It has never been more clear that the awards-season race to watch out for in 2019 is the one between Lady Gaga and Glenn Close. The two performers have already proven that by competing against one another in the Best Actress in a Drama—Motion Picture category at the Golden Globes (Close took home that award) and tying for the Critics Choice Award for Best Actress.
Close is a performer who has historically been snubbed for her film work—before her big Golden Globes win this year she had never won a major prize for her film work despite numerous accolades for her roles on television and onstage, and it sure does look like everyone is working overtime to pit Gaga against Close in the hopes that the singer may take home the coveted Oscar and get one step closer to an EGOT. Still, this particular Oscars race is not as divisive as it may seem. It doesn’t matter so much whether you’re pulling for Close to win for her performance in The Wife (which, as she noted in her Golden Globes acceptance speech, took 14 years to make) or a little monster hoping to see their favorite pop star win for portraying, well, a pop star onscreen. What you really want to pay attention to is the cute friendship between Close and Gaga’s mother. As Gaga revealed in her acceptance speech at the 2019 Critics Choice Awards, her mom, Cynthia Germanotta, and her fellow Critics Choice Award winner are actually “good friends” and have been for quite some time.
It may seem like a sort of little-known fact, but Close has spoken about her friendship with Germanotta before. “I’ve gotten to be wonderful friends with Lady Gaga’s mom, Cynthia,” Close said during a 2017 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Falllon. She even shared an anecdote explaining how she and Germanotta found themselves walking around New York after having lunch together and ended up revisiting the latter’s old apartment building in the West Village after a kind stranger let them inside the lobby in the middle of a rainstorm.
After Close and Gaga both won the Critics Choice Award for their respective performances in The Wife and A Star Is Born, the latter spoke to USA Today about the genesis of her mother’s friendship with Close. She doubled down on the postlunch stroll to the West Village apartment story, confirming the late-night talk show anecdote’s veracity, but also revealed what she thinks is the glue that holds their friendship together. “I think what brought them together, truly, is kindness. Glenn has a foundation in support of kindness, and this is something that is so very important to me and my mother with the Born This Way Foundation,” Gaga admitted, referring to her mother’s work as the president and cofounder of the organization that works to support young communities and their mental health. “We want to empower youth to inspire a kinder and braver world,” she went on.
When your best friend and your daughter are competing against one another, where does your allegiance lie? For Mama Gaga, it probably doesn’t matter all that much. The real award is the friendship cultivated between the Close and Germanotta families along the way.