A Star Is Born has proven to be a pop culture phenomenon ever since it was released at the start of October.
Not only has it grossed over $218 million at the box office, after costing just $40 million to make, but it has been met with critical acclaim and the performance of Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott, as well as Cooper’s direction, its screenplay, score and cinematography are set to be in contention throughout the awards season.
But why has “A Star Is Born” proven to be so popular? I recently had the chance to speak to Shangela, who plays the drag bar emcee in the film, and she broke down the reasons for its success.
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“I think the initial buzz was over who has involved and building that legion of fans. There were previous versions of this film, too, so there was already a legion of people interested in it and the story.”
“But this is a modernization of it. It is almost a revisualization from Bradley Cooper. Then once people saw the trailer, heard the music, people couldn’t get enough of it. I have already seen it three times. I just love this movie!”
“Not just because I am in it. It is a story so well told. Plus you get to see two people, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, and then Sam Elliott and Dave Chappelle, they offer this masterclass. For me as an actor, I almost felt the need to take notes watching it. I did take mental notes.”
“Because they are really going there with their performances. The music is so good. I have been singing The Shallows for months, too. There are so many great songs.”
“I am playing the album from start to finish all the time. When you listen to the album, too, you feel like you’re going through the experience of the film again.”
Shangela is clearly overjoyed to have been involved in “A Star Is Born,” insisting, “I am just flooded in my heart with gratitude. To just be involved a really awesome project, that’s before we talk about how much it made.”
“To be involved in a film that is so well told and is also very inclusive and portals the LGBTQ and drag worlds so authentically. I love that.”
“Secondly, the fact that we have Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in a film together, I am like, ‘Oh! Hallelujah. Show me where the tickets are. I am going.’"
"Finally to see how much people are supporting this film and enjoying it. You don’t get to be a part of things like that in your life.”
You can expect to see Shangela celebrating the success of “A Star Is Born” one the course of the awards season, too, as she insisted that if it picks up several nominations at the Oscars, as is expected, she will force her way to the ceremony.
“Being at these award ceremonies is everything I have ever dreamed of. If this film does get nominated for an Oscar, girl, they might not invite me, but I am going to find my way in.”
“OK. I am Shangela. I am a drag queen. I will just hand out mints in the bathroom as an attendant to get there. I don’t care what they are saying. I am going.”
“A Star Is Born” is now in cinemas.