Lady Gaga: “A Star Is Born made me free, without a mask”

The diva talks playing a reticent country singer in Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut

Injecting a dose of music showbiz glamour to the Venice Lido, and in advance of the premiere of A Star Is Born, pop superstar Lady Gaga took to the press conference to about her turn as female lead, Ally, a plucky singer down on both luck and confidence discovered by accomplished rock star Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) and guided towards a brighter dawn. With a little bit of love tossed into the mix.

lady gaga
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, but you can call her Lady Gaga

ALLY AND ME – “The challenge for me is that, at the beginning of this film, Ally has given up on herself. When I started out in the (music) industry – when I decided I wanted to be a singer and go for it professionally – I was about 19 years old and I hit the ground running. I was dragging my piano from dive bar to dive bar trying to get jobs so that I could sing and perform for people. I really believed in myself.”

A scene from A Star is Born.

THE MASK – “I remember very, very well, walking down the stairs in my house before we filmed the screentest for A Star Is Born and he had a makeup wipe in his hand and he put his hand on my face and went like this (mimes wiping the face) and said, ‘I want no makeup on your face’. This vulnerability is something that he brought out in me, and for someone that doesn’t necessarily feel safe being that vulnerable, it was such a special experience. He made me feel so comfortable”.

a star is born
Lady Gaga at the press conference of #Venice74.

BRADLEY’S VOICE – “He is such a tremendous singer. We were sitting at my piano in the living room and he started to sing, I stopped and said, ‘Oh my gosh, Bradley, you have an incredible voice’. He sings from his gut, from the nectar of his soul. I think this comes across so strong in Jack’s character”.

Eyes, flowers, tears.

BEGINNER’S NERVES – “I have to say that Bradley and I were so entrenched in the characters that this moment when we were filming felt so real, so alive. We had a live audience watching us. We sang live. Ally has that little bit of liquid courage. She knocks back the shot glass and she goes out there and gives it her all. I think it was the last take of the performance, I remember very well that Bradley came over to me right before and he said, ‘on this one, I want you to have fun’. I’ll never forget it. It really did feel like I was performing my song for the first time. It was very, very special”.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga at the press conference in Venice

THE POWER OF NO – “Many times at the beginning of my career I said ‘no’. I write my own music and I work with other writers at times. When I was starting out, I was not the most beautiful girl in the room and there were lots of women who were singers but did not write their own music. Many record executives wanted to take my songs and give them to other women to sing. I was holding onto my music with my cold, dead fingers, saying ‘you’re not going to take my songs from me’.”

Watch the trailer for Cooper’s remake of A Star Is Born below:

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