2018 • Music – Original Song • Backstage

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91st Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: Music – Original Song

SPEECH BY: Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt

FILM: “Shallow” from A STAR IS BORN

Q. Amazing job. Just congratulations. You’ve touched people around the world. And because, as a testimony of your work, I want to shine the light upon your documentary. You started your documentary with a Bulgarian song. How did you guys decide do that? And thank you for doing it.

A. (Lady Gaga) Well, I have to actually give all that credit to Chris Moukarbel, who is the director of that film. That was his idea, and I think he did a beautiful job.

Q. Thank you. Everyone should watch your documentary.
A. (Lady Gaga) Thank you. Mark’s in it.
A. (Mark Ronson) She hid in my car.

Q. Gaga, to you specifically. The handsome man in the back. Gaga, you have so many fans that are members of the LGBTQI community. At the moment so many of them are on their way to Sydney to celebrate for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Your songs as well as “Shallow” will be on repeat throughout the whole festival. I’m wondering if there’s a message that you can send to everyone who is on their way to Mardi Gras?

A. (Lady Gaga) What I would like to say is one of the hardest things in life is to be brave enough to be yourself. I wish to everyone that is going to that celebration to feel a joy inside of them. That’s actually what Bradley said to me yesterday right before we did our last rehearsal for this performance of “Shallow.” He said, Let’s just drop a little bit of joy. And I said, Okay. And turns out, joy did a whole lot for me. So I’ll tell you something. I hope that everyone there in Sydney feels so much joy and celebrates all sexual identities. And I also have a true dream in our future as we evolve as humanity that these award shows will not be male and female but that we include everyone.

Q. Congratulations to all of you. Gaga, can you talk a little bit about what you talked about on stage? I think that a lot of people might look at you and all the wins and success you’ve had in your life and they don’t really see what you’ve been through to get to where you are today. Can you talk a little bit about some of the struggles that you’ve had to overcome and what’s brought you to where you are today?

A. (Lady Gaga) Well, I’ll have to bring the gentlemen up with me a little closer while I answer this question. Because firstly, what I would like to say is for this film, there are many songs written, but there was one song that was written with true, true friends of mine that I’ve known, who know everything about me, the ups and the downs. And the truth is people see what they see on the outside. And in some way, shape, or form, at times, we become architects. But the truth is, I was so determined to live my dreams and yet there was so much in the way. There were so many things I did not anticipate that broke me, that tortured me, that traumatized me. And I think sometimes, what you are trying to clarify, is that people think that it comes easy to us because when we show up and we have our suits on, that it’s all okay. But the truth is every single person on this stage has been through so much. We are friends. We have worked on ourselves in life. We have tried to heal through the torment of this industry and being artists. And the truth is that this is very, very hard work. And it is not for the faint of heart. But I would never want to imply that anyone in the world is faint of heart. I wanted everyone tonight to feel like they could be each one of us on that stage. And I’m so very grateful that I got to be up there with these incredible men that I call my friends. I remember the moment we wrote this song together. It was great, it was beautiful, and I’m so honored to be here.

Q. We have your song in heavy rotation. So thank you for that.
A. (Lady Gaga) Thank you.

Q. And music plays such an integral part in movies, I’m asking the question, What movie soundtrack did you, Lady Gaga and Mark, first purchase? What was your first movie soundtrack?

A. (Mark Ronson) Mine was either TOP GUN or BEVERLY HILLS COP. That puts about, like, my age on display and I actually have to laugh and TOP GUN themes, so yeah.

A. (Lady Gaga) For me it was THE BODYGUARD.

A. (Anthony Rossomando) SINGLES I think it was. I had to pick a cool one. But I didn’t end up really liking it that much except for the one song at the beginning.

A. (Andrew Wyatt) RISKY BUSINESS.

Q. This has been clearly you saw tonight, you’ve seen it at other evenings throughout this whole experience for you a very emotional journey that you’ve been on. And I’m curious how what you felt making the movie, writing the songs, getting through this night, how has it set the table for what you want to do going forward and maybe, more importantly, who you want to be?

A. (Lady Gaga) I want to continue to be myself. I want to continue to fight for what I believe in. And do my best. The truth is I’m not standing here tonight for myself. And I think I can speak for these men standing next to me that they are not standing here tonight for themselves either. We are standing here for all of you. We love making music. We love making art. I love being an actress. And the truth is when this Oscar was handed to me tonight, I looked right in the eyes of it, and I saw a lot of pain. I saw all the things that I’ve been through. And I also felt the camaraderie and the truth of the pain that the men standing next to me have been through as well. I said it before, and I’ll say it again. This is not easy work. And nothing was handed to us, and I couldn’t be prouder to be up here with my real friends. We really sat in a room and wrote a song together, not knowing if anyone would give a damn. And we talked to each other about life.
Say something, Mark. I can’t keep talking.

A. (Mark Ronson) We also, me and her, drank a lot of Jamison. We sat at a piano. I’m telling you.

A. (Lady Gaga) Then, not today.

A. (Mark Ronson) She sat at a piano and we all had headphones on and there was like this slightly quiet hushed vibe in the room. And Anthony was playing the guitar. And I remember when she first was kind of like going up high, she’s like, “tell me something.” And all of my hair stood up, and I felt like it felt like someone hugging my soul from, like, the heavens. And that’s what this song has; it has melancholy, it has triumph. It has the feeling of a hug; all these things. And then the performance in the film and Bradley’s direction is what then put it in everyone’s hearts.

A. (Lady Gaga) Yes. We have to thank Bradley tremendously because the truth is everybody in this room knows this song would not be what it is without this film and without Bradley Cooper and without his incredible voice on this record and without the way he shot this moment in this film. It’s backwards. Sorry.

A. (Mark Ronson) We didn’t even know because we weren’t in the film, making the film, like Lady Gaga was. And I saw the first rough assemblage of the film. Bradley was kind enough to show it to me. And I saw the scene in the parking lot, and I had no idea that our song had now become part of the script. And she turns to him and she goes, “tell me something” in the parking lot. And I just wanted all my hair stood up. Sorry. I’m a little lacking on other expressions right now, but and I just wanted to run out and call Andrew and Anthony and be like you’re not like, first of all, we are going to be rich. No. But I wanted to be like you are not going to believe when you see what they’ve done with this song. Like it’s it’s like it’s on steroids, emotional weight of it now. Like, I’m so psyched. You can buy the house, Anthony. No. And then I was like, so, yeah.

A. (Anthony Rossomando) That’s your house.

A. (Lady Gaga) We all live together.

A. (Mark Ronson) Yeah. We all live together. But it really is special. And Bradley you know, we’ve all been involved with different songs for different films and stuff. And, like, you know what Bradley does when you see the way that that song is performed and weaved into that narrative is a testament to his thing.

A. (Lady Gaga) And I wish that you all could have witnessed watching him sing, take after take live. This was sung live every single time. What you see in this film was sung live. It was recorded live. It was recorded live properly so that it would sound fantastic. And he also directed at the same time. And I I truly hope that everyone in the room tonight when they saw our performance saw the true brilliant man that he is, the actor, the director, the screenplay writer, the producer, the musician.

Q. Congratulations, Lady Gaga. I think it’s safe to say everybody wants everybody who’s seen the film gives a damn about the song. It’s so beautiful. Why do you think the song resonated? We first heard it back in August when the trailer was released. It’s now in March. People have listened to it, like, thousands of times. Why has it resonated so deeply with everybody?

A. (Lady Gaga) Do you want to talk a bit about that?

A. (Anthony Rossomando) I think Gaga said it before, and I’ll just echo it again. That I think it’s pretty on point. The song started the conversation. The song itself is a conversation. And it’s between a man and a woman, and I think that maybe there’s some timing involved where people’s hearts are open to that conversation. And I don’t know. Maybe that’s why it it’s translated so widely. Someone sent me a couple videos this week of an entire church congregation singing the song. And I was like it brought me to tears actually.

A. (Andrew Wyatt) Did your hair stand up?

A. (Anthony Rossomando) My hair stood up, but not as high as Mark’s.

A. (Lady Gaga) You know, I really believe in my heart that the unfortunate truth is that our cell phones as I watch you all typing are becoming reality. It’s becoming reality for the world. And in this song, we provide not just a conversation, but also a very poignant statement. I wish to not be in the shallow, but I am. But I wish to dive off the deep end, and watch me do it. I think this is something that speaks to many people. And during, I think, a very shallow time, it’s a chance for us all to grab hands, you know, and just dive off into the water together, and swim into the deepest depths of the ocean that we can.

Q. Thank you so much. Congratulations, Gaga.

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