×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘A Star Is Born’ Co-Writer Eric Roth Suggested Lady Gaga Study Cher in ‘Moonstruck’ to Play Ally

Eric Roth, who won an Academy Award a quarter century ago for “Forrest Gump,” went even further back when he was working with Lady Gaga on “A Star Is Born.”

Roth, speaking at the Beyond Words panel at the Writers Guild Theater, recalled that he advised Gaga to emulate Cher’s Loretta Castorini from the 1987 Oscar winner “Moonstruck.”

“I came aboard about the same time Lady Gaga did,” Roth said. “She asked me what she might look at because she’s not an actress by trade. She said, ‘What can I learn from?’ I said, ‘Look at Cher in ‘Moonstruck.’ She’s strong, so sure of herself, kind of tough minded.'”

He also said he and Bradley Cooper made the decision to write a script that would seem improvisational to moviegoers — a major change for Roth, who also received Oscar noms for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Munich,” and “The Insider.” He’s nominated for a WGA Award and an Oscar in adapted screenplay, along with Cooper and Will Fetters for “A Star Is Born.”

“I write 180-page scripts with a lot of prose,” he recalled. “No disrespect to Lady Gaga, but I’m not sure it’s in her DNA to do big set piece things with monologues.”

Roth also admitted his guiding principle is a simple one: “Fear. I was worried about winding up with egg on my face.”

The evening featured many of the nominees for WGA Awards, including “Eighth Grade” writer-director Bo Burnham, who just won the Directors Guild Award for first-time feature director.

Brian Currie, Bo Burnham and Nicole HolofcenerBeyond Words 2019, Writers Guild Theater, Los Angeles, USA - 07 Feb 2019
CREDIT: REX/Shutterstock

“That was the most stunned I’ve ever been,” Burnham said. “I truly did not expect to win at the DGA so I was very relaxed and I had nothing prepared.”

Burnham, who spent a decade as a stand-up comedian before writing “Eighth Grade,” said he took a conventional approach to the screenplay. “I wrote on a MacBook Pro in a coffee shop, like a total cliche,” he explained.

Screenwriters Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, who teamed with John Krasinski on “A Quiet Place,” said they went back a century for inspiration. “It was our love of Charlie Chaplin,” Woods admitted. “Scott and I kept talking about how we could do a modern-day silent film with aliens.”

Paramount has greenlit a sequel, but Beck said mum’s the word: “May, 2020 — go see it. That’s all we can say.”

“Black Panther” writer Joe Robert Cole expressed his satisfaction that he was able to meet the late Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee at the film’s premiere. “It was epic,” he said. “It’s Stan Lee.”

Kevin Willmott and Joe Robert ColeBeyond Words 2019, Writers Guild Theater, Los Angeles, USA - 07 Feb 2019
CREDIT: REX/Shutterstock

WGA West president David A. Goodman opened by saying, “I always discover at this event that the secret is that it’s a lot of hard work.”

Variety, the Writers Guild Foundation, and Final Draft sponsored the event. Variety co-editor-in-chief Claudia Eller introduced the event, followed by Stacey Wilson Hunt moderating. Panelists included Peter Farrelly and Brian Currie for “Green Book,” Kevin Willmott for “BlacKkKlansman,” Lauren Greenfield for “Generation Wealth,” Gabe Polsky for “In Search of Greatness,” Ozzy Inguanzo and Dava Whisenant for “Bathtubs Over Broadway,” and Nicole Holofcener for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

The WGA Awards will be handed out on Feb. 17 during ceremonies at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., and at the Edison Ballroom in New York.

More Film

  • San Sebastian Debates Burgeoning Spain-China Axis

    San Sebastian Debates Burgeoning Spain-China Axis

    SAN SEBASTIAN —  On Monday afternoon, leading figures from the Chinese and Spanish industries gathered to discuss future plans, sitting for a panel called “China/Spain: The Belt and Road Initiatives: The New Era for Co-Production.” Moderated by producer Ying Liu, the panel brought together executives Marta Ezpeleta (The Mediapro Studio), Lu Wei (Beijing East Purple [...]

  • michiel-huisman-tadanobu-asano

    'Game of Thrones'' Michiel Huisman, Tadanobu Asano Round Out Thriller 'Kate' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has rounded out the cast of its upcoming action movie “Kate,” starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, with the addition of Tadanobu Asano, Michiel Huisman, Jun Kunimura, Miyavi Lee Ishihara and newcomer Miku Martineau. Woody Harrelson is also on board to star in the film, which is directed by “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” helmer Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. [...]

  • Stray Dolls Movie

    Samuel Goldwyn Films Acquires Cynthia Nixon's Tribeca Player 'Stray Dolls' (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Stray Dolls,” a Tribeca Film Festival entry from up-and-coming director Sonejuhi Sinha, has sold North American distribution rights to Samuel Goldwyn Films. Eyeing an early 2020 release, the film stars breakout Geetanjali Thapa, Olivia DeJonge (Netflix’s “The Society”), Robert Aramayo (young Eddard Stark on “Game of Thrones”) and Cynthia Nixon. Thapa plays Riz, a former [...]

  • Mick Jagger, Donald Sutherland. Actors Mick

    'The Burnt Orange Heresy' With Mick Jagger, Donald Sutherland Sells Worldwide

    HanWay Films has closed out worldwide sales on “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” the art-heist film that screened in Venice and Toronto. The movie stars Mick Jagger, Claes Bang, and Donald Sutherland. It closed the Venice Film Festival. In addition to North America, where Giuseppe Capotondi’s film will open in spring 2020, SPC has acquired rights [...]

  • Between Worlds Nicolas Cage

    Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff to Star in Pulse Films’ Truffle Hunter Movie ‘Pig’

    Nicolas Cage is a truffle hunter who wants his pig back in “Pig,” which started production Monday in Oregon. The film, which Michael Sarnoski will direct from his own script, will also star Alex Wolff (“Hereditary”). Pulse Films, BlockBox Entertainment, Valparaiso Pictures and Cage’s Saturn Pictures are producing in association with Escape Artists and Sweet [...]

  • Sid Haig Dies Devil's Rejects

    Sid Haig, Horror Actor in Rob Zombie Trilogy, Dies at 80

    Sid Haig, known for his role as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses” trilogy, died Saturday. He was 80. His wife announced the news on Instagram. Haig had a fall several weeks ago and suffered serious breathing complications after arriving at the hospital. He died of a lung infection. “On Saturday, September [...]

  • France Boasts Europe's Highest Number of

    France Still Boasts Europe's Highest Number of Theater Screens Per Capita

    France, Europe’s No. 1 movie-going nation, still boasts the continent’s highest number of screens per capita, according to a new study conducted by the French National Film Board (CNC). As of last year, France had 2,040 theaters and 6,000 screens – 69 more screens than in 2017. It’s about one screen per 31 inhabitants. Out [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content