Check out my Q and A interview with Bradley Cooper from A Star Is Born
How did Lady Gaga become involved with this film A Star is Born?
BC: I was at a cancer benefit in LA and Lady Gaga performed the final act and she just decimated the whole place and I was just gobsmacked. I was like that’s the perfect scene in the movie. I asked if she could meet with me. She agreed and she was so warm. I thought maybe we should try to sing together. So I asked her if we could sing Midnight Special. She said she’d never heard of it. We sang it together and that was it. The connection just worked. Two years later we just started shooting.
Talk about the vocal training you went through. Did you sing much before the movie?
BC: In the shower and in the car. Yeah, that’s about it. I felt like I had music inside me and it’s been a huge part of my life. I started working with a vocal coach. He was like you have to learn how to breathe and will sing these songs a thousand times to be able to do it without losing your breath. He was right. I really just learned how to breathe and sing in this manner. It was amazing. It was a lot of work.
Let’s talk about the cast. Was it your choice to use Sam Elliott?
Someone chimed in it was all his choice. You know because he produced, directed, starred in it and wrote it.
BC:Yes he’s someone I admired. He was born in Sacramento but his mother was from Texas and you couldn’t really place where he was from. I read Bruce Springfield’s autobiography and he said he always wanted to steal his dad’s voice. So I kind of wove that into the story. He wanted his brother’s voice. Sam Elliott was the brother. He actually stole his voice because he wanted to be like him. The hardest thing I had to do was to lower my voice that much.
Music is so essential to the movie. How did all the original music come together for the movie?
It evolved the same way the script evolved. It was all over a period of time. I even drummed up the courage to write some songs too. It was all about finding what song fit best with what moment. The story even occurs in the song. We just had great lyrics, melodies and songs that we could weave it in to the script. Most of Lady Gaga’s songs are the full songs. Most of Jackson’s songs you get the snippets!
Did Lady Gaga give you any tips for performing?
There was one moment when I sing in the drag bar and I was so nervous. But I hadn’t really sung for a few people before. She came up to me and said, “You don’t have to perform this. You know this.”
What was more intimidating performing for the first time on camera or directing?
It’s all terrifying! It’s such a personal movie I was always working from that place. The real fear came from wondering if I could come from that place of fear. But I love it all.
What was the most emotional scene to shoot?
The one with Jackson’s brother (Sam Elliott). I couldn’t even do it at the table read I was crying so hard. The scene in the bathtub where he disrespects Lady Gaga was brutal too. She didn’t know I was going to do that and it shocked her.
Why did the movie have to end the way it did?
He did things for other people and not for himself. I have a personal connection to addiction and I wanted them to know it was real and there’s no way it wasn’t going to end that way. The movie ends when the star is born. She’s planted and ready to bloom now that she’s been through the hard stuff.
How did Andrew Dice Clay come into the movie?
He was the one who reached out to us and wanted to be a driver. I thought he would be great as her dad. I am a huge Andrew Dice Clay fan. I had memorized his routines when I was younger. When he came into read I was like you’re going to have to kill the sideburns and take off the glasses and be vulnerable. So I wrote this part for him and Gaga to read together and he just killed it. It just worked.
It’s already getting Oscar Buzz how do you feel about that?
It’s great but that’s not what I do it for. What’s real to me is when I get to come and talk to you in the towns around the country. When I was writing this I was planning to do this as a tour I did it with The Silver Linings Playbook and I loved it. It’s about being out here with you guys.
What a super nice guy! Go See A Star is Born it’s in theaters October 5! More info below!
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, with Dave Chappelle, and Sam Elliott
Drama. “A Star is Born,” stars four-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper,” “American Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) and multiple award-winning, Oscar-nominated music superstar Lady Gaga, in her first leading role in a major motion picture. Cooper helms the film, marking his directorial debut. In this new take on the tragic love story, he plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers—and falls in love with—struggling artist Ally (Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer… until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.
This film is rated R for language throughout, some sexuality/nudity and substance abuse.
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