We are in it now. It’s mid-November. Golden Globe nominations will be announced in three weeks. And while we do have a front runner for Oscar Best Picture, the major prize, the one that matters the most, I’m not sure anyone is convinced at the moment that A Star is Born will run away with it. Right now, all races look pretty competitive. Campaigning is always important, in any year, but in a competitive year, the campaigns become that much more interesting.
One of the films picking up a lot of momentum lately has been Green Book. It came out of TIFF with a lot of buzz and there’s been outstanding reaction out of every screening since. Many of you have written to tell me how much you loved it, how you expect it to keep building and building to its release and then through award season. But Green Book stumbled the other day when Viggo Mortensen, during a Q&A, while discussing racism, used the n-word in full. This is not how you want to be making headlines. Advantage Bradley Cooper?
Look, Coop isn’t rubbing his hands together, delighted that Viggo fumbled. But if we are talking about campaigns and favourites, about who has the edge and how and why, during award season, one contender’s mistake becomes another’s advantage. Also, timing is everything. Look who’s on the cover of the new issue of Variety.
Oscar contenders are almost always featured in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter during campaign season. Gaga is considered a lock for a nomination. To win though she has to get through some veterans like Glenn Close. Olivia Colman is going to giv’er as well. Julia Roberts might be in there. And Melissa McCarthy. This is Gaga’s first ever leading role in a film. Some might say she has more ground to cover within the Academy’s membership, even if A Star is Born is one of the most popular movies of the year.
So here she is, in Variety, talking about what playing Ally means to her, about what Ally took from her, about why she’s able to find moments of happiness, finally, at this stage in her career. Bradley’s part of the interview too and together they, once again, describe their chemistry, this beautiful journey they’ll always have - we’ve already been listening to this for three months and we will be listening to it for three months more; part of the fun, and not fun, is watching them try to say the same thing in different ways to the point of exhaustion.
Here’s something new though - a campaign promise. I wrote about this a few weeks ago, about whether or not Gaga and Coop would perform “Shallow” together at the Oscars. Whether or not Bradley Cooper would actually do it. If he would get up on stage, live, drop his voice down to Jackson Maine levels, and give us his “tell me something, girl”. Well, if they nominate him, he will come. Or, rather, sing.
And 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.”
That’s exactly what the Academy wants to hear. This is what they can build the show around: Gaga and Coop singing live and the cast of Black Panther, injecting the Oscars with a little vibranium.
So. Will he grow out his hair? To bring back the full Jackson Maine experience? Will he get a spray tan? What is this idea that Bradley’s been working on? What does “cool” and “unorthodox” mean? If you are a fan of the movie, is “cool and unorthodox” what you want? Or do you really just want them to reenact the movie, GOD. Why is that so hard?!?
Also? At no point in this article is the “other” song mentioned, KATHLEEN. It’s the one she’s insisting is the best song on the ASIB soundtrack. The utterly forgettable, boring AF song at the end of the movie, "I'll Never Love Again". Why? Because nobody cares about that song.
One more thing - this interview with Gaga takes place at her home in Malibu which she recently had to evacuate before the California fires. So many people have lost their homes, so many firefighters are putting their lives at risk and saving lives. Please click here for more information on how you can help.
To read the full Variety feature on Lady Gaga and go see more photos of her wearing Jackson’s shirt from the movie, click here.