How Bradley Cooper Convinced Lady Gaga to Go Makeup-Free in 'A Star Is Born'

Venice Film Festival, Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga
Photo by Elisabetta A. Villa/WireImage

The duo entertained reporters at the Venice Film Festival press conference with anecdotes of screen testing and singing together.

"I've always wanted to be an actress," Lady Gaga said during the Venice Film Festival's Star Is Born press conference, ahead of the film's premiere there on Friday. "There can be 100 people in the room and 99 don't believe in you," she continued, reaching out and resting a hand on the shoulder of her director, Bradley Cooper. "And you just need one to believe in you. And that was him. So, I'm very lucky to be here."

The actress (who, lest you forget, is already a Golden Globe winner for her work on American Horror Story) looked as glamorous as ever on the dais, sitting behind a placard that amusingly read, "L. GAGA," and admitted that abandoning her haute looks to portray the aspiring ingénue singer, Ally, taken under the wing of Cooper's country superstar, was a "challenge."

"Being completely vulnerable and being completely bare," she phrased it, adding, "For most of the film, I have no makeup on my face." It was something that was very important to Cooper, Gaga said, recalling a particularly amusing anecdote of when she found out exactly how important it was to him.

"I remember very, very well, I walked down the stairs from my house before we filmed the screen test for A Star Is Born, and he had a makeup wipe in his hand and he put his hand on my face and he went like this--" She mimicked wiping down her cheek. "And there was makeup. We had put just a little bit and he said, 'I want no makeup on your face.' So, this vulnerability was something that he brought out in me. For someone that doesn't necessarily feel safe [being] that vulnerable all the time, it was such a special experience with him. He made you just feel so free."

For Cooper, he had to face his own fears, not only marking his screenwriting and directorial debut, but singing live alongside a six-time GRAMMY winner. Yet, Cooper said, "She made me feel so comfortable from the first day we met." During their first meeting, Gaga cooked him homemade pasta and they were singing within the first 15 minutes. "I'd be lying if I said I was nervous...When you see an artist of that caliber treat you as a peer, it's very emboldening. So, the true answer is I didn't [feel afraid]. I felt like I was protected all the time."

"And he is a great singer," Gaga beamed. "He sings from his gut, from the nectar, from the soul."