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If you've been keeping up to date with the entertainment world this week, you will have noticed the headlines for the new romantic drama musical A Star is Born.
The film stars Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine - a musician who encourages Ally, played by Lady Gaga, to pursue her talent as a singer, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.
So far, the reviews have been outstanding, with many lauding the incredible turn from Gaga. After all, we knew she could sing about poker faces and wear bizarre outfits, but no one was quite prepared for how well she would adapt in a feature length blockbuster. Plus the fact that she looked barely recognisable was an weird sight for audiences.
But perhaps the main hat tip should be to Cooper - not only for his precise performance, but because this was his directorial debut. And he nailed it behind the camera.
A Star is Born is the third remake of the original 1937 flick, having been previously adapted for a 1954 musical starring Judy Garland and James Mason and the subsequent 1976 rock musical with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.
As Rolling Stone put it, Cooper helped to transform "a millennial take on this Hollywood warhorse into a modern classic." Meanwhile, Empire wrote: "A remake that captures the tone and spirit of prior films, A Star Is Born still blazes its own heartfelt, authentic path."
These are certainly warm reviews for someone who is new to the whole directing gig - and it sounds like a role that came naturally to him. Speaking to LADbible, Cooper said: "It was one of the great experiences artistically I've ever had, and oddly natural. I had the privilege of working with so many great artists in this film."
Authenticity is something Cooper wanted to maintain throughout, which is why he even jumped onstage at a couple of music festivals in order to shoot scenes, joining Jamie Johnson and Willie Nelson at Stagecoach and when Kristofferson played at Glastonbury that summer.
Cooper even co-wrote a few of the songs in the film, and his band is played by Neil Young's backing group, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, with Nelson acting as musical consultant and contributor to the soundtrack of this update on the classic love story.
The actor-turned-director certainly played all the right cards, making it a full house with leading star Gaga front and centre. "It just clicked," explained Cooper. "I'd seen her sing two nights before I met with her. Her energy; I thought she would be a perfect fit for the character."
The film makes for a shining star on Cooper's already full CV, which of course includes The Hangover trilogy - a sensation but for totally different reasons. Now he's had a go at the directing gig, Cooper can confirm that there's absolutely nothing he'd change about the buddy comedy films. "I bow down to Todd Phillips, he is an incredible director."
Speaking of which, the pair will be reunited for Warner Bros. and DC's upcoming Joker, with Phillips as director and Cooper as producer, as well as Joaquin Phoenix as the titular character. Although the details are still being kept under wraps, this is a major movie project and one that Cooper said he is 'very excited' about.
Looks like the actor's got a full plate on his hands, and he's totally stoked about it. When discussing whether or not he'd return to the director's seat, he said: "I thought I would never direct another movie, because this one came from such a personal place. However, there is something that I really love, but we will see." Either way, when it comes to Cooper's first shot behind the camera, a star has truly been born.
'A Star Is Born' is out in UK cinemas on October 3
Featured Image Credit: : © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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