Bradley Cooper reveals how he found his character's voice on A Star is Born.
On top of directing A Star is Born, Bradley Cooper stars as a country musician with an addiction problem. While Cooper can easily make himself look like an aged musician, his voice was another challenge. In an interview with NPR, Cooper talked about finding his character’s voice.
Cooper says he based his character’s voice on Sam Elliot, who he later cast as his character’s much-older brother. He says, “I wanted to change my voice, because I knew that I wouldn’t even believe it as an actor if I kept hearing my voice. I just hear this guy from Philadelphia. … So what voice could be wonderfully iconic without being geographically limited? … And at some point I asked [my dialect coach>… Where is Sam Elliott from? Because I can’t quite place his accent and I had no idea he was from Sacramento, Calif. And then I learned that his mother is from Texas and was a huge influence on him, and so his voice — he has this accent that you can’t quite place.”Bradley Cooper (L) and Lady Gaga walk the red carpet ahead of the 'A Star Is Born' screening during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on August 31, 2018 in Venice, Italy. - Image (Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com)
Once he decided to use that voice for his character, maintaining the voice was the hard part. Cooper continues, “So it felt perfect for the character, and then the journey began — how the heck am I going to get that voice? How could I ever? So I just — it was just hours and hours and hours. We developed a whole series of exercises and then we would listen to tapes literally for hours and hours. We met four hours a day, five days a week for about six months steady. … At first it was very difficult; actually I could only do it with my head down. And at night I would go to sleep and I felt like my esophagus was lowering into my chest. I had to, like, forcefully do it, but then after a while it just became so natural and I could breathe and talk to you and do everything, live my life within that voice. And that was a hurdle that I was terrified I wasn’t going to be able to get over.”Related: