On Feb. 24, winners will be crowned at the 91st Academy Awards. But before the red carpet is rolled out and envelopes are opened, Entertainment Weekly has inside intel on the 2019 nominees. Keep checking back at this week for spotlights on contenders in all the major categories.

Lady Gaga
Starring in: A Star Is Born
Age: 32
Oscar past: 0 Noms
Role call: Ally, a struggling musician who becomes a superstar thanks to the support and love of alcoholic rocker Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper)

One of the more remarkable challenges Best Actress nominee Lady Gaga faced playing Ally in A Star Is Born was to make the audience forget she’s a global superstar, to believe her as struggling singer, skeptical of performing in front of thousands.

When Ally questions whether she should join Jackson in a duet of “Shallow,” the audience sits in suspense to see how she’ll pull it off. Remembers Gaga: “I was able to play off of not only memories of what it felt like to be nervous to go on stage but I also just had it right there — I was standing on the side of the stage during that moment in ‘Shallow’ watching Bradley rip-roar on the guitar and sing. I really felt nervous. I really felt afraid.”

There’s a good chance she’ll be up on stage once again on Oscar night.

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A Star Is Born (2018)
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