Bradley Cooper: The Actor Who Rocks Like A True Rockstar
It sure must be surprising for you to come across an article that uses the name Bradley Cooper in the same sentence with the title ‘rockstar.’ However, it has become quite clear to us that the famous actor’s musical intelligence and talent have been overshadowed by his successful acting and directing career.
As you know, Bradley Cooper rose to fame after starring in Todd Philips’ world-famous comedy The Hangover in 2009. Although he stared in numerous well-appreciated movies in the following years, it seems like he found himself more interested in directing. Cooper directed his first film A Star Is Born in 2017 in which he also co-stared alongside Lady Gaga.
In the movie, Bradley Cooper impersonates Jack Maine, a successful country-rock singer who’s also battling drug and alcohol addiction. Impersonating a rock musician means that Cooper was able to play guitar and sing well enough to convince the audience that the character is really a successful rockstar, which brings us to the topic of this article.
How Did Bradley Cooper Learn How To Sing For A Star Is Born?
Apparently, it took Cooper four years of hard work to both direct and co-star in this film. He told W Magazine that he followed a very strict schedule every day. He would wake up, work out, practice guitar for two hours, and then piano for another two. Then his collaborator Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson, would come by and they would write the music.
Here’s what he said in the interview:
“We mapped out my entire schedule, day by day. I’d wake up and work out, followed by two hours of guitar practice and two hours of piano lessons. Lunch. Then Lukas Nelson, my collaborator, would come over, and we’d write music for one and a half hours.”
Although Cooper knew how to play bass he had to learn piano and guitar to star in the movie which sounds like a tough task. On top of that, the fact that he co-wrote and produced most of the songs on the soundtrack for A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga and Lukas Nelson proves that Bradley Cooper had hidden his musical genius all these years.
What Did Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder Think About Bradley Cooper’s Singing?
Bradley undertook vocal training from vocal coach Roger Love for over a year and a half. Although he was willing to work really hard, there were some people who supported his idea of singing like a rockstar, and some that were completely against it, such as Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder.
Bradley Cooper visited Vedder in Seattle and followed him around asking questions about how a true rockstar would perform on stage. Eddie gave him ‘little things that only musicians know about’ which helped him aesthetically. However, when Cooper told Vedder about his plans to sing in the film, the rockstar’s response was as simple as ‘don’t do that.’
Here’s what Bradley Cooper told Yahoo about his interaction with Eddie Vedder:
“I went up to Seattle and spent four or five days with Vedder and I asked him 9,000 questions. And he gave me minor, little things that only musicians know about what to do, just aesthetically and the inner workings… He was wonderful.”
Here’s what Vedder told Bradley after hearing his plan to sing in the film:
“He was like, ‘What? Bro, don’t do that.'”
Was Bradley Cooper’s Career As A Rockstar Successful?
Although some like Eddie Vedder were not very confident about Bradley Cooper’s talents as a rockstar, Lady Gaga saw his potential as soon as they started singing together. In a way, they were both getting outside their comfort zones and exploring the other’s profession as Bradley Cooper was trying to be a musician and Lady Gaga an actress.
Here’s what Lady Gaga said during the interview:
“I just stopped playing instantly and I looked at him and said, ‘Bradley, your voice is incredible. You have a real voice. He sings from his soul. He sings from his gut. There are people who can do many acrobatics with their voice, but to tell a story with his voice is a different animal.
It meant a lot to me, and I think to both of us, that at the beginning of making this film we kind of shook hands literally and he said, ‘You are an actress.’ I said to him, ‘You are a musician.'”
As for the success of both the movie and the soundtrack album, the stats tell it all. The soundtrack ‘Shallow’ which Cooper co-wrote came to be known as one of the longest-running singles in radio history, reached No. 1 in the US, Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, and has reached 1,503,397,708 streams on Spotify. Furthermore, it earned two Grammy nominations as Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and won the latter.
The soundtrack album of ‘A Star Is Born’ is available on Spotify and has 13,499,062 monthly listeners. By now, it should be quite clear that Bradley Cooper’s hard work and dedication has helped him earn the title of ‘rockstar’ and although his musical genius is currently overshadowed by his acting and directing skills, maybe he’ll one day release a rock, country, or blues record.
You can stream A Star Is Born soundtrack album through Spotify below.