Lady Gaga stopped by “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to promote her feature film debut opposite Bradley Cooper in “A Star Is Born” which hit theaters nationwide Oct. 5. She discussed Cooper, Barbra Streisand’s reaction to the film, and Dr. Ford’s testimony against Brett Kavanaugh during her visit.
Colbert had seen the film ahead of its wide theatrical release and praised Gaga and Cooper’s performances telling the “Joanne” songstress at the beginning of the interview, “I rarely leave a movie theater as moved and as inspired, not only as an artist, but also just as a human being, to be better and to listen to the people around me and to pay attention to what people are going through and what they want to express.”
Gaga was bowled over by his praise and thanked him for his kind words and credited her director and co-star Bradley Cooper saying, “There can be a hundred people in the room and 99 don’t believe in you and just one person does, and Bradley Cooper believed in me and I would not be here without him today. He’s incredible.”
Later in the interview, Colbert brought up the 1976 version of “A Star Is Born” and noted its star, Barbra Streisand, gave the film her blessing and showed a photo of Gaga and the iconic songstress standing together. Gaga said the photo was taken at Streisand’s house, at which she had dinner. She also relayed that the “Evergreen” singer came on set while the film was being edited saying, “She watched a little bit of it and she was really awesome. She gave like a speech and I was crying. I was a mess.”
Cooper’s re-imagining of “A Star Is Born” (for which he co-wrote the screenplay with Eric Roth and Will Fetters) is different than Streisand and Kris Kristofferson’s 1976 version of the film, in that it is looking at an aspiring pop star’s (Gaga’s character Ally) rise told through the lens of the modern music industry’s packaging and imaging of an artist. Plus, all the music/concert sequences were shot live with Cooper and Gaga singing and performing together to real live crowds, as opposed to “acting” their way through a scene.
“A Star Is Born” is already drawing a huge amount of Oscar buzz with Forbes calling it “The movie to beat at The Oscars.”
The film is at once grand on the two-music-superstars-drive-screaming-audiences-wild-scale and pared down to reflect an enormous amount of emotional intensity. Lady Gaga certainly knows a lot about screaming audiences. At its core, though, the film has an incredible amount of heart as it looks at two people who fall in love amidst the pressures of fame and the harsh realities involved with loving someone who battles substance abuse addiction. Lady Gaga’s appearance is more stripped back – brown hair, no make-up, mostly understated clothing--than we’ve ever seen. Ally is shy, as opposed to Gaga’s persona being the complete opposite.
In dealing with substance abuse, the film also examines mental health issues and it’s hard not to remember the astounding Oscar-nominated performance Bradley Cooper gave as Pat Solitano, Jr. in "Silver Linings Playbook" who struggled with bipolar disorder. Gaga has graciously been very open about mental health issues, admitting to personally suffering from PTSD. She also promotes youth empowerment, strong anti-bullying campaigns and loving yourself as you are through her Born This Way Foundation.
When Colbert asked if they could talk politics, it wasn’t surprising Lady Gaga agreed. Noting how she’s been an outspoken activist for women and the LGBTQ community he asked, “How do you deal with the current political environment and the moment we’re in?”
Gaga replied, “What I have seen on the news of this debate with Kavanaugh versus Dr. Ford, it’s one of the most upsetting things I have ever witnessed. It’s heartbreaking.” She defended Ford as a fellow sexual assault survivor, noting her testimony about being assaulted should be trusted to be true because science proves assault and trauma survivors are changed. She elaborated saying, “The brain changes and literally what it does is takes the trauma and puts it in a box and files it away and shuts it so that we can survive the pain.”
She ran down a list of other effects sexual assault has including body pain and elevations in anxiety before talking about Ford again saying, “But, what I believe that I have seen is that when this woman saw that Judge Kavanaugh was going to be possibly put in the highest position of power in the judicial system of this country, she was triggered. And that box opened. And when that box opened she was brave enough to share it with the world to protect this country.”
Members of the audience cheered, and Stephen Colbert was rendered speechless after Gaga’s impassioned statement. They clinked wine glasses and he stated simply, “Thank you for being here.” Watch the entire clip in the video embedded above.
Earlier this summer, Lady Gaga announced details for her Las Vegas residency at The Park Theater at Park MGM Resort called Enigma, which will kick off on Dec. 28 and also host a show on New Year’s Eve. Gaga will be there for multiple dates in January 2019, with shows running into summer and fall 2019 as well. She’ll concurrently play a handful of Jazz & Piano shows at the same venue next year as well.
Stay tuned to AXS for Lady Gaga and “A Star Is Born” updates.