The Real Star of ‘A Star Is Born’ is Gail

We are of somewhat divided opinion on A Star Is Born here at INTO. I personally thought the movie’s first half was incredible, while the second half fell apart. My colleague and The Kiki co-host Mathew Rodriguez was more positive on the film as a whole. But the one thing we can all agree on is that the true star of A Star Is Born is not Lady Gaga. It’s not Bradley Cooper. It’s not Shangela nor Willam. It’s not even Halsey, who shows up to present Best New Artist at the Grammys and isn’t even named on-screen. (Poor Halsey.)

No, the true star of Cooper’s directorial debut is Gail, as played by Rebecca Field.

Don’t remember Gail? It’s understandable; her role in the film is small. But Gail makes an impression. She’s the aide who appears at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles when Ally (Gaga) and her friend Ramon (Anthony Ramos) first arrive. The sequence is rather fast-paced, as Ally and Ramon were just flown out via private jet to meet Jackson Maine (Cooper) at his concert in LA. Ally is overwhelmed, as are we. But then there’s Gail.

“Hi Ally, I’m Gail,” she says. Instantly, we are put at ease. Gail knows what’s happening. Gail will get us through this. We can count on Gail. She proves herself a stable guide when Ally starts to go the wrong way, and she gently-but-firmly course-corrects her. Gail is the reason that Ally is able to get to the stage to perform “Shallow,” thus making Ally a viral star, setting her on the course for pop superstardom.

Gail is an ally to Ally, and to us. Gail is a guardian angel. A Star Is Born would not be the same without Gail.

Upon first seeing Gail in the movie, I instantly said, “LOVE Gail.” It was a purely emotional response. I adored her from the word go. After seeing the film with a group of five friends, I was heartened that they all had the same reaction to Gail. She was “comforting,” one of them said. They also knew we could count on Gail.

I put my feelings about Gail out there on Twitter, only to be thrilled by the number of people who similarly adored Gail. Her fans are legion! 

We need a full spinoff film about Gail (called Gail Force, as critic Guy Lodge suggested). We need a Star Is Born extended cinematic universe for characters like Gail. Because in watching the film — in watching Gail — I knew that her star was being born, too.

Image via Getty

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Kevin O'KeeffeKevin O'Keeffe

Kevin O'Keeffe is a writer and 'RuPaul's Drag Race' herstorian. He covers film and TV for INTO, and writes the movie review column "But How Gay Is It?" every Friday.

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