For A Star is Born lead Lady Gaga, singing her way into stardom is a familiar experience she can draw upon for her character, Ally. Bradley Cooper, however, had to completely transform into musician alongside her, without previous roots in the industry. He plays an artist named Jackson Maine, who discovers Ally and helps propel her into fame far reaching his own. In preparation for his role, he consulted his personal friend and Pearl Jam lead, Eddie Vedder, who played a key role in influencing his character. In Cooper's words:
I went up to Seattle and spent four or five days with him and I asked him 9,000 questions. And he gave me minor, little things that only musicians know about what to do, just aesthetically and the inner workings.
If you see a bit of rock star Eddie Vedder in Jackson Maine when you see A Star is Born, that's exactly why. As he explained in his interview with Yahoo!, Bradley Cooper got to emulate his own version of a rock star in the film, drawing from a lifetime full of other musicians he has listened to and watched. Since A Star is Born is a Hollywood classic story, different versions of the role has been played by Kris Kristofferson, Jason Mason and Fredric March. In each iteration, the character is in a decline as his new muse starts to gain massive popularity.
The upcoming A Star is Born is a passion project for Bradley Cooper, who also directed and co-wrote the screenplay-- along with having a hand in some original songs. Cooper also forwarded some of his songs to Eddie Vedder during the process to get more feedback from him. Also, per Lady Gaga's request, the film features live singing from both Gaga and Cooper, making this film a huge undertaking for the actor. Since Cooper isn't typically in the sphere of the music industry, not everyone believed he could pull it off including Vedder, as Cooper recalled:
He thought it was crazy I was going to do this movie. He was like, 'What? Bro, don't do that.'
Ahead of its upcoming release, it seems all of Cooper's hard work on A Star is Born isn't going unnoticed as early reviews have praised the film, and it will soon be considered for Oscar contention as well. Earlier this month, the film was screened at film festivals such as Venice and Toronto to rave reviews from critics, recognizing the pair's performances full of heart and as an effective retelling. A Star is Born also marks Lady Gaga's first time leading a film, and takes on a character vastly different from the pop star fans are used to. A Star is Born hits theaters on October 5.