Lady Gaga had a requirement for her first break out movie role, and that was that all the tunes in A Star is Born were to be performed live, reports Reuters. That edict essentially banned lip-syncing and meant that her costar Bradley Cooper, who plays one of the main characters of the movie, had to head out and work hard preparing for the role because he wasn’t a strong vocalist.
The blockbuster film marks Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, and it is also the first time the prolific actor sang, wrote songs or demonstrated his musical abilities in the entirety of his acting career.
During the Toronto International Film Festival he told reporters that, “Singing live, there really was no question.”
A Star is Born is a remake of the original musical drama film released in 1937, and the flick has been remade three times. The movie’s plot is about country rock star and alcoholic Jackson Maine (played by Cooper), who meets an aspiring singer-songwriter and musician Ally (played by Gaga).
In the story, Ally and Jackson fall in love, and he acts as her mentor. Soon, Ally’s career is on fire as Jackson’s begins to decline. Much of the dynamic of the story involves how Jackson copes with his health problems, addiction, and the role reversal of the couple’s fame.
Belting out songs is Gaga’s forte, so it isn’t much of a stretch to say she was a natural for the role of character Ally if she could master acting the iconic role required. She already had a leg up on the acting aspect of the character since she won a Golden Globe for her role in AHS: Hotel.
The exact opposite was true for Bradley Cooper, who, for three years enjoyed being one of the highest paid actors in the world. On the other hand, he was by his own admission, a “novice musician.”
According to ET, The Silver Linings Playbook star was “mesmerized” with Gaga’s voice but she had no idea about his ability until the duo rehearsed together.
Lady Gaga, whose actual name is Stefani Germanotta, critiqued Bradley’s voice saying, “All of a sudden he started singing, and I stopped playing piano. Bradley, you have such a wonderful voice. We instantly started harmonizing and it became this magical moment.”
After that, Bradley Cooper reflected on his lack of preparation and said, “Starting to sing and realizing that I really couldn’t; starting to learn guitar and piano and realizing I couldn’t.”
The Limitless star realized then he had his work cut out for him, and he said that the six months of preparation it took getting him ready for the role was the hardest.
For six months he took acting and singing lessons, so he could bring authenticity to the part of Jackson Maine. Live singing roles lend a certain authenticity to a role, and Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson did both quite effectively in the 1976 version of A Star is Born.
So, what is the end result for the Lady Gaga/Bradly Cooper big screen remake of A Star Is Born, you might ask. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper reportedly have great chemistry, and the film is already generating a lot of award show buzz. A Star Is Born additionally holds an approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 93 percent which is based on 40 reviews. And, according to Metacritic, “the film has a weighted average score of 89 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating universal acclaim.”
A Star is Born comes out in theaters Oct 5.