LAS VEGAS — Bradley Cooper said that Lady Gaga is “kind of a revelation” in the upcoming “A Star Is Born.”
The film shot directly into the must-see discussion at this week’s CinemaCon, the annual convention of theater owners. But the “Joanne” singer was not the only clear stand-out when Cooper revealed his first sneak peek of the project.
Cooper has spent three years on the film, writing the screenplay, directing as well as singing live onstage in concert venues for the modern remake of the classic Hollywood tale. Janet Gaynor and Frederic March starred in the 1937 original, later updated in 1954 (with Judy Garland and James Mason) and 1976 (Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson).
“It’s a big swing, but you can’t control what moves you,” Cooper said of the story, speaking from the CinemaCon stage. “It wrapped itself around me.”
He said it was Gaga who insisted on singing live in the movie.
“She said, ‘What I cannot stand in movies is when it’s playback and you can see they’re lip-syncing. We’re going to sing live.’ ” Cooper recalled.
That is one of the biggest, most daunting challenges of the movie. The two performed, with Cooper playing the guitar, in front of real festivals such as Stagecoach, Coachella and England’s Glastonbury.
In Glastonbury 2017, Cooper was even able to introduce Kristofferson on the stage for the film.
Cooper said that singing solo on stage “was the scariest thing.”
“But I did ‘Elephant Man’ for 398 performances on Broadway,” said Cooper. “Either you feel comfortable on a stage or you don’t. And it really paid off.”
Besides, he had Lady Gaga as a personal instructor.”
She said ‘You’re going to become a musician and you’re going to make me as comfortable as you can onscreen,’ ” Cooper said. “It was a good barter.”
The chemistry is evident in the trailer featuring raw performances with Gaga playing an insecure performer Ally, and Cooper as her famous musician mentor Jackson Maine. The film, co-starring Andrew Dice Clay and Dave Chappelle, is scheduled for an Oct. 5 release.