American pop star Lady Gaga opened up about her painful road to fame after her big Hollywood movie debut, “A Star Is Born”, which premiered on Friday at the Venice film festival.
The story of an “ugly” girl who thinks her nose is too big and hides behind layers of outrageous makeup had obvious autobiographical echoes for US star.
“Many times at the beginning of my career I was not the most beautiful woman in the room — but I wrote my own songs,” she told reporters.
A remake of the 1937 classic, the singer was stepping into some big shoes in reprising a role already immortalised by Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand.
But critics hailed her magnetic performance and on-screen chemistry with co-star Bradley Cooper, who also directed the film.
Lady Gaga, who said she dug deep into her own experiences for the role, added that when she was trying to make it “they often wanted me to give my songs to other singers but I held onto my music with my cold dead fingers, ‘You are not going to take my songs from me…’”
She said had to be “very strong to negotiate” the music industry’s attempts to remake her.
“I would always take a left turn. I never wanted to be sexy or to be viewed like other women. I wanted to be my own artist and my own woman,” she added.
Gaga, 32, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, plays an Italian-American waitress and singer who meets a country music star on the slide in a drag club where she is performing Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose”.
Sparks fly and soon this odd couple are making romantic and musical fireworks.
Cooper, 43, said their shared Italian-American roots helped weld the “amazing connection” between them, as well as the experience of shooting and singing live together in front of thousands of people at the Glastonbury and Coachella festivals in England and California.