Is Lady Gaga so good
: Interview with "A Star is Born" actress Lady Gaga: "To be famous is completely unnatural"
She is probably the greatest pop star of our time, shrill, infinitely talented, always headstrong. But now Lady Gaga also wants to conquer the big screen - and she has already proven that she can do it. “A Star is Born” (in theaters since October 4th) was shown to the strictest film critics at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, and the audience was delighted every time. It's actually three debuts in one:
Lady Gaga plays, and actor Bradley Cooper makes his directing and singing debut. In the film, Gaga plays the young singer Ally, plagued by self-doubt and stage fright, who is discovered by the country star Jack (Cooper), whose career is coming to an end due to alcohol. Ally overcomes her stage fear and becomes a star.
Lady Gaga, in this film you are not the extroverted pop icon with the flashy outfits. You have never been seen so “normally”. How was that for you?
One thing is clear: I love makeup! (laughs) I like fancy fashion and extravagant costumes. It's part of my art, part of my music. But none of that was necessary for this role, Bradley made it clear to me. He wanted me to be pure. I remember very well, I went down the stairs of my house before we did the screen tests. I only had a very light make-up on my face, something that looks like I haven't made up. But I couldn't fool Bradley. He put a handkerchief over my face and said, "I don't want make-up on your face."
Were you ready to dress up without make-up in the truest sense of the word?
At first it was a real challenge, it made me feel even more vulnerable and insecure. But then it was also incredibly liberating not to be able to hide myself anymore. I was ready to really give everything for this role, all my passion, down to the blood. All of my fear and pain should be in this movie. And a lot of love! I also felt very connected to all of my colleagues on set, we were like one big family. Every day was wonderful. I am very happy that I got this chance.
Why were you interested in acting in the first place?
I've always wanted to be an actress. If you can convince only one person in a room with a hundred people, one single person who will enable you to make a dream come true, then that is all you need. That person was Bradley Cooper to me. He believed in me.
Did you get along straight away? He always calls her Stefani, nobody else ...
Yes, from the first moment he stood in front of my door to get to know me, I felt a deep connection to him. We're both from the east coast, both of us have Italian roots, so first I warmed up some pasta from the fridge and we ate together. Then he asked me to sing the song "Midnight Special". I quickly printed out the music and sat down at my piano with him. I was really nervous because I didn't know the song well. Suddenly he started singing! I immediately stopped playing the piano. Because his voice is amazing!
The Ally you play is playing her own song in front of the audience for the first time. This is sure to be an unforgettable moment for every artist. How did you fare on that scene?
In the scene, Ally drinks some schnapps before going on stage. On the last take, Bradley said, "So now we're going to do another take that is all about one thing: having fun." And I'll never forget that moment: It really felt like I was doing my song play for the first time. We took the take too!
Why did “A Star is Born” speak to you? Did you experience the story in a similar way yourself?
No, it was very different for me. When I decided to become a singer and wanted to do it professionally, I was around 19 years old and I did everything I could to make it work. I moved from bar to bar trying to get a job. I wanted to sing and perform for the people. I believed in myself! But Ally has long since given up her dream. Only Jack played by Bradley and their love for one another brings them back to life.
You must have had support early in your career too. Who was the person in your life who believed in you?
My first fan was definitely my father! I remember sitting at the piano as a child and my father leaning back to listen to me. I played him my first own songs and he was always very enthusiastic. He was very loving and supported me. Without him I would never have developed the confidence to become a musician.
The film is also about alcohol and drug abuse. Are you confronted with this in your private and professional environment?
Naturally. And I would like us to learn to recognize the signs of addiction sooner in the people we care about. The sooner we can help, the better! In my work environment there are many people with serious problems. That's because being famous is a completely unnatural thing. One cannot be prepared for this. It happens and it turns life upside down. My character Ally suffers from depression in the film, a disease that is also widespread in show business.
What can you do about it?
I am convinced that young artists urgently need a psychologist by their side when they suddenly find themselves in the spotlight. If your whole world changes in one fell swoop, you need help or you will lose yourself. We have to take loving care of people's souls - not just with artists, but with all people. Compassion is important. We need to learn to take better care of ourselves and others. I think it's wonderful that our film addresses this issue.
In the film you appear in a drag queen club ...
The day of shooting was a dream! I always say that behind every great artist in showbiz there is a talented gay man. I wouldn't be here now without the LGBTQ community. You always supported me. And taught me a lot about love, courage and understanding.
Was that a one-off excursion or will we see you on the screen more often in the future?
This film was the most fulfilling experience I have ever had in my life. Of course I would love to have another experience like this. But it won't be easy to find a project where everyone works with so much passion and love.
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