While there are plenty of seasonal movie choices hitting theaters this October, the movie with the most critical buzz is Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, A Star Is Born. The musical drama features he and pop sensation Lady Gaga as its two leads, in the third remake of the classic story. The past two generations have each gotten their own A Star Is Born, and Cooper’s vision will focus on a duo of songwriters. Coper’s Jackson Maine discovers Gaga’s character Ally singing in a drag bar, in a sequence that also features RuPaul’s Drag Race fan favorites Willam Belli and Shangela. CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell got to speak with Gaga and Cooper recently, where they revealed how Gaga helped introduce Cooper to the inner workings of drag culture, and how it was worked into A Star Is Born.
While providing a unique mcguffin for Jackson and Ally’s first meeting, it seems that drag queen culture actually ended up fascinating Bradley Cooper. And since he directed, wrote, and starred in A Star Is Born, its nice to see how specifically he approached the task– including becoming familiar with drag makeup.
CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell spoke with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga at the Toronto Festival, where they broke down the film’s meet cute. As shown in the trailers, Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine wanders into a drag bar after a show, simply in hopes of putting a few back. But when he sees Ally perform “La Vie End Rose”, complete with drag makeup and false eyebrows, he’s instantly enamored.
But instead of having the drag queens function largely as set dressing, two of the queens have featured roles and fully formed characters. They’re played by two of the most popular contestants to come from the reality competition show RuPaul’s Drag Race: Shangela and Willam Belli– who Bradley Cooper is sure to name drop in his conversation with CinemaBlend. It’s a moment that Lady Gaga had a hand in crafting, and gives a nod to the singer’s history with the LGBT community.
You can catch A Star Is Born, drag queens and all, when it hits theaters on October 5, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.