As the Oscar race began to heat up this week, Gaga won a prestigious acting prize

By Helen Murphy
November 30, 2018 01:36 PM

Lady Gaga won what could be her first trophy of many this awards season, when the National Board of Review awarded her their Best Actress prize for her turn in A Star is Born.

The National Board of Review announced the winners of their annual film awards, kicking off Oscar season with a busy week that also included announcements from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Gotham Awards.

NBR is composed of “film enthusiasts, academics, and other film-focused professionals,” according to Entertainment WeeklyThe trophies will be handed out at a gala in New York on Jan. 8.

A Star is Born won the most awards out of any film nominated. Besides Gaga’s Best Actress win, her co-star and director Bradley Cooper won the best director prize and Sam Elliot won Best Supporting Actor.

Cooper and Gaga in A Star is Born.
Clay Enos

NBR’s Best Picture award went to Green Book, which stars Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen. (Mortensen also won the Best Actor trophy.)

In PEOPLE’s recent cover story on Gaga, the singer discussed her rise from bullied high school student to Grammy-winning musician to actress, playing up-and-coming musician Ally Maine in A Star is Born. 

Lady Gaga on the cover of PEOPLE.

“What intrigued me about Ally is she was nothing like I was when I started,” Gaga told PEOPLE. “When I wanted to become a singer and decided that I was going to really hit the pavement and try to make it, I really believed in myself. I was intrigued by her vulnerability.”

Neilson Barnard/Getty

To play Ally, Gaga added that she had to go “back further into my childhood, into my high school years.”

“That’s where I went . . . to be vulnerable, to be my authentic self,” she said.

A Star is Born is in theaters now.