Journey to 'A Star Is Born': Lady Gaga aims for authentic artistic expression in first Oscar-nominated role

For her role as waitress and rising pop star Ally in A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga took off her signature wigs and makeup. Now a potential Best Actress win at the Oscars could signal a whole new phase of the superstar's career.

Making a name for herself

When she burst onto the music scene a decade ago, the singer became known for fashion and performances that were uniquely Gaga. Her bold choices made headlines, such as when she wore a meat dress to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and when she "hatched" for her performance after being carried into the 2011 Grammys in an egg.

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During her early career, the young star was knocking down every door to create opportunities for herself. She said that stands in contrast to her A Star Is Born character.

"I had something to say, I wanted to say it, and I believed in myself," she reflected to ABC News. "But this girl, Ally, she's been jaded by the business."

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Gaga fever

The pop star's influence continued to grow with more and more hit albums from Born This Way to ARTPOP to Joanne. Among her many acoomplishments, the singer snagged the Super Bowl halftime show and a current residency in Las Vegas, which she named Enigma.

She also became known for what she used this influence for: as an activist for sexual assault survivors, youth, and the LGBTQ community. In 2016 Gaga, who is herself a sexual assault survivor, performed her Oscar-nominated song "Til It Happens to You" during the ceremony, surrounded by other survivors.

Braving the screens, big and small

Gaga has training as an actor and originally tried to make a name for herself that way before committing to music. As the singer constantly sought to redefine her image, this came full cirlce, and she began taking small acting roles.

In 2015, she gave a break-out performance in American Horror Story, which earned her a Golden Globe.

This year Gaga won another Golden Globe, this time for Best Original Song for "Shallow," which she co-wrote for A Star Is Born.

At the Oscars, A Star Is Born is nominated for eight awards. Gaga herself is up for Best Original Song and for Best Actress.

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In approaching her biggest acting role to date, Gaga told ABC News she drew not from her career, but from her high school years, when she was made fun of for having big dreams. Gaga said she and director/co-star Bradley Cooper focused, above all else, on creating an authentic performance.

"What he taught me was, know your lines," she said of their collaboration. "But really know the story, what you're trying to say."

RELATED: Everything to know about Oscars 2019

Don't miss the Oscars LIVE on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. ET | 5 p.m. PT on ABC.
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