#TIFF18: “A STAR IS BORN” PRESS CONFERENCE
Words and Photos by Mr. Will Wong
The buzz for A STAR IS BORN is undeniable. On the day of its Premiere, the TIFF ’18 Press Conference was held for the directorial debut from Bradley Cooper. Joining him at the event moderated by Richard Crouse, were Lady Gaga, Dave Chappelle, Anthony Ramos and Sam Elliott. This is the first time the Cast reunited since they had shot the Film.
Crouse notes that the Film contains the theme of being true to one’s self at a time where funding in a time where the Arts are under siege with cuts to funding, and whether this was a conscious decision.
Cooper: “This was never anything conscious as funding for Arts is age-old tradition dating back to the ’40s and ’50s. As long as you want to create content that’s compelling, that’s the biggest motivator.”
Crouse asks what drew Cooper and the Cast to the story.
Cooper: “There was not one thing, but a sequence of sonic ideas, compositions and meeting people. I love faces, eyes and voices and all of these people have an incredible character I was obsessed with putting on film. I have such a unique dynamic with each one and they have with each other. In terms of the human element, that was all inspirtation and kept evolving depending who was going to be in the Movie.”.
“But really, it started about six years ago at Metallica concert and I was behind Lars Ulrich‘s drumkit. Just to be on stage, that’s how I wanna see a movie. I also wanted to tell a love story and not to be too specific, watching Annie Lennox‘s cover of I Put a Spell on You, looking at the veins on her neckand wanting to have that in a movie. You can’t hide when you’re singing. Lady Gaga propelled the whole thing being the epicenter of it all.”.
Crouse asks about creating the character of Ally, whom is played by Lady Gaga.
Gaga: ‘I have acted before , but I’ve never been a lead actress in a Feature Film. Every day was such a thrill to watch, act and work in this environment he created. He (Cooper) operates with such precision and has such a vision. You can see the gears turning while he’s working and even while he’s in character at the same time.”.
“He’d whisper things to me like ‘Tony (Bennett) ‘Ninja’ and ‘Come on, assassin!’ and we would pound each other. I had the lines memorized. He told me the important thing is to know what I’m trying to say, to tell the story I was meant to tell in that scene. I could just throw it all away on set. It wasn’t rigid. I could exist in this precise an compelely liberating environment.”.
A Star is Born screens on Sunday, September 9 at 6 PM, Roy Thomson Hall and 7:30 PM at Elgin Theatre. Monday, September 10 at 9:15 AM at TIFF Bell Lightbox and Friday, September 14 at 6:45 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox.