Ah, 2018. A simpler time, when Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper were rumored to be deep (see what I did there?) in the middle of some real-life love after falling in love on screen in A Star Is Born. Was it real? Was it fake? Lady Gaga eventually claimed she and Bradley were committed to giving you full in-love fantasy, but whether there was anything there was up for debate. Well, debate’s over. Lady Gaga recently told Oprah that it was her and Bradley’s goal to make you think they were really in love during their 2019 Oscars performance.
Lady Gaga was interviewed by Oprah for Elle, with the purpose of talking about Gaga’s semi-problematic makeup line Haus Labs. Eventually the conversation transitioned to Gaga’s possible love affair/love for publicity situation with Bradley Cooper. When A Star Is Born was released, it didn’t take long for people to think something was up between the two of them. Lady Gaga would gush over Bradley in the press, like calling him “the one.” And her mouth was all over him during red carpet events (see above). Then they performed “Shallow” at the Oscars, and phone lines to Vegas became clogged with calls asking to put $100 on “They’re fucking.” Lots of people felt that Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper went a little overboard on the emotion during their performance, which was awkward, because Bradley was still seeing Irina Shayk at the time. Bradley later broke up with Irina, and then we got the rumors that A Star Is Born killed his relationship.
Gaga herself addressed the Oscar performance with Jimmy Kimmel, and said “people saw love and guess what? That’s what we wanted you to see,” because “Shallow” is a love song. Oprah says she spoke to Bradley Cooper about the performance, and he said that if any of the rumors had been true, he wouldn’t have been able to look Gaga in the eyes while he was singing to her. Lady Gaga agreed, and added:
“Quite frankly, I think the press is very silly. I mean, we made a love story. For me, as a performer and as an actress, of course we wanted people to believe that we were in love. And we wanted people to feel that love at the Oscars. We wanted it to go right through the lens of that camera and to every television that it was being watched on. And we worked hard on it, we worked for days. We mapped the whole thing out – it was orchestrated as a performance.”
So Bradley Cooper was just manipulating the audience into thinking he was in love with someone? Jennifer Esposito is shocked.
Oprah acknowledged that their performance evoked what they wanted, and Lady Gaga said, “In truth, when we talked about it, we went, ‘Well, I guess we did a good job!’” Sure you did a good job, but was it a job that needed doing in the first place? You were performing “Shallow” at the Oscars for the Best Original Song category. Know what else won Best Song? “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from Mary Poppins. And I’m pretty sure Dick Van Dyke wasn’t going into it psyching himself up in the green room like, “Dick, the audience better believe you love cleaning chimneys in pre-war London, or else it’s over for you!”
Also, it’s almost like we’re now going to be second-guessing Lady Gaga during future performances. If she faked all the emotion she was giving to Bradley Cooper, what else is she lying about when she opens her mouth and approaches a mic. Every audience that’s been told, “You’re the best audience I’ve ever played for!” is second-guessing everything.