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Bradley Cooper Didn't Actually Know How To Sing Before A Star Is Born

Jackson Maine singing in A Star is Born

If you didn't know any better prior to seeing A Star is Born, you might think that Bradley Cooper was a professional musician. That's how convincing he is the film as singer Jackson Maine. But Bradley Cooper is not Jared Leto; he didn't come into the role with that kind of extensive music background. In fact, Bradley Cooper didn't actually know how to sing before A Star is Born, as he explained:

I had no idea how to breathe. I knew nothing about singing --- nothing. It's such a difficult art form to sing in front of people, because you lose your breath right away when you're nervous. ... I had great teachers. Lukas Nelson [is] an incredible musician who I worked with --- he and his band [Promise of the Real, worked with me for] hours and hours and hours and hours. I think it's because I was a good student and listened to great teachers [that] I was able to do it.

It's one thing to sing a tune in the shower and another entirely to really sing and seem believable as a professional musician on screen and in front of an audience. As Bradley Cooper told NPR, he knew nothing about singing and needed to learn the fundamentals, like how to breathe while doing it and dealing with nerves so that he could do this role.

So Bradley Cooper had to go from knowing nothing about singing to needing to learn how to breathe while doing it, to being able to do it well, to singing in front of an audience. That is quite the progression and it sounds like the actor had a crash course on singing to get him where he needed to be.

Bradley Cooper sought the help of real life rockers Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real to make him into a convincing rock star, and judging by the final film, they taught him well. Plus, as he says, he was a good student, eager to listen and learn.

Hearing how much went into this preparation and the place Bradley Cooper started from, you can see why, in the early stages, he considered getting rocker Jack White to star in the film before he decided to take on the role himself, in his directorial debut no less.

Bradley Cooper's success in the role is made all the more impressive considering that he needed to be convincing as a singer opposite a real singer in Lady Gaga. That and he sung live in the film, as Lady Gaga insisted, versus filming and then singing over playback. In many ways, he basically needed to become a singer for this movie, in addition to changing his voice an entire octave for the role and directing everything.

To have to do all that and have his performance, and the movie as a whole, be such so successful is testament to Bradley Cooper's talents and work ethic. You can see why so many people think A Star is Born is going to do quite well for itself when the Academy Award nominations come out.

A Star is Born is now playing. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest in movie news and check out our 2019 release schedule for everything headed to theaters next year.

Nick Evans

Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.