At the Oscars Sunday night, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga performed “Shallow,” their song from “A Star Is Born” that later went on to win for Best Original Song. Almost immediately afterwards, based on the looks they gave each other, social media was full of people who were sure this proved that the two must be in love in real life.
My wife and I don’t care about gossip and celebrities’ personal lives, but our sense, as viewers, was that they are both actors who were putting on a show — and pulling it off brilliantly. What impressed us even more was the way the performance was shot — with a single camera, never breaking away, with the audience as the backdrop. The technical aspects and staging were absolutely perfect.
We agreed that Glenn Weiss (the Oscars-cast director, who Martha worked with at a TV station in DC about 30 years ago) had created something very special, and that the segment would likely lead the highlight reel he’ll submit for Emmy consideration later this year.
According to Lady Gaga, we were right about the first, but wrong about the second. On Jimmy Kimmel’s show last night, when he asked about the exchange of loving looks, she rolled her eyes and said:
Yes, people saw love, and guess what? That’s what we wanted you to see! This is a love song, “Shallow.” The movie, “A Star Is Born,” is a love story. We worked so hard. We worked all week on that performance.
I never relinquish control about a live stage performance, and I’ve done a million of them. But he [Bradley] directed this film, including all the musical moments in the film, and “Shallow,” the moment, in the film. So I knew he had the vision for how it should go.
So, I like, what do you think, Bradley? And he laid it all out. Everything that you saw — the way that it was shot, the way they pushed the piano out and put it together, our walk onstage with no intro — that was all him. He even was the one that said I think the audience should be lit, so that we’re not just lit, the audience is lit.
Then I called Roy Bennett, who I work with, he does my lighting, and I’m like, we need to light the entire room with amber lights because Bradley wants honeycomb and we gotta give him what he wants. And it was just great.
From a performance perspective, it was so important to both of us that we were connected the entire time. Look, I had my arms wrapped around Tony Bennett for three years touring around the world. When you’re singing love songs, that’s what you want people to feel.
I’m an artist, and I guess we did a good job. Fooled ya!