A Star is Born Director Bradley Cooper on Synchronicity And The Creative Process

Probably one of the most talked about films at the Toronto Film Festival – along with First Man – was the Bradley Cooper’s directing debut re-make of A Star Is Born. Bradley Cooper shared with Ikon London Magazine his creative process at the TIFF.

Who doesn’t love a good remake of the favourite classic film? This one was a hard one to top. With previous classics of 1937 and 1954, Bradley gave a new life to the as-old-as-the-hills story A Star is Born. Mr. Cooper didn’t only direct the film but also co-wrote it and played the main male character (Jackson Maine) in it.

Bradley Cooper pushing the envelope

The Actor-turned-director admitted at the TIFF press conference that the best part of directing the film is the casting process. “You can cast anyone you want.” And so – naturally – he cast one of the most followed and admired singers of our time Lady Gaga. With such starry cast, the film doesn’t look likely to flop.

Nevertheless, Bradley approached the process with due diligence and even learned to play guitar and sing. Not willing to cut any corners, he also shot a scene at Glastonbury festival. That hadn’t been done before. Although, other festivals were also used for locations. But the director admitted that for him – as a frequent visitor – it was important to make a film about music in Glastonbury.

Bradley Cooper about the creative process and synchronicity

Ikon London Magazine attended the press conference at the Toronto Film Festival where we asked Bradley Cooper about synchronicity and what role it plays in filmmaking.

The director admitted to us that he believes the synchronicity plays a large part in life. He continued:

“I think true art can only be created if you’re completely opened for moments to occur. And I think that’s what – I hope – was the fun that we all had on set every day.”

“You know, I remember Dave [Chapelle] and I, we would go back in the house. And once we left that house and sat on that bench. It was like we were in this live universe, right. And then we would huddle in between and just talk through stuff. ‘What about this idea and that?’ and then we’d go back into this large Universe where you don’t know what’s going to happen, you know. And the more I know that I stay open, the more art can be created. And if I’m thinking about it too much. I’m dead. “

“We were talking about this last night. Because really art is just something that’s out there and then if you’re open it flows through you it’s nothing that you really create. That’s the way it feels experientially to me.”

“Really, art is just something that’s out there and then if you’re open it flows through you it’s nothing that you really create. That’s the way it feels experientially to me.”

According to Bradley, there were great many ‘moments that we call synchronicity’ during the process. From hearing Lady Gaga live for the first time just one day before the scheduled first meeting, to casting other actors, choosing sets and developing the storyline.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga – too synchronized?

It might have been the synchronicity that was responsible for Bradley Cooper casting Lady Gaga for the role but it wasn’t by chance that they developed so obvious a rapport. We couldn’t help but notice how close these two were at the press conference exchanging meaningful glances.

The Editor of Chief of Ikon London Magazine later commented on his impression from the press conference: “Yeah, I reckon A Star is Born has a good chance for an Oscar. And the relationship of Lady Gaga with Bradley Cooper… Oh my god… Get a room already. And they love what they did – the role, the film. And for Bradley to learn to be a musician for the film role and learn to play guitar and do all these things with the clock running – absolutely amazing.”

Joe continued, “Lady Gaga is a kind heart. Based on what he said at the press conference and everything else we know. She’s on the right path from the heart. She means well to the universe.

Of course, she is very lucky to do what she’s done, but she also works like a dog to be where she is – which a lot of people forget.

It’s easy to castigate or diminish and criticize a lot of celebrities. A lot of the times you can slag them off and they might even deserve it but you tend to forget how hard these people work for these roles. And how their careers can be destroyed in one hour – hour and a half after watching the film.

They spent five-six years acting and working hard towards it. Editing and re-editing and re-shooting. And after a Premiere your career can be in tatters because of a bad review. For me, it was weird to see Lady Gaga ‘without the make-up’. Because I’ve always shot her with make-up on as la ‘Gaga’. So, I didn’t recognise her at first.”

It was Lady Gaga’s ‘No make-up make-up,’ as she admitted at the press conference. However, you can see Lady Gaga with NO MAKE-UP in cinemas starting from Thursday, 27 September 2018.

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Bradley Cooper at the premiere of A Star is Born Toronto Film Festival © Joe Alvarez

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