Bradley Cooper may not have won the Golden Globe for helming “A Star Is Born,” but the actor-turned-director is being celebrated across the industry for his masterful debut behind the camera.
Just this week, Cooper was nominated by the Directors Guild of America and on Tuesday evening, he was honored by the National Board of Review with the best director award.
“It’s overwhelming,” Cooper told Variety of the recognition. “You take a risk. Even more scary, you ask a bunch of people to come risk with you, so that pressure is kind of overwhelming. To be able to make something and it’s being received the way it is, is really wonderful.”
Speaking to Variety at the National Board of Review annual awards gala in New York on Tuesday night, Cooper said he was happy to see his industry friends win awards in his categories at this year’s Golden Globes. (“A Star Is Born” lost out to “Bohemian Rhapsody” for best drama motion picture, and Cooper was nominated for best actor and best director, which went to “Bohemian Rhapsody’s” Rami Malek and “Roma’s” Alfonso Cuaron, respectively.)
“I was so proud of Graham King,” he said of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer, who was up on stage at the Globes for the best picture win. “I’ve known him for years. I know how hard he’s worked to get that movie made, and to see him up there being able to talk about it with the gratitude that he had, it was beautiful.”
Cooper is still knee-deep in the awards season trail for “A Star Is Born,” leading up to the Oscars — but has he selected his next project that he’ll direct? Cooper says yes. When asked to give details on that project, Cooper laughed, “No.”
However, he did offer up a big detail: He will star in the next project he directs, like he did in “A Star Is Born.”
“I think I’ll be acting in it, yeah,” Cooper revealed. “I love the two together. I really do,” he said of acting and directing simultaneously.
“I’d say with this one, there’s a tremendous amount of pressure that I just put on myself because I just want to grow and get better,” Cooper said, admitting there will be an added challenge in following up “A Star Is Born.” He added, “Luckily, I feel something — a story I want to tell — so once that happens, I can’t avoid it. I have to go for it.”
As for the Globes, although many people thought a “A Star Is Born” was snubbed across the boards, the film did win for best original song for “Shallow.” Cooper says that the first thing he said to Lady Gaga after she accepted the award at the ceremony was, “Let’s eat!”
Later in the night, Steven Spielberg presented Bradley Cooper with his best director award on stage with a glowing introduction. Spielberg, who said he’s been a fan of Cooper’s since his days on “Alias,” and heralded him as one of the industry’s next great directors.
“Cooper refused to compromise,” Spielberg said of his perseverance in getting “A Star Is Born” made from getting the best script to the best actress for the lead role. “He wanted it all, and he wanted it all on his first time at bat…where that ball will land, nobody knows.”
Spielberg added, “He’s not just directing the heck out of it, but he’s delivering one of the finest performances of his entire career.” With a laugh, Spielberg cracked, “Bradley wears many hats…at least he’s not good looking.”
When Cooper came up on stage, clearly in awe of getting Spielberg’s rave stamp of approval, he said, “Thank you Steven, I can’t believe I get to call you Steven.”
Watch Bradley Cooper’s full interview above.
When A Star Is Born writer, director, and star Bradley Cooper was looking for a dog to feature in the film, he looked no further than his own pup Charlie.
In the drama, Cooper’s character Jackson Maine and Ally (Lady Gaga) adopt a dog together and the actor felt his personal connection to the pooch would read on-screen.
“There was no nepotism — I wanted this relationship with the dog,” Cooper told PEOPLE last week during the film’s Los Angeles premiere. “[Jackson and Ally] don’t have a child together but they have a dog together, and I wanted it to be part of their story. I love dogs.”
Charlie is named after Cooper’s late father, who died after a battle with lung cancer in 2011. “That meant a lot for him to be in the film,” he shared.
Charlie not only appears in key scenes as the relationship between musicians Jackson and Ally grows — he’s also a key element of A Star Is Born’s emotional climax.
The 43-year-old notes his pet has begun to show signs of diva behavior following his big break, sharing that Charlie now “has an agent.”
“I don’t talk to him much anymore,” Cooper jokes. “He doesn’t return my calls. He always walks away from me unless I have food.”
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) 6 de outubro de 2018
The actor, director, and writer sat down with Vanity Fair’s Krista Smith in Toronto to go very, very deep on his extremely personal new film.
Bradley Cooper swears he couldn’t have done it any other way. Friends had told the actor that, if he wanted to try out directing, he should start with a TV episode or a commercial, just to learn. “I said, that scares the hell out of me,” he told Vanity Fair’s executive West Coast editor, Krista Smith, in a conversation at the Toronto International Film Festival. “I wouldn’t know where to put the camera. . . . You can’t control what moves you, and I wanted to tell a love story.”
The love story that Cooper chose is one that’s been a staple in Hollywood for nearly a century. Cooper’s A Star Is Born, which opens in theaters Friday after a rapturous festival run, is the fourth version of the film, starring Cooper opposite Lady Gaga as a successful musician with a disastrous drinking problem who meets an up-and-coming singer—who might be able to help him turn it all around.
Each version of A Star Is Born is unique, and Cooper brought many personal touches to the script, which he co-wrote with Eric Roth and Will Fetters. One of the most significant is the relationship between his character and his half brother, played by Sam Elliott, who has managed his much-younger brother’s career but never stopped resenting him. The siblings bottle up their emotions for most of the film, until Cooper’s character, Jackson, opens up in a pivotal scene—so pivotal, Cooper said, that he was nervous to film it.
“I remember even in the table read, I couldn’t even say the line. I would start crying,” he told Smith. “I was scared for that scene.”
Even before Elliott signed on for the film, Cooper based his character, Jackson Maine, on the actor—and worked with his dialect coach from American Sniper, Tim Monich, for four hours a day to model his voice on Elliott’s. “He’s from Sacramento, his mom was born in Texas,“ Cooper said, explaining why he chose Elliott’s voice as the ideal “hybrid accent” model for Jackson Maine. “Sam has this accent you can’t quite place.”
When it came time for Cooper to meet Elliott and ask him to be in the film, he said, “It was a crazy thing. I didn’t know if he was going to yell at me, be like ‘Who the hell do you think you are.’ I played an interview verbatim that he gave at Sundance a year or two year ago, but it was me doing it.” Lucky for Cooper, and the movie, Elliott was in. “Thank God he said yes, because I would have had to rewrite the whole thing. Six months of work on my voice would have gone down the drain.”
Elliott’s character may be the main idol for Cooper’s character, but Cooper himself has plenty of them—several of whom were around for the production of A Star Is Born. Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, stars of the 1976 version of the story, visited the set—“We were all completely blown away that they did that”—and Kristofferson happened to be performing at the Glastonbury Music Festival in England in 2017, when Cooper planned to shoot a few crowd scenes for the movie. “I had four minutes before,” he said. “The best part was I got to say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Kris Kristofferson.’ And I walked off the stage as he walked on. I’ll never forget it.”
On the first day of the film’s production, Cooper’s American Sniper director, Clint Eastwood, also stopped by for a decidedly Eastwood-style visit. “He came and had lunch,” Cooper said. “He just drives up by himself in his 1988 Audi. That guy is the most unassuming.”
And finally, one more father figure: the fluffy dog that Cooper and Gaga’s characters get midway through the film, who has such undeniable chemistry with both actors? That’s Cooper’s real dog, Charlie. Named after his father.
Watch the full, 35-minute interview above for much, much more from Cooper, including the low moments when he considered leaving the entire entertainment industry behind, the six characters he’s always felt he had to play (and how many of them he’s now embodied), and the moment he saw Lady Gaga perform and knew he wanted her in A Star Is Born.
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