Lady Gaga has a few words for those who are aspiring to reach that next level in life: “There can be 100 people in the room and 99 who don’t believe in you. That’s fine. If just one person does believe in you, then it can change everything,” the music superstar-turned-actress said.
“First, my dad believed in me and then (director) Bradley Cooper,” said the former Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, 32, who on a rainy day in Toronto wore a red velvet dress draped off one shoulder and had her trademark platinum blond hair in a topknot.
The native New Yorker stars in “A Star Is Born,” opening Oct. 5, and is prepping for her Las Vegas residency, which opens Dec. 28 at the Park Theater.
Review-Journal: What is a great Sunday for Lady Gaga?
Lady Gaga: Just being around the people I adore, and I hope that music is involved. As I get older, I really prize a Sunday with nothing on the agenda. Our biggest currency is time.
Are you reading the amazing reviews for your performance in “A Star is Born?”
I’m not reading the reviews. I just feel very honored to be with these tremendously talented, kind and loving human beings (whom) I’m happy to call my friends now.
Were you nervous to star in a film? What was it like working with Bradley Cooper?
The first day of shooting, Bradley and I shook hands. He said to me, “You are an actress.” And I said to him, “And you are a musician.” I had acted before, but I had never been the lead actress in a film. I was lucky because Bradley is an incredible filmmaker. It was such a thrill to act in this environment that he created. He operates with such precision and such a vision.
You can see the gears turning while he’s working even when he’s in character at the same time. Bradley really helped me. Sure, I had my lines memorized before I got to set. But he told me the most important thing we were doing was telling a story. When I got to set, I threw away everything and just existed in this world, which was a completely liberating environment. I felt very artistically free to experience it all.
You look quite different in the movie.
I dyed my hair my natural color quite a bit before we started filming. When I went for my screen test, Bradley told me he wanted no makeup on my face. I was trying to trick him with my no-makeup makeup. Before a word was said, he looked at me, took a wet cloth and wiped off my face. The towel was brown with a little bit of foundation and concealer I was hiding behind. Bradley said, “You need to take it all off. Wipe it away.” I had to trust Bradley as I exposed myself in a way I had never done before.
You have a wonderful moment singing “La Vie en Rose” in the film. Didn’t you sing that when you first started?
I used to sing that song in a drag bar in the Lower East Side of New York. It was an absolute dream of a scene and a wonderful moment for me in the film. The challenge here was that I was singing it as Ally, so I did it a bit differently. I do have to say that all those nights in the drag bar when I first started prepared me. By the way, I wouldn’t be here without the gay community and what they have taught me about love, acceptance and bravery. Those lessons will never be forgotten.
The movie talks about the perils of fame.
Fame is very unnatural. We see Jack (played by Cooper) struggling in the film. There is substance abuse and trauma. Ally also suffered from depression at the beginning of the film and had to deal with not believing in herself. 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. The truth is, people think we change as people. It’s not us that changes. It’s everyone around us that changes.
What’s the solution?
We should be more careful with the human spirit — not just for the artist — but for everyone. Intervene early. Teach people about compassion. Teach people about kindness. Teach people how to reach out and be there for someone even when they don’t even know that they’re sad. It might be so deep that they can’t even pinpoint it. It’s really important.
Tell me a little bit about your dad.
I remember sitting at the piano as a child writing music. My dad would be on the couch. He would listen and tap along. He would shout, “Yeah! That’s a good lyric! That’s a good melody! You got this! Is that the chorus? Yeah! That should be the chorus!” When I was very young, that encouragement was like nourishment.
Is there anything you can say about your Vegas residency?
Yes, I’m definitely ready to take on my residency in Vegas. I’m very excited about it.
Will you act again?
I’m looking for roles that will blast me to outer space. For me, it has to be a special project. It has to be good work.
What was your own personal goal with “A Star Is Born”?
I just wanted to give (Cooper) everything I had. Every last drop of blood. All my fear, all my shame, all my pain, all my love, all my kindness. All my everything. I wanted to give it to him.