This year’s Venice Film Festival kicked off August 30, but most Lady Gaga fans remember the entrance she made there 2018: She arrived by boat in full old Hollywood-style glam, wearing platinum blonde pin curls and a black cocktail dress. But inside, she was full of self doubt, remembers the festival’s director.
Alberto Barbera tells the Hollywood Reporter that one of the greatest moments of his 15-year career as Venice Film Festival director came that year, after Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper did the red carpet at the premiere of A Star Is Born in the rain. He says Gaga came into his office to dry off and re-do her makeup before she went into the theater.
“It had never happened before that the actors went into the auditorium. She, used to performing in front of thousands of people, hesitated and was afraid,” Barbera recalls. In fact, he claims Gaga actually said to him, “It’s my first film. Maybe I’m a really bad actor?’”
But it turns out she had nothing to worry about.
“You should have heard the roar in the theater … it was incredible,” Barbera recalls, adding, “I put my arm around her shoulders. She spoke a few words of Italian. I gave her courage. Me. To Lady Gaga.”
Barbera tells a similar story to the U.K. paper The Guardian.
“She was shaking,” he says of Gaga, adding, “I put my arm around her shoulders and took her into the theater. At the end of the film, she was crying.”
Gaga went on to be Oscar-nominated for A Star Is Born, and win the Best Original Song Oscar for “Shallow,” the song she co-wrote for the soundtrack.
Her next major acting credit is playing Harley Quinn opposite Joaquin Phoenix reprising his Oscar winning title role in Joker: Folie à Deux, due out in 2024.
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