VENICE, Italy — Bradley Cooper spent four years getting Friday’s “A Star Is Born” made and the result is a personal triumph. His four-hankie musical, the fourth version of a classic Hollywood tale of doomed romance between an older fading superstar and the young singer he discovers and loves, is getting raves.
As Jackson Maine, a legendary singer-songwriter, Cooper is not just starring opposite Lady Gaga’s mesmerizing film debut, he convincingly sings and plays guitar as an Eagles-style superstar, all while directing and producing.
It was Gaga who suggested he sing in the film — how scary was that?
“This is the thing about people needing people,” Cooper, 43, said. “She made me feel so comfortable from the first day we met in fact, that we sang together that very first 15, 20 minutes we knew each other.
“I’d be lying if I said I was nervous, because she made me feel so comfortable. She really did. She’s very present and warm, and when you see an artist of that caliber treat you like a peer, it’s very emboldening.
“The true answer is, I felt like I was protected all the time.”
Added Gaga, “He’s a great singer. Really, from the moment he opened his mouth — we were sitting at my piano in the living room and he started to sing, and I stopped and said, ‘Oh my gosh, Bradley. You have an incredible voice.’
“He sings from the nectar, from the soul.”
Cooper also spent a year with a voice coach to lower his register. It was Gaga who insisted that every musical number be done live, no lip syncing to a pre-recorded track.
Cooper remains star-struck when it comes to all things Gaga. “I wish you could have been there to actually watch it happen, because while we were filming this movie, we also had the opportunity of watching and being a part of watching her sing every day,” he said.
“Literally the whole crew would just sit back, and we all kind of forgot we were even doing a job every time she sang. We were all sitting there watching and feeling very grateful that we were there at this moment to watch this incredible artist do her thing. That really never got old.
“It was insane! All of a sudden she starts, and the temperature in the room changes.”