As its title suggests, the new Bradley Cooper–directed remake A Star Is Born traces the ascent of its central songstress, Ally, a caterer reluctant to chase her dreams and whose gigs are limited to a weekly cabaret show before she’s discovered by Cooper’s self-destructive rocker.
Lady Gaga, the woman who plays Ally, rose from obscurity to superstardom over a few short years in the 2000s. But as the beloved singer-turned-actress told Yahoo Entertainment at the film’s press junket, their beginnings bare few similarities.
“The biggest challenge of playing this role is that Ally is nothing like I was when I started out in this business. I really believed in myself and wanted to hit the ground running and was banging on every door that I could to bring my piano and sing in any club that I could find,” Gaga said. “Ally’s completely given up on herself. She doesn’t believe she can make it. She’s jaded by the music industry. And it’s his belief in her that brings her back to life.”
The film, which premiered to early Oscar buzz at festivals in Venice and Toronto, is as much a romance as it is a story of artistic discovery and perseverance, and Cooper and Gaga said they both knew instantly that they would work well together. And their dynamic chemistry (as well as top-notch performances) is one of the main reasons the film has been so well received.
“You have to have that kind of gut belief if you’re going to go on a crazy journey,” Cooper said. “This was a real leap of faith for everybody that was willing to come along on this ride with me. No one had more to lose than me and her, though. Because we’re both doing something for the first time. And that’s a beautiful coincidence for that to happen.”
Gaga has slowly transitioned into an acting career, making cameos in films like Machete Kills and Muppets Most Wanted before an acclaimed turn on TV’s American Horror Story that won her a Golden Globe. Cooper, a three-time Oscar nominee as an actor (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, American Sniper), is not only making his directorial debut, but he wrote and performed music in the film to play alcoholic country rocker Jackson Maine.
“There was such a generosity that I felt from him as a director,” Gaga said. “That he said, ‘I accept you as an actress.’ And I said, ‘I accept you as a musician.’ To have that contract at the beginning, it made the collaboration just soar. And it made everything very real and authentic, because we both truly believe in one another. And I’m just so humbled and grateful that I got to be the first lead actress in his debut film. I think Bradley has many films ahead of him and that the world is going to love all of them.”
A Star Is Born opens Friday.
Watch Bradley Cooper reveal Eddie Vedder’s surprising influence on his performance:
Read more on Yahoo Entertainment: