A STAR IS REBORN ... WELL
INSTEAD OF A REHASH, WHAT’S OLD IS FRESH IN LOVE STORY REMAKE
AStar is Born is a film of firsts for its stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Four-time Oscar nominee Cooper makes his directorial debut in the contemporary take on the tragic love story that follows a musician who helps a young singer and actress find fame even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.
For music superstar Gaga, it’s her first leading role in a major motion picture.
“It felt like we were at the same point individually in our work, and we both needed the same thing from each other, essentially, in order to jump the tracks to this other place,” Cooper says.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to direct, but I also knew that I needed to have a point of view, to know why I was doing it, otherwise there was no reason to. And I always wanted to tell a love story, because it feels like something everybody can relate to – the love, the loss of it, the high of it. It’s the thing that makes you feel the most alive.”
Despite her extensive experience on stage, including last year’s blockbuster Super Bowl half-time show, Gaga admits to nerves ahead of her feature film debut.
“I had to get past the nerves, but I was so excited because, in my opinion, when somebody has talent inside them, brewing for years, ready to move into another medium and it finally happens ... it’s like a huge explosion, an opus,” she says.
“He was meant to direct, and I just got lucky enough to be in his first film.”
A Star is Born features a soundtrack of original music largely written by Gaga and Cooper, who made a pact early on to record all their performances in the film live – no lip-syncing to a track.
“There’s something about singing that’s so honest ... you can’t hide at all. I thought that those two things (music and singing) could be put together in a way that maybe I’d find my point of view,” Cooper says.
“I never thought, ‘How do I make it original?’ I just knew I had to make it authentic to tell the story I wanted to tell.”
Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a seasoned musician who discovers and falls in love with struggling artist Ally (Gaga). She has given up on her dream to become a successful singer until she meets Jack, who immediately sees her natural talent.
The first time Jack sees Ally, she’s performing La Vie En Rose at a bar he’s wandered into in search of booze, and where every other performer is in drag.
“He tells her things I don’t think he’s ever told anyone,” Cooper says.
“This is not a guy who talks about that stuff and all of a sudden he’s talking about it to her. They just met, but there’s this chemistry, this synchronicity, that’s occurred, and they both wind up letting their guard down.”
The filmmakers shot in such iconic locations as Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, The Forum and The Shrine Auditorium, and on the stages of the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals, as well as Saturday Night Live, to ensure the authenticity of this look behind the curtain of the music industry.
Supporting Cooper and Gaga are some famous faces including Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle and Andrew Dice Clay.
“Once everything came together – we got the cast, the music, the script was in shape – everybody was invested in a way that felt like it was more than a job,” Cooper says.
“They trusted me, which made directing just the greatest experience ever, and made it possible to create the film we set out to make.”
A Star is Born opens on Thursday.