Three hours after the rest of the world learned that Lady Gaga had been nominated for two Academy Awards for her work in Bradley Cooper’s musical drama “A Star Is Born,” the artist herself found out.
“I’ve been trying to get some sleep because I’m on showbiz time,” Gaga told me this afternoon in a phone call. She is in Los Angeles for a few days before her Las Vegas residency resumes, and instead of waking up at just past five in the morning when the nominations were read, Gaga simply slept in.
“I woke up around 8:30 and I didn’t know anything about it,” she said. The first call she placed was to her manager, who broke the good news to her, “and I just burst into tears.”
[Read more about the nominations | Check out the full list of nominees | See the snubs and surprises.]
But surely Gaga’s phone had been tapping out a Morse-code stream of congratulatory texts since dawn. That constant rat-a-tat didn’t wake her up? “I can sleep through just about anything,” Gaga said dryly.
Which is not to say she didn’t quickly work her way through all those texts after being brought up to speed.
“The ones that mean the most to me are the ones that come from my family,” said Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta. “These are not Oscar nominations for me, these are Oscar nominations for the Germanottas. I come from an Italian-immigrant family, and this feels like a very big win for them. This film was a lot of hard work, and I wouldn’t know that hard work if I didn’t know the hard work of the lineage of my family.”
Though Cooper was denied a best-director nomination, Gaga was thrilled that he still scored nominations for producing, co-writing, and starring in the film, and Cooper is not the only Oscar-nominated multihyphenate “A Star Is Born” produced. “To be recognized as the lead actress and a musician at the same time, I can’t tell you what that means to me,” said Gaga, who co-wrote the film’s smash duet “Shallow,” which her character, Ally, sings onstage with Cooper’s dissolute rocker, Jackson Maine.
How will she celebrate her Oscar nominations? “Well, tonight I’m very much looking to see my dear friend Elton John play here in Los Angeles for his farewell tour,” Gaga said. And before she returns to Las Vegas this weekend, Gaga will use the next few days to rest her voice and think more about how “A Star Is Born” has changed her life.
“I don’t register this film in my mind as a time in my life when I ‘filmed a movie,’” she told me. “I register it as a time in my life when I became somebody else, and Bradley became someone else, and we lived those characters and fell in love.” A day like today, then, lets her recapture the magic of that time with Ally and Jackson Maine. “I feel them very much alive,” Gaga said. “And I think I always will.”