Ahead of the Academy Awards on Feb. 24, we spoke to costume designer Erin Benach about what it was really like working with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper!

Lady Gaga, 32, is quite the enigma. The constantly-changing singer has put on many personas throughout her music career, seemingly adapting her character and style with each album era. Most recently, with her starring in her first feature film, A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga took center stage by undoing all of that facade, and playing fresh-faced Ally. We EXCLUSIVELY spoke to Erin Benach, the costume designer behind the film, at the 21st Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards in Beverly Hills, California about what it was like working on the huge Oscar-nominated set with Gaga and Bradley.

Erin said that going in, costume-wise, she knew that Gaga’s look as her character Ally would be far different than her typical “theatrical” way of dressing in real life. “We knew we were going in the complete opposite direction but we needed to know what that direction was,” Erin EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife. “We knew we were leaving all of that behind.” Ally’s look throughout the film was more toned down than Gaga’s. Ally often rocked jeans, t-shirts, and even once she found success as a singer, her wildest style choice was her orange hair.

Erin also noted that Gaga would be singing in her trailer in the morning. “I would have a private concert and it was awesome,” Erin said. “She would be practicing the songs from the movie. She would be doing the alphabet — ‘I, E, O.’ Warmup!” We can’t even imagine how cool it would be to walk into Gaga’s trailer and hear her doing an a capella version of “Shallow!”

But underneath all of her theatrics, Erin stated that deep down, Gaga just keeps it real. “[She has a] really kind heart and [is] very engaging when you’re one-on-one with her,” she said. “She’s very engaging and real.”

As for Bradley Cooper, 44, the Oscar-nominated actor, and director of the film, Erin spoke to his method as the person in charge. “[Bradley] was involved [as a director],” Erin said. “I think every director kind of has a different way of doing it, but his method was he knew when something wasn’t right and he knew when something was right. [He was] kind of creating a creative space for everybody to find the character.”

They definitely seemed to all succeed in their roles – the film has been winning audiences since it was released in fall 2018, and has been nominated and winning awards left and right during awards season this year. Best of luck to the cast and crew of A Star Is Born at the Oscars this upcoming Sunday!

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