A Star is Born was one of the most talked-about films of last year. The remake followed the tragic love story of an alcoholic musician and the aspiring singer he helps become a star. The movie was a heartbreaking and beautiful retelling of a familiar story with amazing performances from stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
Being Cooper’s directorial debut and Gaga’s first leading role in a film, the behind the scenes stories of the film are just as moving and interesting as the film itself. Revisit the film from a new light with these little-known facts. Here are hidden details about A Star is Born that everyone missed.
1. The Final Song
One of the most heartbreaking moments of the film comes after Jackson’s suicide. Ally returns to the Shrine Auditorium to pay tribute to her late husband and, effectively, say goodbye. In the closing moments of the film, she gives a powerful performance of the song “I’ll Never Love Again”.
The moment is deeply emotional and an amazing display of Gaga’s singing and acting talents. It is made even more powerful by the fact that Gaga performed the song moments after learning that her good friend had died.
2. La Vie En Rose
The first time Jackson meets Ally is during one of her small club appearances where she sings the song “La Vie En Rose”. In an instance of art imitating life, Cooper saw Gaga perform the same song at a benefit concert and it convinced him she should play Ally.
The inclusion of the song in the movie is also interesting for a couple of other reasons. The lyrics discuss hiding the heartbreak of the real world behind a happy exterior, something Jackson has done his whole career. Also, the song was made famous by Édith Piaf who, like Jackson, struggles with alcoholism.
3. Shrine Auditorinum
Once again, the movie is made to feel more epic and grounded thanks to the painstaking details taken to cement it in the real world. The events of Ally and Jackson’s career are recognizable to modern audiences because we have seen real-life musicians perform on those stages and at those events.
The Shrine Auditorium is an extremely famous venue in show business and used in a few sequences in this film, including the infamous Grammy Awards scene. The Shrine is also featured in the 1954 version with Garland’s character is excepting her Oscar.
4. Charlie The Dog
Authenticity seemed to be a key aim for the film as evidenced by the concert scenes and the real-life people playing small roles in the film. It seems to be something that was very important to Cooper for the film which helps explain another little cameo.
In the film, Jackson is given a puppy named Charlie as a gift from Ally. He forms a quick bond with the dog which could be due to the fact that it is Cooper’s real-life dog. Even more touching, it is named Charlie after Cooper’s late father.
5. Noodles’s Daughter
There are several famous faces who pop up in small roles in the film. One of the most surprising was Dave Chappelle who gives a rare performance in a drama. Though a small part, Chappelle is memorable as Noodles, Jackson’s old musician friend.
During an extended sequence, Jackson and Ally spend time at Noodles’ house and meet his family. In reality, it was an actual family affair as Noodles’ daughter is played by Chappelle’s real-life daughter.
6. Willie Nelson
During the sequence when Ally performs at Saturday Night Live, Jackson and Bobby reunite after an earlier disagreement. Bobby tells Jackson he took a new job working on the road with Willie, which we can assume to be Willie Nelson.
This moment is a little bit more than a nod to a famous musician. Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson, was an integral part of the film. He co-wrote several songs and taught Bradley how to play guitar. He and his band are featured in the film as Jackson’s backup band.
7. Jackson’s voice
Along with delivering an amazing directorial debut, Cooper also gives a stunning performance as Jackson Maine. He is transformative as the hard-drinking musician and while he doesn’t change his appearance too drastically, he is somehow unrecognizable.
One particularly interesting thing Cooper did was adopt a new voice. According to Sam Elliott with plays Jackson’s brother Bobby in the film, Cooper specifically adopted a way of speaking that would match Elliott’s own distinct voice and better sell the idea of them as brothers.
8. Coachella Festival
One of the most impressive aspects of the film is how they recreate the concert feel by filming at actual music events. Cooper and crew would get come on stage during concert intermissions and film their scenes in front of a real audience.
Some of the concert sequences were filmed at the actual Coachella Festival in 2017. This marked the start of principal production for the film and Lady Gaga was the festival headliner. Many of her fans came out to watch the filming and cheered on the fictional character of Ally.
9. Somewhere over the rainbow
In an early scene where we are introduced to Ally (Lady Gaga), still in her regular life, she is heard singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. The song certainly has a lot of connections to the story in the film as it is about someone hoping to escape their current life for something better.There is another reason why the song is appropriate for the film. It is, of course, famously sung by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. Garland also starred in the 1954 version of A Star is Born.
10. Other Iterantion
Even though the story had been told in three different versions through the years, this iteration of the remake took a while to get off the ground. Before Cooper joined as star and director and before Gaga took the lead role as Ally, some interesting names were attached.
Big-name filmmakers like Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg were attached at various points before moving on to other projects. The male lead had many famous actors circling it such as Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and more. However, the female lead had its sights set on Beyoncé.