Brow Beat

A Very Amateur Astrological Reading of A Star Is Born

Examining the birth chart of the new Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga movie.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper within an astrological chart
Photo illustration by Slate. Images by OlhaYerofieieva/iStock; Tamiris6/iStock; Warner Bros.

A Star Is Born is the most important film event of the year, but thus far its resonance with that other important 2018 cultural touchstone, astrology—newly in vogue thanks to millennials, the internet, and perhaps the terribleness of the rest of the world—has gone unremarked upon. That ends now. Stars, birth … obviously A Star Is Born is just calling out for an astrological reading. Slate staffers and amateur—very amateur—astrologists Daniel Schroeder and Heather Schwedel decided to call up the movie’s birth chart in order to mine it for celestial insights that other critics and prognosticators may have missed.

Heather Schwedel: Tell me something, boy. What time and place should we use as A Star Is Born’s official birthdate to begin this analysis?

Daniel Schroeder: I think we should do midnight, Oct. 5, in Brooklyn, New York, because why not? (I pulled the film-festival chart too, but it’s not interesting.)

Schwedel: So this movie’s sun sign is Libra. Does that strike you as correct?

Schroeder: Oh, most certainly. Libra is a symbol of balance, and this movie seems to be all about that, trying to balance art and life.

Schwedel: Yes! And balancing artistry with commercial forces, pop with rock … so much push and pull between poles.

Schroeder: Libra is a very social sign, so it makes sense that everyone was agog for the movie before it even came out—all those memes about taking another look. It was already in the conversation.

Schwedel: I was also struck by how a Libra wants everyone to like them, and this movie is an old-fashioned crowd pleaser.

And Libra is ruled by Venus, so it’s also apt this movie is a capital-R Romance. It’s just, like, the most classic, sweeping love story. I think Dana Stevens’ review mentioned Romeo and Juliet. Libras are obsessed with love, right?

Schroeder: They so are.

Schwedel: Libras are flirts, too … is this movie flirty? There’s certainly flirting in it.

Schroeder: Oh yes, I can remember thinking as soon as I saw the nose scene, Find you a man who touches you the way Cooper touches Gaga’s nose.

Schwedel: Such a move. What about the stereotype that Libras are vain and superficial?

Schwedel: Yeah, it’s all right there on the surface.

Schroeder: This movie is obsessed with image, whether it’s the gaudy Vitamin C wig (in the words of our colleague Inkoo Kang) that Gaga ends up in for the second half of the film, or the fact that Bradley Cooper pitched his voice down an octave to sound like Sam Elliott, or even just all the intense close-ups on Cooper’s sweaty drunken face.

Schroeder: I’ve seen complaints, particularly from gay Twitter, that the movie doesn’t hold up because the first and second halves seem like completely different films.

Schwedel: Which is so Libra!

Schroeder: Exactly! At times it doesn’t know what movie it wants to be and that’s why I love it. Messy art is so good.

Schwedel: Wait, this totally relates to the movie’s big song, “Shallow.”

Schroeder: What do you think I’ve been listening to during this whole chat?

Schwedel: Turning it on to get in the zone. “Shallow” is also like two different songs. Again, balance/indecisiveness!

Schroeder: For sure, there are two sides and they’re both communicating different things to each other. Also just loved how it went from her singing a few bars in a parking lot to him crafting an entire song for her.

Schwedel: I wish we could do a star chart JUST for Lady Gaga’s “HAAA AH AH AH AH, AAAH AAAH, AH AH AH AH HAAA” scream thing.

Schroeder: That deserves its own chart, essay, and separate award at the Oscars.

Schwedel: What are some other negative Libra characteristics that you saw in the movie? Self-indulgence? Tardiness? This movie definitely took forever to be made.

Schroeder: It so did. It was like waiting for that new Robyn track.

Schwedel: OK, have we basically covered the movie’s sun sign?

Schroeder: The only other thing I’d say about the Libra sun is that Gaga’s shift from country to pop is such a Libra move: just wanting to please as many as possible, and willing to be pushed around by that manager bro.

Schwedel: Let’s talk about the movie’s moon sign. Moon in Leo, right? First impressions?

Schroeder: Just to clarify, the moon sign is about your emotional self, where you retreat to for comfort but also where you can get stuck or complacent. So Leo Moons aren’t necessarily pushing for the spotlight, but they THRIVE when it’s thrust upon them. The Leo Moon is literally just Gaga’s scene performing “Shallow” as a sign.

Schwedel: Because Leos love performing and are very theatrical.

Schroeder: So, so, so much. Trust me: I’m a Leo rising. This movie shows that performance can be a safe place for Cooper and Gaga, but it can also become an impediment. Cooper can’t turn down the Grammy gig even though he probably should have. And then Leos are leaders, too.

Schwedel: I can see the leader thing … at its core, this is like, a big, important Hollywood movie, which can be unsubtle in a way some people dislike.

Schroeder: It’s embracing melodrama without a hint of irony, giving permission to just love it.

Schwedel: *Touches your nose meaningfully*

Schroeder: This might be too sappy and personal, but I really cried a lot during the end of the movie. I can easily be manipulated to cry, so it wasn’t hard, but when I’m finished crying at a movie, I’m often suspicious of what made me cry, and I didn’t feel that way at all after watching this.

Schwedel: I’ve heard so many crying stories.

OK, let’s get into its rising sign.

Schroeder: Before I get ahead of myself, I should explain that rising signs are how we first present to the world, first impressions, etc. A Star Is Born is a Cancer rising. One of the most interesting Cancer-rising aspects is that the movie feels like an old friend, someone we’re familiar with and comforted by. Cancers are mom signs, nurturing but guarded, very gentle.
This is why people were ready to let the film wash over them before it even premiered.

Schwedel: Totally!

Schroeder: It’s a remake, so we really have known this story for so long—since the ’30s.

Schwedel: And even if you haven’t seen any of them, it’s so deeply embedded into Hollywood that you kind of know it anyway.

Schroeder: Cancer risings are really creative but insecure in their creativity, too, which I think really strikes a chord with Gaga’s whole journey.

Schwedel: What other interesting things do you see in ASIB’s chart?

Schroeder: Looking deeper into the chart, I also see that its Venus is in Scorpio and that’s fascinating—kinda puts a twist on the whole film’s meaning.

Schwedel: Go on.

Schroeder: I mean, on the surface it makes sense. This is an intensely emotional film about a love that runs transcendently deep. Scorpios love finding intense passion with their partners but also have something of a destructive streak in that vein. Gaga and Cooper were always doomed, like Romeo and Juliet, and Gaga’s character was so drawn to Cooper because he was this destructive force. She was attracted to the chaos and implosion. Maybe nothing was more satisfying to her than the shower after the Grammys.

My other note about Scorpio Venus is that this deep pain Gaga experiences (and maybe longs for) really serves her art and nourishes her Leo moon at the end of the film as she belts out “I’ll Never Love Again.”

Schwedel: Listening to that right now.

Schroeder: SAME.

Schwedel: We should mention that Bradley Cooper is a Capricorn.

Schroeder: For sure, such a workhorse.

Schwedel: Capricorns are ambitious and determined, so I can definitely see only a Capricorn being able to pull off this ridiculous project.

Schroeder: He knows how to GET THE JOB DONE.

Schwedel: Directed, acted, AND worked on the script!

Schroeder: Cooper is never happier than when he’s finishing work projects. Capricorns find their worth through their work first and foremost. He’s dedicated to its success. It also makes so much sense that he wasn’t really into that New York Times profile of him.

Schwedel: He’s cagey in the press, always.

Schroeder: As a Cap, he just wants the work to speak for itself, because to him he doesn’t matter. His work does.

Schwedel: Then Gaga is an Aries.

Schroeder: Oh Lord, of course Gaga is an Aries. She is GREAT at press, because as an Aries, she just knows how. Aries are fun and fiery, but sometimes just too much.

Schwedel: But perfect for this role, right?

Schroeder: So perfect. This is a great Aries role because she’s always got to be game but also doesn’t really put up with bullshit, like when she basically calls Cooper a drunk who needs to get it together cause she’s done picking up his shit.

Schwedel: Perhaps portends badly for awards season, though—we loved her in the movie, but are we going to be exhausted after five months of her Aries-ing all over the place? I worry about the Anne Hathaway trajectory.

Schroeder: If we get another talking-to-the-Oscar-statuette moment, I’ll turn on her.

Schwedel: Oooh, let’s do A Star Is Born’s horoscope for Oscar night. Is that possible? Do we have advanced-enough tools? Feb. 24, 2019.

[Our amateur astrologers attempt to do some research, but the results are inconclusive … ]

Schroeder: Daily horoscopes are not often right or helpful, anyway.

Schwedel: Maybe it’s better if we don’t know. More drama that way.