The actor and director detailed their collaborative relationship at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.
Bradley Cooper may be the one sitting in the director's chair of the 2018 remake of A Star Is Born, but Lady Gaga was more than just his leading lady: She was his talent coach and musical guide, and he "relied" on her expertise to deliver a performance that involved surprising 80,000 people with a sneaky serenade.
In a conversation with Robert De Niro at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, Cooper discussed his upcoming directorial debut and the numerous challenges he faced while preparing to play grizzled, jaded rocker Jackson Maine. The actor/director's musical skills were scarce when the pieces for the production began to fall into place in 2015. Gaga, who plays Ally, the singer Jackson takes under his wing, threw him for a loop when she insisted that everyone who sings in the film would be doing so live -- and any alternative involving canned vocals wasn't an option.
"She said right from the beginning that this was going to be a bargain," he told De Niro and the Tribeca crowd. "'I’m gonna rely on you to get a performance that’s honest out of me,' because she’d never done a film before, 'and I’m gonna make sure you that turn into a musician, because we’re going to sing everything live.' And I thought, wait, what? She said, 'No, the only way this is going to work -- I can’t stand when I watch movies when they have music and you can tell when it’s pre-recorded and people are lip-syncing. And she’s right. So that was terrifying, but I really relied on her."