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Midway through Sunday’s Academy Award show, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga walked hand-in-hand from the front row to the stage and belted out the soon-to-be Best Original Song “Shallow” for the star-studded crowd and millions watching at home, and they completely crushed it. Their raw performance was a seamless and emotional highlight of the night, and it came together after much thought from the A Star is Born leads.
In an interview with Variety, Rob Mills, ABC’s senior vice president of alternative series, specials and late-night programming talked about how the beautiful performance was carefully orchestrated, with these words:
Bradley and Gaga, they really had this idea in their head of how they wanted it to be. And the producers really worked step-by-step with them to make that what they were envisioning a reality… this was staying true to the spirit of the movie as well. They really wanted to kind of embody everything that the characters in the movie stood for in this three-minute number.
I’d say they nailed it! The pair effortlessly performed the Oscar-winning song, this time channeling their own personalities and talents without the different octave Bradley Cooper sang in as Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga emulating her star power instead of the muted character of Ally. Take a look at the Oscar performance below:
Incredible! Rob Mills continued by explaining how Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper worked closely with the director of the Oscars, Glenn Weiss, on the number and “really rehearsed the hell out of it." Due to Cooper’s work as director of A Star is Born, he also had ideas for the staging of the performance, such as facing the camera outward so the audience would be behind the pair as they sang, along with deciding Cooper would move to sit beside Gaga on the piano after the chorus.
While watching rehearsals over the weekend, which is when everything really came together, Mills said he felt like the “Shallow” performance would be one moment for those “best of” Oscar montages. and that the live performance had “real heat” in the room that could be felt in the audience and captured on camera before it received a standing ovation.
Bradley Cooper previously teased an “unorthodox” performance months ago before their nomination was announced in January, which they have been planning since. The actor doesn’t have much experience performing live for audiences, other than during his time on the A Star is Born set. So while he admitted he’d be terrified, they showed the crowd why this year’s Best Original Song deserved its merits with their stunning chemistry.
A Star is Born celebrated eight nominations at the Oscars on Sunday, though took home just one golden trophy for “Shallow,” written by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt and Anthony Rossomando, after its Grammy win a couple weeks prior and recent radio prominence.