At a Cannes party on Friday night, Dionne Warwick spoke to Variety about the shocking casting reversal involving Lady Gaga on the biopic “Warwick.”
Earlier in the day, Warwick held a press conference in Cannes, where she revealed that a movie about her life was set to begin production in the fall. She announced that LeToya Luckett (one of the original members of Destiny’s Child) would play her, and that Lady Gaga had been cast as her “arch-nemesis,” the late British singer Cilla Black.
The project made international headlines. But only a few hours later, Gaga’s representatives issued a strong rebuttal to the casting news, which had been distributed via a press release from Rogers and Cowan. “Lady Gaga is not attached and will not appear in the project,” her publicist said in a statement. “Reports of Gaga starring in the project are false.”
Reached by Variety, Warwick insisted that her casting announcement was true. “Actually, it’s just a little glitch,” Warwick said about the debacle. “It will be corrected very soon, and everybody who retracted will have to retract again.”
Although a source told Variety that Gaga had never even heard about the project, Warwick blamed Gaga’s team for the mishap. “It wasn’t her that issued the statement,” Warwick said. “It was her PR people. It’s like everything else. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. It becomes a problem. When they start talking to each other, it’s going to make a difference.”
Warwick said she hasn’t talked to Gaga directly about the role, but has been in touch with her manager. “We finally have gotten texts and everything from everybody saying we’ll get it straightened out,” Warwick said.
She admitted that the “Born This Way” singer hadn’t signed a contract for the role, despite Gaga’s name appearing on a poster for the movie at Friday’s presentation.
When pressed again about Gaga’s involvement in the project, Warwick somewhat backtracked. “As far as I know — yes,” she said of Gaga co-starring in “Warwick.” “And if she’s not, somebody else will be. It’s that simple.”
She added that Gaga not appearing in the project wouldn’t affect the fate of the biopic, which is supposed to enter production in October. “It isn’t starring Gaga,” Warwick said. “It’s starring LeToya Luckett. It’s about Dionne Warwick, not Lady Gaga — OK?”