Shangela and Lady Gaga. Picture: Supplied/Reuters
Shangela and Lady Gaga. Picture: Supplied/Reuters

Lady Gaga fought for 'A Star Is Born' drag scenes

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Sep 17, 2018

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Lady Gaga fought to include the drag bar scene in 'A Star Is Born', according to co-star Shangela.

Bradley Cooper's character Jackson first meets Gaga's Ally at a drag bar in the movie and Shangela, from 'RuPaul's Drag Race', who plays the bar owner, says fans have Gaga, 32, to thank for the setting.

Shangela told Billboard: "The film, to be honest, as the film came about, the scene with the drag bar got cut, I believe. And if I had this right, Gaga fought for those scenes to be brought back into the film because she really felt like this is where the heart of her character lies. Obviously [Gaga's] roots are very closely tied to the LGBTQ world as well. So you'll see how that all shakes out in the movie, but she really wanted to make a stand for her LGBTQ fans, so we got back in."

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Seeing this interview has really made my day!! I promise you guys that I’m living proof that if you put in the WERQ to be your best, nothing and no one can stop you from achieving your dreams. I was honored to be recommended by the amazingly talented @ladygaga to be a part of the #AStarIsBorn movie, and it was mind blowing to work with and alongside both #BradleyCooper and LG (and also my super fun costar @willam) for the time I’m in the film. Words can’t begin to describe the gratitude . but also major love to @wanaynay and my agent JD for their part in encouraging me to audition. Thank You! Oh, and @anthonyramosofficial is such a great actor! Keep an eye out for him!! Make sure y’all go see the film out Oct 6!! ❤️🌈🍿

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Shangela also revealed Bradley, 43, was an "intense" director, who allowed his actors to have a great deal of creative control.

Shangela said: "I remember the first day on set with Bradley Cooper, he came up to me and was like, you know, 'Shangela' - I'm sure that was the first time he had said the name 'Shangela' - he was like, 'Shangela, honey, I know you had the script and your lines and everything, but this is your world. This is drag club scenes, this is your world, so feel free to go as far as you'd like with the character, and I'll pull you back if I feel it's too far.'

"And I said, 'OK, Mr. Cooper,' and baby, he hit action, and I just went into full-on Drag Queen Bar Owner Shangela mode, because I do this - I'm on a 181-city tour this year. I've been doing this for seven years. I know some draaaag and how to make this character really pop. So I do what I thought was good, and he called, 'Cut,' and I was like, 'Oh lord, what'd I do?'

"So he comes up to me - he's very intense. He grabs both sides of my face, and I'm like, 'Whoa, baby, my makeup,' you know? He grabs my face and is like, 'That's amazing. Do it again. Action!'

"To have that validation, it made such a welcoming space on-set. He created such a good environment where he allows you to be you and bring what you bring to the character, but also with great direction. I loved working with him."

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