Bradley Cooper is more than a little comfortable on The Tonight Show couch. The A Star is Born director/actor may have been the subject of a Sunday Sept. 30 New York Times feature entitled “Bradley Cooper Is Not Really Into This Profile,” due to his being reluctant to open up about his inner life, but sitting next to host Jimmy Fallon, Cooper was all smiles and seemingly willing to go down any silly path the host had in mind.
That included sharing the page of daily vocal warm-ups he used on the set of A Star is Born to help him nail the low, gravely voice of hard-livin’ singer Jackson Maine, and making Fallon give them a shot. “Baby bubble…kiki cookie…eleven benevolent elephants,” they chanted together.
Cooper also revealed that a bit he did the last time he was on The Tonight Show in 2014, during which he played air guitar to Neil Young’s “Down By The River,” was actually a low-key screen test for his Star character. “It was kind of like a test run, I swear to God, if I didn’t look ridiculous — even though it’s air-guitaring — ‘let me just see, does that look so ridiculous that I won’t even try to do it?'” Cooper said.
Though he learned how to play guitar and piano for the film — with his parts overdubbed by Promise of the Real’s Lukas Nelson — the actor said he was thankful that the audiences at Stagecoach and the Glastonbury Festival couldn’t hear his actual playing when his crew hopped up on stage at both fests last year to shoot for a few minutes. “Lady Gaga‘s the real deal, so the rest of the movie it just had to be authentic,” he added about the scene in the movie where Gaga’s character performs on Saturday Night Live on the legendary late night show’s actual set. “I didn’t want to do a montage of her rise. This is her ascension…what could be the moment where you’re like, ‘Oh, okay she’s arrived!’ There’s no other place than Saturday Night Live. If you’re going to be the musical guest at the season finale of Saturday Night Live, some stuff has changed.”
Cooper also recounted the movie’s origin story, recalling the time he saw Gaga perform “La Vie En Rose” at a cancer benefit in 2016 and was blown away. “She just decimated the room and that’s why that scene is in the movie,” he said of one of the most pivotal moments in the film. “And we just clicked.” But mostly, the Fallon and Cooper just cracked up about how lucky they are to get to do what they do. “How’d that happen Brad?” Cooper laughed about his recent trip home for a 20th high school reunion where an old friend wondered how the actor got to this point.
And then he realized he might be wearing the same suit he wore the last time he was on The Tonight Show, so Cooper just ran out mid-interview to check. Again: way too comfortable.
Watch Cooper’s appearance on on The Tonight Show below.