As the director of A Star Is Born, there are a ton of things that would have been scary for Bradley Cooper. It was a version of a story that had already been told three times, it was his directorial debut, and he had to sing alongside Lady Gaga. While these things were likely daunting, what scared Cooper most about doing the movie was making sure that he got his voice right as Jackson Maine.
One of the things I knew, I wanted to lower my voice [to play Jackson]. But I didn't want to make him too country. Sam Elliott's from Sacramento but his mother was from Texas. So he has this accent you can't quite place. ... The first six months I could only do it like this [head bent over] and I would go to sleep, my throat would hurt. And I thought 'Well, this is never gonna happen.' That was what I was most terrified of was his voice.
Bradley Cooper's character Jackson Maine is a country rocker in A Star Is Born, so Cooper needed to do some voice work to be believable in the role. Plus, Sam Elliott plays his brother, so he had to have a similar accent. Cooper ended up lowering his voice by a whole octave, and while it sounds great in the movie, there was a time when Cooper was getting really worried about it.
Bradley Cooper told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that the voice is what terrified him the most about doing the movie. The process of getting his voice just right was difficult, and Cooper could initially only do it by contorting his body. On top of that, he had to copy Sam Elliott's accent, which on top of being an iconic voice, is influenced by two different parts of the country. Thankfully, Cooper was able to get it to the point where even Elliott got freaked out by how good it sounded.
However, don't expect to hear it again soon. Bradley Cooper also told Stephen Colbert that he was retiring the voice and he wasn't even sure that he could do it anymore. When he eventually takes the stage to sing at the Oscars, it'll be as Bradley Cooper.
He's gone. I'm not going to try to get [Jackson] back. But I will be me singing. ... I hope to be present and enjoy it, and hopefully people love the song sung that night.
If you'd like to check out the full interview on The Late Show, be sure to watch the video below!
A Star Is Born is out on Digital so you can enjoy the film anytime you like. The Oscar-nominated movie arrived on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on February 19. Watch Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga perform "Shallow" -- and compete for several awards -- during the 2019 Oscars on Sunday, February 24 on ABC.