In the past, Bradley Cooper has shown off his skills as both an actor and a dancer, but it turns out Cooper is a triple threat. On Wednesday, Warner Bros. released the first trailer for A Star Is Born, in which the actor plays a country music star. So, can Cooper really sing? He can, and as it turns out, quite well.
During a conversation at the Tribeca Film Festival with Robert De Niro in April, Cooper, who also directed the film, said that Lady Gaga, his co-star in film, convinced him to sing live, as reported by Vulture. Cooper explained that she hated watching films in which actors clearly lip-synced to pre-recorded tracks. He told the publication,
"She's right! [Singing live] was terrifying, and I really relied on her. I spent about a year and a half taking vocal lessons and preparing."
The film follows Cooper's character, Jackson Maine, as he takes the talented but struggling musician Ally — played by Gaga — under his wing, and the two begin a relationship, according to Deadline. However, as Ally's career takes off, their love story turns sour.
The beginning of the trailer finds Jackson at a difficult spot in his life, when he sees Ally perform live and is enchanted. Jackson asks if she writes music, but Ally explains that she doesn't sing her own songs live, telling him, "Almost every single person has told me they liked the way I sounded but that they didn't like the way I look." Jackson responds, "I think you're beautiful."
Jackson encourages Ally to perform her own music, and the two begin a romance and musical partnership. Through the rest of the preview, Gaga can be seen taking the stage in front of a huge crowd, where she shows off her impressive pipes on "The Shallow" — a rootsy number that might remind fans of Joanne-era Gaga — and in the latter half, the two travel the country, intercut with various other shots, before they walk off a tour bus arm in arm.
The film marks Gaga's first starring role in a feature film. As Billboard reported, during his conversation with De Niro at the Tribeca Film Festival, Cooper said Gaga did an incredible job and that the musical element of the film bolstered the story.
"You can't hide when you sing," he said to De Niro and the crowd. "To me, the best way to express love is through singing and music. I knew that if I could marry that in a way, that’d be special. Lady Gaga is just kind of a revelation. But I don’t wanna say too much — maybe you'll hate the movie, but I love it. I really love it. It’s the movie I set out to make, which is hard to say."
Cooper told Entertainment Weekly in December 2017 that the heartbreaking love affair between Jackson and Ally was what most made him want to direct the film, which is his directorial debut. He said,
“It all came down to this broken love story, and there’s no better way to express that than through singing because there’s nowhere to hide when you’re singing. Your whole body is electrified... That was the initial igniter of the passion for me… then, it was about going back and watching the other versions, and each one had many merits, and I wanted to make sure that this movie paid homage to and was aware of the [others], and honored [them] as another incarnation, while at the same time being a very personal movie that lives on its own.”
Fans can watch Jackson and Ally's romance play out — and hear Cooper actually sing — when A Star Is Born hits theaters on Oct. 5.