The Venice Film Festival saw the premiere of A Star Is Born to fanfare both from audiences and mother nature; a lightning bolt temporarily halted the screening.
But once it was up and running again, the audience fell in love with the love story remade once again for modern day audiences.
A Star Is Born, the 2018 version starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, is based on a 1970s drama starring Barbra Streisand which itself was a remake of the 1937 and 1954 versions.
For this version of A Star Is Born, however, Lady Gaga had a very specific request…
Did Bradley Cooper sing in A Star Is Born?
Yes, and not only did he sing – he sang live.
In a conversation with Robert DeNiro at the Tribeca Film Festival, Cooper said: “[Gaga] said right from the beginning that there would be a barter.
“[She said] ‘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 that you’re going to turn into a musician.
“‘Because we’re going to sing everything live.’ And I went, ‘Wait, what?'”
To prepare for the task, Cooper spent a year-and-a-half taking vocal lessons.
Though the shoot took only 42 days, Cooper spent three years working on the project ahead of the shoot.
Of singing live, he said: “[Singing live] was terrifying, and I really relied on her.”
Movie-musicals often use lip syncing to provide flawless vocals, but this can leave the scenes feeling artificial.
Other movies to rely on live singing on screen are Across the Universe, Inside Llewyin Davis, and Les Miserables.
A Star Is Born is not only Cooper’s first performance as a musician on screen, but it’s also his directorial debut.
In this same conversation with DeNiro, Cooper explained: “The broken love story in A Star Is Born kept haunting me.
“Shots kept coming into my head. I would dream about it. I realised I had to [direct it], whether it fails or not,” he shared.
“I knew I had to try, and I wound up absolutely loving it. You can’t hide when you sing.
“The best way to express love is through singing and music. I knew if I could marry that in a way, it would be special.”
A Star Is Born certainly is special, and early reviews from critics are positively glowing – both of Cooper’s musical performance and Lady Gaga’s acting chops.
Guy Lodge of the Guardian praised Cooper especially.
He wrote: “[Cooper’s] own performance isn’t merely holding up his end of the bargain: it’s pretty damn spectacular in itself, an exercise in old-school movie star swagger with all its flayed masculine insecurities and frayed nerve endings exposed.
“Couple that with a credible bourbon-rock croon and arena presence, and his performance is as image-expanding in its own way as Gaga’s: it’s not the one that’s hogging the headlines, but it may be the rough, scarred heart of the film.”
A Star Is Born is out in UK cinemas today, October 3, 2018.