It’s time to let the old ways die, according to A Star is Born director/star Bradley Cooper, who told Stephen Colbert on Thursday night’s (Feb. 14) Late Show that he’s officially retiring his character Jackson Maine’s notoriously gravely voice.
Cooper explained that he realized he needed to create a character for Maine in the film, because, as he proved when he jumped on stage with co-star Lady Gaga in Las Vegas recently, “that guy certainly isn’t a rock star,” he laughed. “I watched the video back… and I just sort of look like this idiot from Philadelphia singing with Lady Gaga… but I was like, ‘Oh, Jackson’s gone.'” Cooper went through his process of lowering his voice to create the rumbly Maine tone, which is a blend of co-star Sam Elliott’s California-Texas twang that you can’t quite put your finger on.
Indulging Colbert, Cooper brought Maine out one more time, mumbling, “this part here is about as good as it gets for me” to whoops of joy from the audience. Cooper also confirmed that when he sings “Shallow” with Gaga at the upcoming Academy Awards — which he’s “terrified” about — it will be as himself, not his doomed character. “He’s gone. I’m not gonna try to get him back,” he said. “But it will be me singing.”
Cooper also talked about his first (and probably only) Grammy win on Sunday and the difficulty of creating a fake golden gramophone award for A Star is Born.
Watch Cooper on The Late Show below.