[The following contains major spoilers for A Star Is Born.]
Lady Gaga delivers a stunning performance in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born, one imbued with grit, tenderness, vulnerability, and plenty of true-life resonance. But Gaga wasn’t just drawing upon her time show business experience when making the movie. In a new interview with Zane Lowe, she revealed that the movie’s final, gutting scene was filmed on the same day she lost her best friend, Sonja Durham, to stage IV cancer.
The film’s denouement finds Gaga’s Ally singing a song, “I’ll Never Love Again,” in tribute to her late husband, Cooper’s Jackson Maine. Right before filming, she received a phone call. “On that day my friend Sonja — who had been battling cancer for years — her friend called me and I could hear her moaning in the background and she said she’s not doing well,” Gaga said. “And I thought she was dying so I left the set.”
“I didn’t even stop to go see Bradley,” she added. “I just got in my car and started driving and I missed her by 10 minutes.”
After spending some time with Durham’s family, they encouraged her to return to set. “She gave me a tragic gift that day and I took it with me to set and I sang that song for Jackson and for her on that very same day within an hour,” she said.
She continued, “Bradley was so beautiful with me that day, he was so loving. He was like, ‘You don’t have to do it too many times, it’s okay.’ And, I was like, ‘All I wanna do is sing, man.’”
So, if you’re wondering why that ending hit even harder than you may have expected, there’s your answer.
Watch the full clip below.