Gaga also helped inform Cooper's musical performance. She wrote a handful of songs for the movie's soundtrack and in the studio answered his questions about the logistics of what goes on backstage during a big concert. She was also candid about her experience with drugs, sharing how readily available substances were to her after she became famous.
"There was a buffet of options," Gaga says. "It's very lonely being a performer. There's a certain loneliness that I feel, anyway, that I'm the only one that does what I do. It feels like no one understands. The urge to use is because you're searching for a way to quell the pain. When I first started to perform around the country doing nightclubs, there was stuff everywhere, but I had already partied when I was younger so I didn't dabble. I was able to avoid it because I did it when I was a kid."
As "A Star Is Born" embarks on the fall awards circuit, Gaga says she's proud of her performance because she "gave it everything."
After canceling a slew of concerts this year because of her fibromyalgia, she'll return to the stage Dec. 28, launching a Las Vegas residency. She'd like to do more acting, but not just "for the sake of being an actress. I want to tell great stories that pull from real places inside of me, from real pain, from real emotion, from my real life." Gaga does have a gift for accessing her emotions. When the conversation turns to how she finally began to feel beautiful her eyes fill with tears.
"To be honest, I think what makes me feel beautiful is when I see happiness in my fans," she says, her voice choking. "When I see or hear from them that the music that I've made has changed their life in some way, that's what makes me feel beautiful. Because this is just the outside, you know? I could be in a million movies and put out a million songs and everyone could say, 'She was so beautiful,' but that's not really what I want. I want them to say, 'I saw that movie and I cried my eyes out and I learned something about myself.'"