How to stay au­then­tic while trad­ing places

A Star Is Born leads are on a ma­jor charm of­fen­sive to build on Os­car buzz

StarMetro Edmonton - - DAILY LIFE - Peter How­ell FRED THORN­HILL/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS An­drew Dal­ton

Ex-rap mogul ‘Suge’ Knight gets 28 years for hit-and-run death

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are hold­ing court, and it’s an im­pos­ing one.

The pop diva turned movie star and the movie star turned mu­si­cian/direc­tor, the pow­er­house duo be­hind the lat­est re­make of Hol­ly­wood ro­mance A Star Is Born, are meet­ing jour­nal­ists one by one in a bal­cony of the Ma­sonic Tem­ple, the Toronto rock land­mark that has rolled to the likes of Led Zep­pelin, Bob Dy­lan and David Bowie.

Watch­ing the pro­ceed­ings from the floor be­low, on this first Sat­ur­day of the re­cent Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, is like see­ing a royal cou­ple greet sup­pli­cants, each granted an au­di­ence of 10 min­utes.

Gaga’s at­tire con­trib­utes to the im­pres­sion. She’s wear­ing a pale pink form-fit­ting clas­sic gown de­signed by Jonathan Simkhai, which shim­mers as she moves. Cooper is more con­ser­va­tively dressed in a grey sports coat, dark jeans and open-col­lared white shirt.

When my turn comes to as­cend the stairs, past sev­eral se­cu­rity guards and at­ten­dants, I’m greeted with a hug as well as hand­shakes from Gaga and Cooper — and my view of the sit­u­a­tion im­me­di­ately changes. The two aren’t so much royal vis­i­tors as they are cam­paign­ing politi­cians, press­ing the flesh in a ma­jor charm of­fen­sive to build on Os­car buzz sur­round­ing them­selves and their movie.

They are in a great mood, and no won­der: A Star Is Born is get­ting raves from crit­ics, first at its Venice Film Fes­ti­val world pre­miere then at TIFF a few days later. Os­car pun­dits im­me­di­ately tipped the film for a Best Pic­ture nom­i­na­tion, plus nods for Best Ac­tress for Gaga and Best Direc­tor and Best Ac­tor for Cooper. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga weren’t the least bit coy about how they long wanted to do what the other has turned into a ca­reer.

They grin when I tell them that they’ve blown up my pet the­ory, born of decades of ob­ser­va­tion, that ac­tors make bet­ter pop stars than pop stars

make ac­tors. In this movie, with Gaga mak­ing her first ma­jor screen per­for­mance as ris­ing star Ally, and Cooper do­ing his own singing and gui­tar play­ing as sea­soned rocker Jack­son Maine, they both con­vinc­ingly demon­strate that it’s pos­si­ble to cross the di­vide be­tween the in­ti­macy of film and the ex­pan­sive­ness of sta­dium con­certs.

“Thank you!” Gaga says. “I think that was part of the con­tract that we made with each other at the be­gin­ning. He said, ‘I be­lieve in you as an ac­tress,’ and I said, ‘I be­lieve in you as a mu­si­cian.’”

Neither of them is the least bit coy about how they long wanted to do what the other has turned into a ca­reer.

“I think it’s a uni­ver­sal am­bi­tion for ev­ery sin­gle hu­man to want to be a rock star. Who wouldn’t?” Cooper says.

“And I wanted to be a movie star,” Gaga says. “I shouldn’t say ‘movie star’ be­cause that im­plies celebrity. I pre­fer to be a mu­si­cian and an ac­tress, but I al­ways wanted to be an ac­tress.” For­mer rap mogul Mar­ion (Suge) Knight was sen­tenced Thurs­day to nearly three decades in prison at a Los An­ge­les court hear­ing that comes nearly four years af­ter he killed one man and in­jured an­other with his truck out­side a Comp­ton burger stand.

The 53-year-old Death Row Records co-founder struck a sur­prise plea deal with pros­e­cu­tors on Sept. 20, just a few days be­fore he was to have stood trial for mur­der and at­tempted mur­der.

MU­SIC

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