You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘A Star Is Born’: Meet the Crew That Brought Jackson and Ally to Life

The unsung stars behind Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, “A Star Is Born,” talk about bringing Ally and Jackson to life. Read Variety‘s Lady Gaga cover story here.

Matthew Libatique
Director of Photography

“I would say the jumping-off point was we decided to place the camera onstage rather than ever seeing it through the audience’s perspective,” Libatique says. “We started the film onstage at Coachella. Lady Gaga doesn’t lip-sync. For her, every performance was 45 minutes of warmup and her exercise ritual. I didn’t want her to go through four or five takes. We had to be prepared.”

Karen Murphy
Production Designer

“I was interested in looking at the reality of the music industry,” says Murphy. “I suggested all along that we use real environments that people understand and know. We actually went to ‘Saturday Night Live.’” She chose the Greek Theatre for the performance of “Shallow.” As for Jackson’s home, Murphy discovered the Calabasas rental on a real estate website.

“I wanted to find something specific and warm, with age on it.”

Jay Cassidy

“We did a lot of screenings and learned a lot,” says Cassidy, who spent six months editing the film with Cooper at his home. “That’s part of Bradley’s process. He will show the movie to a small group of people that he really trusts. It was so wonderful to watch [Gaga] in the dailies every day. She arrived completely as Ally, and she was never not Ally.”

Erin Benach
Costume Designer

Gaga let Benach raid her closet to help create Ally’s look, but “we didn’t end up using much of her wardrobe,” Benach says. “When we’d pull from her stuff, it had an element of Gaga to it. We were always cognizant of not re-creating Gaga on-screen. It was scripted we had her in 53 changes. We did everything from augmented vintage to purchase new to build from scratch.” One personal touch: Benach loaned her own wedding dress for Ally’s elopement.

More Music

  • Chaka Khan Sinead O'Connor

    ICM Adds Sinead O’Connor, Chaka Khan to Agency's Roster

    ICM Partners has added Sinead O’Connor and Chaka Khan to its roster. O’Connor, who currently uses the name Shuhada Sadaqat, signs with ICM for North American representation in all areas. The Irish singer-songwriter will be represented by a team of agents led by partner/co-head of worldwide concerts Rob Prinz, Mike Hayes and Brandon Zmigrocki. She [...]

  • Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’

    Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’ Data, Royalty Payments to Artists

    Sony Music today announced two new payment features for its artists — “Real Time Royalties” and “Cash Out” — through its artist portal beginning this fall. 

A memo sent to artists Monday morning and obtained by Variety says  the initiatives will “allow our artists and royalty participants to view and withdraw earnings faster than ever [...]

  • Whitney Houston

    Whitney Houston Estate Plans Hologram Tour, Album, Musical

    In the seven years since Whitney Houston’s death, there has been relatively little of the asset-exploitation that usually follows the passing of a music icon, apart from a smattering of previously unreleased recordings, a pair of harrowing documentaries and a lot of unflattering press. But according to an article in the New York Times, the [...]

  • Liam Gallagher and Son shopping at

    Cannes: Screen Media Buys 'Liam Gallagher: As It Was' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Screen Media has acquired North American rights to Charlie Lightening and Gavin Fitzgerald’s feature documentary “Liam Gallagher: As It Was.” The film follows the former Oasis frontman as he finds himself on the periphery of the rock ‘n’ roll world after years spent at the white hot center of the music world. Screen Media will [...]

  • AMERICAN IDOL - "218 (Season Finale)"

    Adam Lambert Does Double Performing Duty on 'Idol' as New Winner Is Crowned

    A new “American Idol” winner was crowned Sunday night, but not before Adam Lambert returned to the stage for the season finale for a pair of performances that included his new single and a duet with eliminated contestant Dimitrius Graham Sunday. The show concluded with Louisiana teen Laine Hardy showered in confetti as he was [...]

  • Beyonce Emilia Clarke

    Emilia Clarke Worried Beyonce Would Hate Daenerys After 'Game of Thrones'' Final Season

    After eight seasons as the Mother of Dragons, “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke has a lot of celebrity fans. But the most impressive? Probably Queen Bey. In a New Yorker interview posted after Sunday night’s series finale, Clarke revealed that she met Beyonce at an Oscars after-party hosted by the musician and her husband, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content