Bradley Cooper: My throat hurt from doing my character’s voice in A Star is Born

72nd EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) - Press Room
In episode #4 of our podcast, Kaiser (Chandra) and I reviewed A Star is Born. That’s at about 16 minutes in. She made the point that the movie was all about Bradley Cooper’s character, Jackson, and that you could tell that he directed it. It should have been centered around Allie, Lady Gaga’s character, and her personal journey but that was glossed over.

Next week in our podcast I’m including a talk I had with my boyfriend Dave about A Star is Born, right after we watched it. (Since it’s the day after the Oscars it’s going to be a special episode with content that isn’t as time sensitive. It’s still fun! Kaiser and I will also talk about the perennial topic of Kim Kardashian’s plastic surgery.) He said that Cooper’s character reminded him of a drunk redneck guy at the bar and that he mumbled through most of the movie. Apparently all that was deliberate. On Colbert, Bradley explained how he came up with his character’s voice, it was modeled on Sam Elliott’s real voice, and how it hurt to maintain. It seemed like such a put on to me. Remember that not only is A Star is Born nominated for best picture, somehow Bradley got a best actor nomination too.

Sam Elliott said the first time he talked to him about the film he noticed he’d stolen his voice
I had to create [a rockstar]. I knew I wanted to lower my voice, but I knew I didn’t want to make it too country. Sam Elliott is from Sacramento but his mother was from Texas, so he has this accent that you can’t quite place, but it’s so wonderfully iconic.

I would go to sleep, my throat would hurt [from using the character's voice].

On if he’s nervous about singing at the Oscars
[Jackson] is gone, I’m not going to get him back. I think I’m just going to keep the tux on. I’m going to start rehearsing [soon]. I hope to be present and enjoy it.

Colbert said it was an old fashioned movie in some ways
The intention was to make an epic movie that was intimate. To have it be cinematic but also extremely intimate.

Colbert said: When you were watching her rehearse the camera just stays on you watching her
After the fight. That was a beautiful marriage of working with a great cinematographer. That scene also was about him coming around on seeing the artistry in what she does. You’re watching his face change and appreciate what she’s doing.

Read his explanation in the last part. It’s all about his character’s arc as Chandra said. While I expected so much more from A Star is Born, and from Cooper’s character and direction, he was gracious on The Late Show. He so wants this film to do well and he really cares whether he wins or not. He thanked Colbert for speaking positively about the film at The National Board of Review and said it really touched him. This makes me wonder if he’s calling in favors with friends, like ‘ol ham face.

Here’s an unintentionally funny scene from ASIB

Here’s the part of Cooper’s interview where he talks about ASIB. The other part is here.

72nd EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) - Arrivals

Photos credit: WENN

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22 Responses to “Bradley Cooper: My throat hurt from doing my character’s voice in A Star is Born”

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  1. Harryg says:

    He’s a good singer. The movie is not great, and the way Lady Gaga suddenly becomes Jennifer Lopez and has no trouble with it makes no sense.

    • mia girl says:

      Cooper gave a good performance, Gaga was very appealing but my biggest issue is that I found the whole movie rather boring and not well directed. I kept turning it off to watch something else.

      I eventually finished it, but I never was able to connect to the story and partly because of what you and @celebitchy are saying… Ally’s journey from earnest songwriter to pop superstar was never fleshed out. Don’t get me started on Ally’s manager/promoter one-dimensional character.

      • M.A.F. says:

        Her character development I did not like. She was not a pop star. And they had moment when her character could have stood up and said “No, this isn’t me” but they wasted that opportunity. And his low wasn’t as low as it could have been. The Grammy scene (and others) was extremely similar to the ’76 version.

  2. Mina says:

    I think Bradley’s character is the most interesting one in the story, to be honest (as it also happened in the previous version with Barbra Streisand). The last two installments of this story ARE about the washed out star that does one good thing before he’s completely swallowed by his own darkness. Making it about the shiny new start makes it too generic. That being said, I felt that 2018′s A Star is Born struck a good balance between the two protagonists.

  3. Nicegirl says:

    Hmm. I had no idea Sam Elliot was from Sacramento, CA.

    Because he graduated from the same high school my son went to here in Portland, Oregon. David Douglas High School.

    Maybe he was born in Sacto? My sister married a man from Sacramento, born and raised, but he does not sound like a rockstar. He sounds like a wanna be slickster.

    LOL Bradley Cooper 🤣😂

  4. Jen says:

    I actually liked ASIB-I saw it with my mom and we both cried a lot, we lost an immediate family member to addiction and it hit hard. However, I feel like I’m in the minority that I didn’t love Lady Gaga in it-that could be because she’s realllly turned on that extra “Gaga”ness throughout awards season. I just didn’t buy her as Ally throughout the entire movie.

  5. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Bradley Cooper is so annoying. Seriously. I find him to be so try-hard and so full if himself. I always think back to what his ex-wife said about him. And I think it seems to abe a pretty spot on description. I cackled when the Oscar noms came out and he didnt get a Best Director nom. Because we all know that’s what he really wanted.

    • minx says:

      Same, on all of this. ASIB was riding high at the end of the year and it has really tanked during awards season.

    • Winnie Cooper's Mom says:

      What did his ex say about him? Was he insufferably narcissistic or something?

      • Jane says:

        According to US Magazine she said:
        “I should have noticed the red flags from the beginning—actually, they were more like an entire marching band squad of red flags—but I ignored them because, honestly, I didn’t think the relationship was really going to go anywhere,” Esposito put it bluntly. “He was funny, smart, cocky, arrogant, and a master manipulator. I didn’t necessarily find him that attractive, but I figured that I could enjoy his sense of humor and nonsense for a while. “We had fun, but he also had a mean, cold side. His personality could flip on a dime, but that kind of behavior was familiar to me.

        I’d spent plenty of time walking on eggshells in my childhood home as well as on certain sets, so I quickly learned my role in the relationship and went forward accordingly. But the relationship was about him and what he needed, and nothing else… It wasn’t all bad all the time, so I figured this was just my lot, and I took the good with the bad, even though the bad was extremely bad.”

        “Within days, my relationship hit an all-time low, and within a week, it was over,” she wrote about the end of the short-lived relationship. “Abruptly, rudely, and with the exact callousness that I’d come to expect from him, but this time, I did nothing but agree to end it.”

      • Mina says:

        Bradley Cooper’s ex wife is actress Jennifer Esposito. She wrote a book in 2014 about her celiac disease in which she mentioned some unnamed ex of hers was “funny, smart, arrogant and a master manipulator”. Tabloids assumed she was talking about Cooper, to whom she was married between 2005 and 2006, despite the fact she’s dated many other celebrities. Then Jennifer got mad that media was focusing on that instead of her battle with celiac disease and slammed them all, but didn’t say it wasn’t Cooper (didn’t address it at all, really, probably because it would ruin the purpose of her slamming the media). So you can choose to believe she meant him, or she meant someone else, that’s all.

    • xdanix says:

      I have to be honest, I don’t think judging him by a comment that MAY or may not have been about him, because he was married to someone nearly 15 years ago, is really all that fair. We don’t know it was him, he’s never said a bad word about her, and tbh even if it was about him- it’s a good long time ago, he could be completely different.

      I mean, I’d certainly HOPE he’s changed in that amount of time, I know I don’t want to be the same person I was that amount of time ago in my life. And I hope I’ve changed and grown and developed a ton more 14 or 15 more years from now.

      Plus, didn’t they split up after 4 months or something like that? I’ve had a toothache that’s lasted longer than that marriage! I mean, that’s because I have a terrible fear of the dentist and am putting off going. So really that’s on me! But the point still stands- they weer obviously NOT right for each other in any way if it ended so quickly.

  6. Lunedog says:

    I think he sounded like Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, once I heard it I couldn’t unhear it! Sort of ruined some of the movie for me..

  7. Loretta says:

    Bradley Cooper must be so pressed about the Best Director snub LOL
    I have the feeling that he has a crush on JLaw but she friend-zoned him

  8. M.A.F. says:

    “I would go to sleep, my throat would hurt [from using the character's voice]”
    Still doesn’t mean you deserve the Oscar Bradley.

  9. Div says:

    ASIB just peaked too soon & also became a victim of its own success/over-exposed. They weren’t nearly as thirsty as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rami Malek or the people behind Green Book (with the exception of Ali) or even Richard E. Grant, but the media covered them relentlessly because he’s an A lister and she’s one of the biggest pop stars and the movie was very meme-able.

    Also, the truth is it was over hyped (although it was still better than Green Book, Vice, and Bohemian). It was good imo and deserved its acclaim and high meta critic score, but the talk about how it could sweep the categories doomed it in light of superior films being released soon after. From day one, the focus should have been on best actor, best song, and best supporting actor instead of chasing after director and best picture.

    I suspect if the film had been released a month later, it would be a very different story in terms of winning despite its flaws. Cooper didn’t help by being honest about being disappointed in not getting that director nod in a year when Marielle got snubbed and Spike got his first mom ever, instead of being like “well, the film made a lot of money, got good reviews, and several Oscar nominations so I’m still happy and feel successful even if I’m naturally a bit disappointed.”

    And I know Gaga and Cooper aren’t well liked on here, but I think they’ve handled losing fine for the most part (tho Gaga’s been better at it than him). I’m not going to feel bad for two wildly successful people who are relatively well liked, but it does have to be annoying to be in a critical and commercial success that was nominated for a bunch of Oscars and still be framed as a failure for not winning the hardware, especially when the winners are Green Book and Rami Malek who keeps bringing up Freddie’s ghost.

  10. Mimisnowball says:

    He sounded terrible singing live in Vegas. I’d be nervous too if I were him.

  11. Renee says:

    I loved A Star is Born. I thought the acting, music & direction were great.

  12. Ginnygingin says:

    The film wasn’t bad, but to me it was more like “A Star Has Fallen”. It didn’t really seem to be about the birth of a star. That part was more like a coincidence or so.

  13. Jane Does says:

    OMG Brad, noooobody cares anymore. And really, how much of a narcissist do you have to be to think you’ll get a crack at best director with your first directing attempt? I’m willing to bet stories are gonna come out about this guy at some point . NPD