the (song) writers (for the movie).
  • Lady Gaga: What would be wonderful, not just for artists but for the whole world, is that we intervene early in life when we see people struggling. I think that fame is very unnatural  and we see that Jack (Bradley’s character) is struggling in this film. There is substance abuse, there is trauma. For me, Ally has also suffered from depression at the beginning of the film, not believing in herself and I think it’s important that we guide artists and take care of them on a psychological level as they begin to rise because everything changes and the truth is people think that we change but it’s not us that change, it’s everyone around us that changes.
  • I’m here today because this man (Bradley) believed in me and that’s also what a lot of this story is about; the power of believing in someone and what that can do for the human spirit.

Jackson convinces Ally to sing in publicJackson convinces Ally to sing in publicCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: Very cool! Bradley, what was the most challenging thing about directing this film?

  • Bradley: I’ve definitely never been more fulfilled that this process. The hardest thing was knowing that all of (the cast) trusted me. The fact that they gave their blind trust to me was terrifying and motivating. If you get actors of their caliber in the movie, you’d better serve them. I wanted to make sure that each person, no matter how small the role, their talent is served and lasts throughout the movie.

Will Jackson be a falling star?Will Jackson be a falling star?Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: Gaga, how was working with Bradley?

  • Gaga: I think Bradley is an incredible filmmaker. I have acted before but I’ve never been a lead actress in a feature film. Every day on set was such a thrill to watch him work and to act in the environment that he created. He operates with such precision and has such a vision and you can see the gears turning while he’s working, even when he is in character at the same time. He would whisper (encouraging) things to me and we would (fist bump) each other. I had the lines memorized but what it would help me do was remind me that the most important thing was knowing what I (the character) was trying to say to tell the story that I was meant to tell in that scene.

Jackson is proud that Ally decided to singJackson is proud that Ally decided to singCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: Gaga, were you excited or nervous to work with first-time director Bradley?

  • Gaga: I had to get past the nerves, but I was so excited because, in my opinion, when somebody has talent inside them, brewing for years, ready to move into another medium and it finally happens…it’s like a huge explosion, an opus. He was meant to direct, and I just got lucky enough to be in his first film.

Rooftop songwritingRooftop songwritingCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: Talk about the feelings when Jackson and Ally first meet when he sees her singing.

  • Gaga: She starts really opening up to him, and he’s telling her how beautiful she is and she still kind of doesn’t really believe him…but she’s trying to. She’s enamored of him, but very quickly there’s a human connection and the “star-struckness” starts to fade away. She even has the audacity to touch his face.
  • Bradley: Ally isn’t the only one who opens up. That’s what I’ve always loved about their first night. He tells her things I don’t think he’s ever told anyone. This is not a guy who talks about that stuff and all of a sudden he’s talking about it to her. They just met, but there’s this chemistry, this synchronicity, that’s occurred, and they both wind up letting their guard down. Over time, they’re constantly putting it back up, and then it’s down, and up again. It’s just a huge tsunami of emotions that they both give over to that’s going to be their plight throughout the story.

Later, as the relationship becomes troubledLater, as the relationship becomes troubledCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: Bradley, did you feel a kinship with Gaga?

  • Bradley: She’d done incredible work as an actress but to make this huge transition felt like we were at the same point individually in our work, and we both needed the same thing from each other, essentially, in order to jump the tracks to this other place.

Jackson Maine draws thousands of fansJackson Maine draws thousands of fansCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: Talk about singing together and Bradley, singing in character for the first time in your career.

  • Bradley: We relied on each other in every single way. I knew every time we did a musical number, I heard this undeniable force in her, and I knew there was no one else who could’ve played the part. It’s her talent, her work ethic honed from years of performing. As a storyteller, you’re just so thankful you cast the right person, but we were truly in this together, and that’s the way we approached every scene and every song: as partners.
  • Gaga: The very first thing we said was, ‘Okay, now you’re a musician and I’m an actress. We’re making that exchange, so keep me in a comfortable yet vulnerable, raw place where I can give you what you need for the character’. He did that for me, and as we worked on creating the songs, I watched him become a real musician.
  • Bradley: She really protected me in a big way. She knew that I would find whatever Jack’s sound was if I was just allowed to keep exploring.

See A Star is Born in theaters October 5th!

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

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