In ‘A Star is Born’, Lady Gaga has done more than prove doubters wrong; she’s erased any doubt in her­self

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THETAKE CRITICS’ CHOICE - LOUISE BRU­TON

Lady Gaga is a rev­e­la­tion, or so say the voiceovers on ev­ery ra­dio and TV ad for A Star is Born, but the truth is that Lady Gaga is only a rev­e­la­tion to those who ig­nored her out­put for the past 10 years, or those who thought that her whole schtick was silly. The fact that Gaga is a ter­rific ac­tor shouldn’t be a huge sur­prise to any­one who has even half-glanced at her singing ca­reer, be­cause she has played mul­ti­ple ver­sions of her­self through­out the years.

Keep­ing a straight face at the 2010 MTV Video Mu­sic Awards while wear­ing a dress made en­tirely out of cuts from the butcher, clam­ber­ing out of an over­sized egg at the 2011 Grammy Awards – a “ves­sel” she claimed to have lived in for three days – and then pre­sent­ing Brit­ney Spears with the Michael Jack­son Video Van­guard award at the 2011 MTV Video Mu­sic Awards in the fully formed, male al­ter-ego guise of Jo Calderone, Gaga has only ever acted for us, dou­bling up as the per­former and the show. Wher­ever she goes, she brings a big pro­duc­tion with an even big­ger de­liv­ery and that’s why she’s this week’s VBF.

A pop force to be reck­oned with, the press trip for A Star is Born has shown ev­ery shade of Gaga. From invit­ing Vogue mag­a­zine into her Mal­ibu home and greet­ing jour­nal­ist Jonathan Van Me­ter as she walks down a stair­case in a full length robe and kit­ten heels, wear­ing just a bra and thong un­der­neath, to ar­riv­ing at the film’s pre­miere at the Venice Film Fes­ti­val in Au­gust on a speed­boat with her legs crossed over the edge, kitted out in stilet­tos and per­ox­ide blonde hair pulled back into pin-up curls, Gaga takes a gritty movie and gives it glam­our from the out­set. For her en­tire ca­reer, she has been dish­ing out nods and winks – although, some­times not as sub­tly as she thinks – to her core au­di­ence and baf­fling those who don’t get her at all. Know­ing that some peo­ple would doubt her abil­i­ties as an ac­tor, she came in like Hol­ly­wood roy­alty on that boat and within the first few scenes of the movie, the doubters were proven wrong.

As Ally, Gaga has erased any doubt in her­self as an artist. Her last two al­bums, the coun­try-pop Joanne

(2016) and the bril­liantly mad, shame­fully un­der­rated Art­pop

(2013), were met with mid­dling re­views and sales, and she hasn’t had a num­ber one sin­gle in the US, the UK or Ire­land since 2011’s LGBT an­them Born This Way. But that’s not to say that Gaga’s ca­reer went stag­nant, it’s just that when she first ex­ploded into our lives, she took over the world.

In April this year, Gaga’s de­but sin­gle Just Dance cel­e­brated its 10th birth­day. Four solo al­bums, three Brit Awards, six Grammy awards, seven Bill­board Mu­sic Awards, 13 MTV Video Mu­sic Awards (seven awards for 2009’s Bad Ro­mance

alone) and 21 BMI Awards later, and it’s very likely that the 32-year-old will be nom­i­nated for an Academy Award for her por­trayal of Ally in Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born,

adding to her hefty list of ac­co­lades.

An out­sider and a to­tal chameleon, Gaga’s role as a pop star is to bring the weird to the main­stream, go­ing big­ger and louder at ev­ery turn. Now as an ac­tor, she’s un­der­stated, she’s nat­u­ral and she con­tin­ues to be at home in front of a cam­era and an at­ten­tive au­di­ence. What­ever role she de­cides to takes on next, ei­ther as Lady Gaga the pop star or Lady Gaga the ac­tor, it’s bound to be some­thing we don’t ex­pect.


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