In stark contrast to her stripped-down character in A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga has been showing up at all her recent screenings in high-concept drag—arriving side-saddle on a boat at the Venice Film Festival as a ’40s pin-up model, for example, or walking down the red carpet at the film’s London premiere in a vintage Alexander McQueen Elizabethan countess ensemble. While costume-y splendor is typical Lady Gaga, it looks like she’s turning it up to 11 to compensate for lost time. As she revealed on The Graham Norton Show Friday, Bradley Cooper banned make-up from the A Star Is Born set, forcing her to take drastic measures.
“I tried to sneak some make-up in, but Bradley wouldn’t go for it,” she said during her appearance, per the Evening Standard.
“It’s how the character is and Lady Gaga is incredible,” Cooper responded, apparently unmoved.
As it turns out, this cosmetics-free tyranny began before Lady Gaga even signed on to the movie. In a Los Angeles Times profile published in August, the singer revealed that Cooper wiped off her makeup during a screen test for A Star Is Born. “Completely open,” he said then, according to the Times. “No artifice.” She compromised with chapstick and eight-hour cream.
“It put me right in the place I needed to be, because when my character talks about how ugly she feels — that was real,” Gaga told the Times. “I’m so insecure. I like to preach, but I don’t always practice what I preach.”
Despite Cooper’s unconscionable stance on makeup, the costars are doing just fine. In fact, they’re treating it as just one more cute anecdote in a whole series of unfairly picturesque stories about their artistic partnership.
“She had her hair slicked back, and she sang ‘La Vie en Rose,’ and I was just…levitating. It shot like a diamond through my brain. I loved the way she moved, the sound of her voice,” Cooper told Vogue about their meeting in 2016.
“She came down the stairs and we went out to her patio and I saw her eyes, and, honestly, it clicked and I went, Wow,” he added about his in-house call the next day, to which Gaga responded, “The second that I saw him, I was like, Have I known you my whole life? It was an instant connection, instant understanding of one another.”