Although the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga remake of A Star Is Born is months away, slated for a May 18, 2018 release, fans are slowly getting more clues of what to expect from the power duo’s film.
This new still from the movie features Cooper on guitar and Gaga with a microphone, singing head-to-head (literally).
Cooper, who’s making his directorial debut with this movie, broke down the remake in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Here’s what we learned:
Both Gaga and Cooper composed original music for the movie. But they also worked with other musicians and songwriters like Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Jason Isbell, and even Mark Ronson, who helped write Lady Gaga’s Joanne album.
The singing was recorded live. All of the music in the film is original, and all of it was recorded live. “There’s no singing in playback, which was terrifying, but it’s key to the movie!” Cooper told EW. “Stefani [Germanotta, Lady Gaga’s real name] was adamant about that: she said, ‘We have to record everything live,’ and I’m so glad she did. It’s night and day.”
Cooper prepped by performing in real life. To help with his portrayal of musician Jackson Maine, the actor and director played some gigs in real life, even if it meant crashing sets at Stagecoach and Glastonbury festivals. He also got help from vocal coach, Roger Love, and other musicians.
The music is a rock-inspired mix. “If I had another year of prep, it would have been complete rock, but now it’s some sort of hybrid,” Cooper said of the movie’s original songs.
Cooper sang a folk song with Gaga when he first met her for the movie. The actor and director said the superstar “made me so comfortable, from day one.” The day he first met her for the film, he recalled, he asked her to sing a folk song together to test their chemistry. Gaga “just sat down and made me feel comfortable, and from then on it was that way,” Cooper told EW.
He was also able to avoid getting starstruck by being so invested in his portrayal. “I had the benefit of preparation,” he added. “By the time we shot the movie… in some ways I was able to hide in him, so I never had to deal with the reality of asking myself, ‘Are you nuts, putting yourself on stage with Lady Gaga?’ That never really entered into my head, thank God!”
The close-up photo isn’t the first we’ve seen from the A Star Is Born set. One dimly-lit still showed Gaga taking the mic while Cooper strummed along behind her.
And another, taken by paparazzi while they were filming, shows the stars kissing atop a motorcycle.