How to stay authentic while trading places
A Star Is Born leads are on a major charm offensive to build on Oscar buzz
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.