×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bradley Cooper on Casting Lady Gaga for ‘A Star Is Born’: ‘I Fell in Love With Her Face and Eyes’

The chemistry between “A Star Is Born” director Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga was palpable during the film’s press conference at the Venice Film Festival on Friday, where the pair said they bonded over their shared Italian roots.

“I didn’t know you were Italian. I remember when we first met, after 10 minutes we were eating homemade food that she cooked – I love to eat – and that was actually a huge bond that we both came from East Coast Italian-American families. So we had a real synchronicity on that level from our upbringing,” said Cooper, who admitted that he immediately “fell in love with her face and eyes.”

Lady Gaga, who made a splashy arrival on the Lido looking like an Old Hollywood diva, said the main challenge for her in playing Ally was to show her vulnerability. Cooper helped her channel that by making her comfortable and wiping the makeup off her face completely on the first day of work.

The Grammy-nominated actress said the film’s story has endured the test of time because it’s a universal tale. “It’s a story about love and about what Bradley refers to as the human plight of addiction. It was a remarkable experience for me.”

Lady Gaga said she identified in some ways with Ally’s early struggles to become a professional singer.

“When I started out in the music industry and decided to be a singer and go for a professional career, I was 19 years and I hit the ground running. I was dragging my piano from dive bar to dive bar to get jobs so that I could sing and perform for people,” said Lady Gaga.

She said she also faced challenges because she didn’t have the right look. “When I started out, I was not the most beautiful girl in the room. [Producers] wanted to take my songs and give [them] to other singers but…I held on to them.”

“They made suggestions about how I should look,” she added. “I didn’t want to be viewed like other women, be sexy like other women. I wanted to have my own vision.”

Cooper revealed that the look of his debut film was inspired by a Metallica concert.

“I’m a huge fan of Metallica,” he said. “About six years ago I was at Metallica concert [standing behind the drum kit] and I saw the scope of it…and thought, wow, this composition is incredible and that’s what it feels to be on stage, to be a rock star…So in the movie you’re always on the stage.”

Cooper hinted that he would be back behind the camera. “I’m 43 years old and I feel that time is biggest currency and I have to utilize it to the best degree as possible. This film took four years…and if I can continue to do [what I love], if Warner Bros. allows me to continue to tell these stories, then that’s what I’ll do,” Cooper said.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider'

    Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider' Gets a Concert/Screening Premiere at Radio City

    In a year full of major 50th anniversary commemorations — from Woodstock to the moon landing — why not one for “Easy Rider,” Dennis Hopper’s hippie-biker flick that was released on July 14, 1969? That was the idea when a rep for Peter Fonda, who starred in the film as the laid-back Captain America, reached out [...]

  • Rob Thomas Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar Joins Rob Thomas for 'Smooth' Performance (Watch)

    Who do you call when your pal Carlos Santana has plans on a Friday night? If you’re Rob Thomas, you recruit another famous friend, rocker Sammy Hagar, who turned up to help the singer close out the latest show of his Chip Tooth Smile tour with a performance of “Smooth” at the Fox Performing Arts [...]

  • US record producer The-Dream arrives for

    Top Music Publishers Come Together for Songs of Hope Honors

    The 15th annual Songs of Hope honors united songwriters, music industry insiders and more than a few preeminent doctors at producer Alex Da Kid’s Sherman Oaks compound on Thursday night. Jimmy Jam returned to host the event, which served as a fundraiser for the ever-vital City of Hope medical treatment center as well as a [...]

  • Monkees/Badfinger/Nazz Supergroup Takes Beatles' 'White Album'

    Monkees/Badfinger/Nazz Supergroup Gets Back to '68 by Touring Beatles' 'White Album'

    The 50th anniversary re-release of 1969’s “Abbey Road” may be just days away, but that doesn’t mean Beatles fans have been there and done that when it comes to celebrating ’68. Todd Rundgren, the Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz, Badfinger’s Joey Molland and several other name musicians of a certain vintage are teaming up to go out [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

  • 'Downton Abbey' Music Gets 'Bigger, Better,

    As 'Downton Abbey' Hits the Silver Screen, the Music, Too, Gets 'Bigger, Better, Grander'

    When “Downton Abbey” fans hear that familiar strings-and-piano theme, a Pavlovian response ensues: Get to the television immediately, because you don’t want to miss a minute of the addictive Crawley family melodrama to follow. This week, with the “Downton Abbey” movie reaching theaters on Friday, fans can’t wait for their fix of Lady Mary and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content