The little known truths behind A Star is Born
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s sensational acting breathed life into the fourth remake of the 1937 movie, A Star is Born. The film has garnered a lot of adoration and did pretty well at the box office too. Grossing over $400 million, it became one of the most successful movies of 2018. It has been nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, you’re missing out on arguably the best movie of the year.
Today, we’re going to look at some interesting facts about A Star is Born. Since we will be talking about various scenes from the film, a spoiler warning is now in effect.
1. La vie en rose
In 2016, Bradley Cooper signed on to make the film. He immediately started searching for the actress to play the role of Ally. He went to a cancer benefit program in Sean Parker’s backyard in LA where he saw Lady Gaga perform. She sang the song La Vie en Rose and things kicked-off from there. Cooper told Vogue magazine,
“She had her hair slicked back and she sang La Vie en Rose, and I was just… levitating. It shot like a diamond through my brain. I loved the way she moved, the sound of her voice.”
The very next day they met at a restaurant and felt an instant connection, almost like they’d known each other for years. This was actually their second meeting, the first being a few years before during the taping of SNL. They discussed the film and Cooper offered her the part that day. At the beginning of the movie, Gaga’s character Ally sings La Vie en Rose and Cooper’s character Jackson instantly falls for her.
2. Lady Gaga without makeup
We’re used to seeing Lady Gaga with a lot of face paint, weird hairdos and outlandish outfits. But for this movie, she tried something she hadn’t tried before, at least not in front of the cameras. On The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Gaga said that she had to remove her makeup and undo her hair months before shooting to get into character. Speaking of the experience, she said that the experience ‘was actually kind of liberating.’
She told the LA times that during one of their early meet-ups, Cooper handed her a makeup wipe and told her that he wanted her to be “completely open. No artifice”. The singer explained,
“It put me right in the place I needed to be, because when my character talks about how ugly she feels — that was real.”
3. Different casts and directors
A Star is Born could have been completely different from how it was eventually presented. According to Vogue, Clint Eastwood was originally set to direct the movie and had asked Cooper to play the role of Jackson. At some point down the line, Cooper took over the director’s chair. Eastwood had also consulted Leonardo DiCaprio and Beyonce to star in the film back in 2011, but Beyonce got pregnant the following year.
It pushed the filming back nearly a year, and she eventually fell out of the project. Just a few years ago, Will Smith was very keen to take on the project with Jennifer Lopez. He wanted to show off his singing skills by undertaking the role of Jackson while Jennifer Lopez was to play his companion. But they couldn’t manage the time for the movie, and the idea eventually died out. The film was then revived when Cooper met Lady Gaga.
4. Cooper learned guitar and piano
We saw Cooper pick up a guitar and lay down the vocals in the movie. It turns out he put some serious dedication into the role. He learned the guitar and trained with vocal experts and piano coaches. In an interview with W magazine, Cooper revealed that he trained for nearly six months and had to manage his schedule accordingly. In the interview, he mentions that he and Gaga sat down at a piano to play a song and Gaga was seemingly impressed with his talent; she even taught him some nuances of being a singer.
He also wrote three songs for the movie. Bradley attributed the achievements to Gaga, saying it was her who gave him the confidence. Now that’s teamwork!
5. Death of a friend
In the final scene, Gaga’s character had to give a tearful performance of Never Love Again. Unfortunate news came to the singer, her best friend Sonia was in critical condition, having been diagnosed with cancer months earlier. She rushed to the hospital but couldn’t make it in time to bid her friend farewell.
She met with her family and went back to the set to complete the shooting. Cooper told her that she didn’t have to do it that day, but Gaga insisted and the scene was shot. Talking about Bradley she said,
Bradley was so beautiful with me that day. He was so loving.
The scene was emotionally charged and conveyed genuine grief. It’s also a testament to Lady Gaga’s dedication and professionalism.