There were mixed reactions to the trailer for the upcoming 3rd remake of A Star Is Born. The latest iteration premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2018.
One of the most common reactions? Barely recognizing a fresh-faced, dressed-down Lady Gaga as female lead Ally.
Stepping into a role created by Janet Gaynor in 1937, then recreated as a musical in 1954 by Judy Garland and again as a rock flavored musical in 1976 by Barbra Streisand, Stefani Germanotta had some intimidating shoes to fill.
Famous for her alter-ego’s eccentric, over-the-top ensembles and colorful makeup to match, in this new role, Gaga went Germanotta, swapping red lipstick for chapstick.
Some fans liked the look.
Can't wait to see the film and you both are naturally beautiful. Forget the make-up!
— Kathy Jeffries (@kejeffries) September 1, 2018
For most people watching, seeing the pop sensation with minimal makeup is refreshing. But for Gaga, it was difficult.
Bradley Cooper who plays both the male lead and directed the film stopped and stared at Gaga when she showed up for a screen test playing the as yet undiscovered talent. But something was not right for the first time director.
Eventually, Cooper handed Gaga a makeup wipe and said:
“Take it off.”
She looks far, far better with out the heavy makeup. I almost didn’t recognize her in the trailer. Until she starts singing that is.
— Jerry Rhodamine (@JRhodamine) September 1, 2018
Gaga admitted Cooper’s call was the right one. The moment gave her a real, genuine connection to the woman she was portraying in the film:
“It put me right in the place I needed to be, because when my character talks about how ugly she feels — that was real.”
“I’m so insecure. I like to preach, but I don’t always practice what I preach.”
Despite the legendary status of the ladies who played the part before her, it was not until this moment—in the middle of a screen test in her house—that Gaga realized she really wanted this part.
I loved the Streisand version- can't wait for this one though! Love Gaga!
— Dharma Dao (@Samsarasays) June 10, 2018
And according to the pop singer, in order to do that, she had to “completely let go and trust” her director, producer and co-star, Cooper.
Gaga studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, and then at the Collaborative Arts Project 21 at New York University. Bill Gerber explained why Gaga was still required to screen test for the role despite her training and fame:
“That was the studio — that wasn’t Bradley or the producers, but a former executive at Warner Brothers who wasn’t convinced Gaga should get the role.
“So we convinced them. Bradley believed in her, and Warner’s was generous enough to budget a proper screen test.”
“It wasn’t unanimous until we did the test, and when they saw it, it took them seconds to say yes.”
Set to debut on October 5, the 2018 release of A Star Is Born features Cooper as Jackson Maine. Copper steps into the shoes of Fredric March from the original film, James Mason from 1954 and Kris Kristofferson from 1976.
This latest remake is most similar to the 1976 version starring Streisand and Kristofferson.
Cooper plays a burned out rock ‘n’ roll singer who struggles with alcohol addiction. He meets and falls in love with Gaga’s aspiring artist character, Ally.
This film is a milestone for both, being Cooper’s directorial debut, and Gaga’s first lead acting role. Cooper also has producer and screenwriter credits on the film.
— A Star Is Born (@starisbornmovie) August 31, 2018
Gaga wrote nine songs for the 34-track soundtrack for the movie.
They include the song featured in the trailer, “Shallow,” along with other songs like “I’ll Never Find Love Again,” “Music To My Eyes” and “Always Remember Us This Way.” She also sat with Cooper in the studio to explain what goes on behind-the-scenes of a massive concert, such as the one his character plays, and the logistics of everything.
The award-winning pop superstar ensured all of the singing was done live.
Before filming began she vowed:
“We’re going to sing everything live. The only way this is going to work is live.”
“I can’t stand when I watch movies and you know its pre-recorded and I can see people lip-syncing.”
Despite the fact both her and the character she portrays are singers, Gaga explained she and Ally are quite different.
At the heart of that difference was confidence. She stated:
“What’s different from Ally than me is that when I wanted to become a singer, I hit the concrete running.”
“I was dragging my piano from dive bar to dive bar to play music. I was calling people, faking being my own manager to get gigs. I really believed in myself that I could do this and that I wasn’t going to stop until I made it…”
“When we meet Ally, she’s given up on herself. And that’s very different from me.”
Alright let’s just give A Star Is Born the Oscar for best picture already because have you seen the trailer and my favorite icon lady Gaga???????
— Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart) August 27, 2018
Getting comfortable with the acting portion of the leading role took some time. Gaga worked with the acting coach who trained Juliette Binoche and Nicole Kidman—Susan Batson.
Calling the singer and new actress “almost beyond professional,” Batson said no one would be able to tell this was her first major acting role.
“It was her first [leading role], but you would have never known it, and I think that has something to do with the fact that she’s done so much performing already.”
Cooper also bragged about Gaga, with whom he formed a close-knit friendship over the course of filming the movie.
“Her learning curve was insane, just from the first day to the second day.”
“Everybody already knows that she’s got a God-given talent as a singer, and she was able to utilize that plutonium to act.”
“If this is something she wants to pursue, I will just have been lucky to have been part of her story as an actress.”
— A Star Is Born (@starisbornmovie) August 31, 2018
— sugaree81375 (@Sugaree81375) June 6, 2018
People cannot wait for the movie to come out.
Stunning, both of them. Electrifying. Can't wait to see this pic!
— Kathleen Coleman (@KathleenCo13) August 31, 2018
I hope the film is great! I'm excited to see it.
— Carter Boehm (@carterboehmfilm) August 31, 2018
Can’t wait for this film to come out!!! ❤️
— Hipjoanie (@Hipjoanie) August 31, 2018
Gaga is proud of her performance and says that she “gave it everything.” In fact, the first time she watched the movie start to finish she started crying.
Gaga shared her emotional experience, stating:
“I just remember that from the very first frame, I just burst into tears. I literally cried watching the whole movie.”
She’s just too powerful Bradley too ⭐️
— Monsters Nation ⭐️ (@MonstersNation_) September 1, 2018