born this way

Bradley Cooper Removed Lady Gaga’s Makeup With a Wipe for Her Star Is Born Audition

Gaga, before makeup wipes. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Like a scene straight out of Phantom Thread, genius first-time director Bradley Cooper once ordered Lady Gaga to take it off. Her makeup, that is. According to the Los Angeles Times, when Cooper showed up at Gaga’s home for her screen test for A Star Is Born — on Warner Bro.’s orders because they weren’t sold on her — the first thing he did when he saw her come down the stairs was whip out a makeup wipe and get to work on her face. “With it, he erased the colors from her forehead down to her chin,” the Times writes. All that concealer, mascara, and “rouge” was just too much. It had to go. He wanted her “completely open. No artifice.” Just your regular Glossier model. Baby, she was born this way. Gaga, somehow chill with this invasion of personal space, found being bare-faced useful to her acting process. “It put me right in the place I needed to be, because when my character talks about how ugly she feels — that was real,” she says. “I’m so insecure. I like to preach, but I don’t always practice what I preach.” She would go on to shoot wearing nothing but ChapStick and eight-hour cream, which is all very brave. Now someone kindly release the security footage of Cooper wiping Gaga’s face.

Update October 4: Now that the great Star Is Born makeup wipe story has become the stuff of legend, Bradley Cooper would like to issue a slight clarification. He’s not a “crazy person” who wields wipes at random, he told the Washington Post, he wanted to take off Gaga’s makeup because it was for a specific scene. “They needed to shoot a 10-page scene he wrote that begins with Ally waking up in the morning,” the Post writes. “He grabbed a wipe from Gaga’s makeup artist and asked if he could take the singer’s makeup off because Ally, as he explains in a detailed spiel, wouldn’t have gone to bed with it on.” So it wasn’t Cooper’s wipe all along, how disappointing.

Picture Bradley Cooper Taking Off Gaga’s Makeup With a Wipe