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SHOOKSHOOK

Lady Gaga covers Variety’s latest issue

Lady Gaga is the latest star to cover Variety! In the interview Lady Gaga talks A Star Is Born, performing Shallow with Bradley at the Oscars, her fans, and much more!

On her character Ally:

“I feel Ally inside of me,” Gaga says of the rising musical icon she plays in the film. “I wonder how long she’ll stay. Or if she’ll be in there forever.”

On the photoshoot with Variety:

As she looks at the shots on a computer screen, she can’t recall the last time she saw a photograph of herself and didn’t see sadness in her eyes. These pictures are different. “And that makes me happy,” she says, tearing up.

On how A Star is Born changed her life:

“This has been a very transformative time for me. As an artist, there’s always a feeling of ‘Am I good enough? Am I making something honest? Am I making something true?’ There is a sort of stagnant sadness in me, wondering if I’m enough. Today I did not see that. I saw something different. I saw a clarity. I saw a truth.”

Bradley and Lady Gaga confirm they would sing Shallow together if it’s nominated for an Oscar:

If “Shallow” is nominated for an Oscar for best song, Gaga says she’ll perform it at the ceremony. “One hundred percent,” she says. In fact, Cooper reveals that he has plans to sing the duet live with Gaga. “We talked about that actually, because I’m such a maniac,” Cooper says. “I started texting her the whole pitch of how we should do it. So we’ll see. There might be a cool, unorthodox way we could perform it.”

On watching the Oscars:

“I used to wrap myself in an Afghan or my grandmother’s knitted blanket and stand on a podium while I watched the Oscars,” says Gaga, who grew up in Manhattan as Stefani Germanotta. “I had big dreams as a child. Well, give me a few more movies before you call me a success,” she says in her throaty voice. Even at her photo session, Gaga instructs the photographer, “Don’t shoot me as a movie star.”

On her current success:

“This feels for me very much like that [The Fame Monster era success], but in a different way, because I have all the wisdom slash pain and betrayal of the last 10 years. Look, from the outside in, I think people think it’s all champagne and roses for us. ‘Us’ meaning the collective artists slash celebrities.” She pauses for a split second. “I don’t like the word ‘celebrity,’ because to me it negates my artistry. There’s a lot of pain you go through. Everything changes. Your whole life changes.”

On sneaking into a movie theatre to watch A Star is Born:

More recently, she bought a ticket to watch the movie at a local multiplex. “Yeah, I snuck in,” she says. “I sat through most of it.” She left early, but not out of fear of being spotted. “I had to remove myself before the end,” she explains. “The film moves me so deeply. I feel so entrenched in the character that the second half of the film — without revealing what happens — is so emotional and tragic. I have to take myself out of it.”

On her preparation for her role in A Star is Born:

Prior to the 42-day shoot, she trained with the late acting coach Elizabeth Kemp in a workshop in Santa Barbara. She submitted to an exercise where she had to lie on the floor and imagine when “life blasted you so hard you can’t remember who you were before it happened,” she recalls. “I just broke down in tears and started to cry. Before I knew it, I was talking about feeling like I was my bed and my bed was telling me to get out.”

On one of the cut scenes from the movie:

“We did one scene where Jackson gave Ally a pair of ruby slippers,” Gaga says. “He was laying underneath the bed, and she’s on top, and all you heard him doing was clicking the heels together. And she leans over, and he’s laughing, and they are so in love.”

Toby Emmerich, the chairman of Warner Bros, on the different ending of the movie:T

“The first ending that I read, [Jackson] actually swims out into the ocean, where he commits suicide,” Emmerich says. “The script that we had when he started shooting, he rides his motorcycle. It was more like the Kris Kristofferson ending [in the 1976 version] with the Ferrari, but with Jackson with the Harley. But Bradley changed his mind and came to see me and pitched the idea of what he ended up shooting. I think he was right. When I watch the movie now, I can’t imagine it ending any other way.”

On the pieces Gaga owns from the set:

Gaga swiped several souvenirs from the set. She’s the owner of Ally’s songbook and a bottle of Mr. Bubble from a bathtub love scene, in addition to Jackson’s shirt. “I just wanted to have a piece of him with me,” says Gaga, who is engaged to talent agent Christian Carino. “This is very precious to me. These are heirlooms, or they will be heirlooms one day. They are things I will want to show my little girl or little boy and say, ‘Here they are. You can touch them.’ I want them to have a close, tangible, poetic experience with the film the way I have.”

Gaga and Bradley on reading reviews of the movie:

Both swear that they haven’t read any of the film’s mostly glowing reviews. “My manager will sometimes text me little one-liners here and there,” Gaga says. “I’ll be like, ‘Stop it!’” Cooper has only broken the rule once. “I read one review, and it was horrible,” he says. “It was from a place I grew up reading my whole life. And I just saw it on a news feed.”

Gaga and Bradley on working together:

“Maybe she’ll direct,” Cooper says. “No, no, no,” Gaga replies. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves or confuse our mediums. I did this because I believed in him and all the people he brought together. I’ll stick to directing music videos.”

Gaga and Bradley on Ally’s trajectory in the movie:

“When we see her on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and she’s singing a song about why do you look so good in those jeans, it’s almost the antithesis of where we started,” Gaga says. “That is relatively shallow.” Cooper doesn’t see it that way. “I don’t necessarily view her music as superficial,” he says. “I think she’s performing with all her heart.”

On why she thinks Shallow became a hit:

“We are living in a time where there’s so much conversation about women’s voices being heard,” Gaga says. “Men listening to those voices. And also, men not listening to those voices. Women being silenced in very public ways, like Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford with Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh. Judge Kavanaugh being appointed is basically like telling every single woman in the country that’s been assaulted, ‘We don’t care. Or we don’t believe you.’”

Why Shallow is special to her:

“To me, that conversation is what makes the song successful and beautiful and why people cry when they hear it. It’s because that man and woman connect, and they are listening to each other.”

On winning for her fans:

“I only want to win now,” she says, speaking metaphorically, “because I want that kid who feels like me, that misfit or outcast that didn’t belong, to win. The reward for me is that this movie is a win for them.”

This article originally appeared on Variety.

Behind the scenes photos

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