Exclusive: The Story of Lady Gaga’s Oscars Performance

87th Annual Academy Awards - Show

Hey all!

Your friendly Film & Television Editor here, to remind you that, while recognition is nice, the Oscars are the collective opinion of, on the whole, a group of old white men, and say absolutely nothing about the objective quality of the movies they reward, most of which will be forgotten by next year’s ceremony.

(Philomena was nominated for Best Picture last year. Yes, indeed, that was a movie, you remember now?)

In addition, I’m thrilled to announce that StAR has gotten its hands on an exclusive transcript of the exchange between Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron as they put together the absolutely incredible existential-comedy-slash-surrealist-masterpiece that was Lady Gaga’s performance of The Sound of Music. Read it here:


Craig Zadan (rushing in, slamming a tray of Starbucks lattes down on the table): NEIL. NEIL. GREAT IDEA.

Neil Meron: Jeez, Craig, you look terrible.

CZ: I didn’t sleep all night. And I just ran here from Starbucks. Here. (hands Neil his drink) That empty block we need to fill, right smack-dab in the middle of the show.

NM: Ten minutes to kill. We got nothing for it. Maybe we could give Harry Belafonte his humanitarian award in that block instead of at a separate ceremony that no one goes to?

CZ: No. The problem is we’re trying to think of things that make sense in the context of the rest of the show. We need to be thinking more out of the box!

NM: Oh my Jack Black, you’re right. What did you have in mind?

CZ: Well, we have Julie Andrews presenting right after, right? It’s the five-year anniversary of her last movie, Tooth Fairy, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Let’s do a tribute to that!

NM: Genius! Only, five years is a little too soon. What did she do, say… fifty years ago?

CZ (after a quick IMDb search): The Sound of Music!

NM: Which won Best Picture! What a coincidence!

CZ: Perfect! I’ll get a montage put together, that should kill a couple of minutes. Maybe we don’t need anything else. Maybe we should just move the rest of the show up and bring its total runtime under three and a half hours?

NM: Wow, Craig, you are really tired. You know our motto:

CZ and NM: “When in doubt, pad it out.”

CZ: Right, I forgot. Oh! I got it! Let’s have Julie Andrews sing some songs from the movie. That’ll confuse our target age demographic even more!

NM: I’m not quite sure Julie Andrews can hit those notes anymore. It requires the vocal finesse of a Kesha, or a–

CZ: Well, then, let’s think, dammit! We need to find someone perfect. Someone who encapsulates the essence of a three-hour long musical about Nazis and mountains. Who is the Julie Andrews of our time?

There’s a long silence. Then, Neil looks at Craig. Craig looks at Neil.

NM: Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

CZ: Oh god, I hope so.

NM: Say it with me in three, two, one…

CZ and NM: The singer of Beautiful, Dirty, Rich!

NM: Yes! I love you, Craig.

CZ: And I love you, Neil. I’m going to get to work on our musical tribute to Oliver! in 2018. I’ll see if Kanye’s available.


Watch it and re-watch it here.

Photo courtesy of Time

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