By Jessica Sager
Published February 26, 2019
Gaga, 32, and Cooper, 44, meticulously arranged and rehearsed every moment of the performance of the "A Star Is Born" tune, Rob Mills, ABC's senior vice president of alternative series, specials, and late-night programming revealed.
“Bradley and Gaga, they really had this idea in their head of how they wanted it to be,” Mills told Variety in a piece released Monday. “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.”
“Nobody knew where it was going to be in the show,” Mills added. “And the fact that it came right out of a speech gave it that element of surprise. Normally, if you’re in the house, you’re going to see that Bradley and Lady Gaga aren’t in their seat. The fact they actually went from their seats to the stage up there, that surprise was so great. Obviously, the song is engineered to be one that kind of crescendos to that kind of energy. It was just electric in the house.”
Mills said Gaga and Cooper worked closely with Oscars director Glenn Weiss, who also served as an executive producer on Sunday's awards ceremony.
Weiss was able to “meticulously work with Bradley on every element," Mills said. "They would walk through the whole thing and how it’s going to look and go. They really rehearsed the hell out of it, and they made it so it was just seamless. Even in rehearsal you knew, this was one of those things that’s going to be played in those montages of all-time Oscar moments.”
Those moments included Gaga and Cooper's hand-holding entrance to the stage from the audience, Cooper moving his mic stand to sit very close to the "Joanne" singer.
Despite the rehearsals, Mills admits of the steamy rendition, "That was real heat there."