There's a good chance that you've seen Bradley Cooper's acclaimed film, A Star is Born, maybe even several times over since its release last year. The actor's 2018 directorial debut was a critical and commercial smash, which isn't something you often say about the third remake of a world-famous movie. Alas, the performer pushed himself and defeated the odds to make an emotional wallop of a film, one that's benefitted enormously by tremendous performances from Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott and Bradley Cooper himself in the lead role. But did you catch all these little details and easter eggs sprinkled throughout?
Movies will pride themselves with hidden details and multiple surprises. A lot of blockbusters will fit in Easter Eggs or hidden background details that the make the movie just as rewarding upon rewatch. Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born prides itself in being an old-fashioned, character-driven story that provides heartfelt performances and commendable filmmaking. Be sure to look out for these details (or keep them in mind) the next time you watch it.
Naturally, there will be spoilers for A Star is Born found throughout this article. Be warned accordingly.
Jackson Maine Loses So Much Weight During His Rehab Stint That His Wedding Ring Is Loose
During an extremely embarrassing incident at the Grammys with Ally (Lady Gaga), Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) decides it's time to clean up his act and enter rehabilitation for his crippling alcohol dependency. It's months later that we're reacquainted with the troubled professional musician. It's clear that he has changed, especially physically. While his conscious still weighs heavy, Jackson has lost a considerable amount of weight, as seen by his notably looser wedding ring. It's a small touch that serves as a visual cue for the further loosening grip on Ally and Jack's continuously fractured marriage.
Bradley Cooper Spent Months Altering His Voice In Order To Fit The Role Of Jackson Maine
Bradley Cooper is a commendably dedicated actor. The A-lister reportedly gained 40 pounds in muscle mass in just 10 weeks for his Oscar-nominated performance as Chris Kyle in American Sniper, and that level of dedication is similarly present in his acting preparations for A Star Is Born. Specifically, Cooper worked intensely with a dialect coach to lower his voice to turn it into a more raspy growl, which is akin to his co-star Sam Elliott's recognizable vocal chords. This is present in Cooper's entire performance, including his singing. It took about a year of back-and-forth with the dialect coach before the actor/director felt confident in his voice for Jackson Maine. Additionally, Bradley Cooper learned how to play the guitar and the piano to play this character.
Noodles' Daughter Was Played By Dave Chappelle's Real-Life Daughter
As we'll discuss more in-depth throughout the article, Bradley Cooper used a lot of real-life friends, acquaintances, relatives and untrained actors to fill out his supporting cast. That includes Dave Chappelle's real-life daughter, Sonal Chappelle, playing the daughter of his character, Noodles, during one key scene toward the middle of the movie. Casting choices such as this one help to build a sense of authenticity around the movie, grounding it in realism — even during the film's more heightened moments. It also adds meaning to the scene's commentary on family and legacy.
That Was Actually Bradley Cooper's Dog In The Movie
Additionally, when Jackson Maine and Ally Maine decide to adopt a dog to add to their home, the adorable pooch they pick up is none other than Cooper's own dog, Charlie. The canine, who is named after Bradley Cooper's late father, Charles Cooper, arguably steals nearly every scene it is in, and any scene where Cooper is affectionally cuddling the dog is not acting. It's clear that the actor/director has a wealth of love for his little co-star.
Jackson Maine's Ear Doctor Was Played By Bradley Cooper's Actual Ear Doctor
Furthermore, Bradley Cooper blurs the bridge between fiction and reality with A Star Is Born by hiring his real-life ear doctor, William Slattery III M.D., in his movie to play Jackson Maine's ear doctor. The actor/co-writer/director needed an ear doctor for his movie, notably since his character suffers from tinnitus, and he figured why not hire the real deal? As the doctor revealed in an interview with The Cut released shortly following the movie's release, Bradley Cooper was grilling the professional ear doctor with several questions related to the writing process for the character.
Then Slattery got a ring from Cooper, asking him if he wanted to play the small part in the film. While Slattery didn't have any acting experience — professional or otherwise — prior to his work in the Oscar-winning movie, he took the opportunity nonetheless, and it's another example of how Cooper adds acute realism to his movie.
Lady Gaga's Real-Life Dancers, Choreographer And Hair/Make-Up Stylists Play Roles In The Movie
In addition to professionals from Bradley Cooper's life making their way into the hit movie, the actor/director also hired Lady Gaga's real-life dancers, hair and make-up stylists, and choreographer to play Ally's respective entourage in A Star Is Born. Once again, the logic seemed to be that if they were good enough to help Lady Gaga throughout her day-to-day celebrity lifestyle, they should know what it takes to play Ally's crew in this acclaimed film. Sure enough, it was a decision that paid off, once again adding a fine sense of actuality to the well-told story and giving it a sense of authentic reality.
The Costume Designer Loaned Her Own Wedding Dress To Lady Gaga
In 1976's A Star Is Born, Barbra Streisand is famously wearing her own wedding dress during a scene where her character is marrying Kris Kristofferson's character. In that similar vein, Ally's own humble wedding dress isn't Lady Gaga's wedding gown, but it does belong to the film's costume designer, Erin Benach. She let the musician/singer wear the outfit during the movie's intimate wedding sequence near the middle of the film.
The First Day Of Shooting Was At Coachella
As it has been noted several times throughout the course of this article, Bradley Cooper took many efforts to make his movie feel connected to reality. The first-time filmmaker made his middle budget movie feel both extravagant and grounded in equal measure, allowing many real life people to play a role in his retelling of one of Hollywood's most beloved love stories. With that, it's perhaps only fitting that the movie began production on the stage as part of Coachella. Many eager fans got an opportunity to be in the crowd during one of the movie's most pivotal scenes. If you were wondering why there are no cell phone pictures or footage of this filmmaking process, it's because they were all collected beforehand.
The Opening Titles Were In Direct Reference To 1954's A Star Is Born Plus Nods To Other 3 Versions
It is no secret that 2018's A Star Is Born is the fourth iteration of the Hollywood cautionary love story. It follows behind the 1937 version, the 1954 remake, and the 1976 remake (each of them have their respective fans). While Bradley Cooper's remake harkens back to the 1976 version more often than not, the first-time director pays his respects to all three movies — in some subtle ways and some not-so-subtle ways. For instance, Lady Gaga singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is a tribute to Judy Garland, who starred in the 1954 remake.
There are also several references to Ally's nose, which is directly related to Barbra Streisand, who starred in the 1976 tale. And all four films feature the line "I just wanted to take another look at you," which is one streamline in all four versions. Additionally, the big, bold red title card is a direct reference to the title card found in the 1954 version.
The Ending Of The Movie Was Changed During Production
In every iteration of A Star is Born, the tragedy unfurls as the leading man takes his life, leaving his love interest with a broken wounded heart. The means through which every character commits suicide is different, but in Bradley Cooper's original script, this movie was going to have an ending that harkened back more directly to the 1937 original, which saw Fredric March's Norman Maine walking into the ocean in order to drown himself. Reportedly, Bradley Cooper intended to shoot a similar ending for his movie, even scouting a few different oceanside locations in order to shoot this pivotal scene.
Then it was changed to have Jackson Maine ride his motorcycle to his doom, which would've been more in line with the 1976 version. Ultimately, Bradley Cooper forged his own path with the ending to his directorial debut, which ends with our tortured main character hanging himself in his garage. There are also rumors that suggest that this scene is the final one shot for Cooper's movie, though that information hasn't been officially confirmed yet.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.
These are only a few of the surprise details laced in Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born. But there are surely several more to be found throughout this film. Be sure to let us know if there are any other noteworthy details that weren't mentioned above that should be shared with fans of this iteration of the movie.
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.