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“I think it was because I’m getting older. I was 39 years old when I decided to do it and I just had all these images rolling around in my head,” said Cooper, who makes his directorial debut and also stars (and sings) in the film alongside Lady Gaga. “I always wanted to direct, I just never had the courage to do it and then, quite honestly, [it was] when I saw Lady Gaga perform and she did ‘La Vie en Rose,’ which is a scene in the movie.”
When he first revealed his plans to remake the classic, he said, “Everybody said, ‘Don’t do it.’ Because, think about it: ‘OK, I’d like to make the fourth remake and I’ve never directed before with someone who’s never done a film. I think I’ll do it.'”
Fallon questioned why Cooper didn’t begin his directing career with a smaller project, like a commercial or music video. “That scares the hell out of me because you’re telling the stories cinematically, so there’s a reason for the composition,” Cooper told the host. “It has to come from why I’m telling a story. You tell me just to do something randomly, I have no idea where I would put the camera because I don’t know what’s my point of view. So I had no choice. This was the thing that moved me, so I had to do it.”
Cooper explained why he included a scene in the film where rising star Ally (Gaga) goes on Saturday Night Live. “I didn’t want to do a montage of her rise,” he said. “So it’s like, ‘What could be the moment where you’re like, Oh, OK. She’s arrived.’ There’s no other place but Saturday Night Live.”
The host also complimented Cooper on the lower voice he uses to play his character Jackson. “I bet you could pull this off,” Cooper told Fallon when revealing and demonstrating his warm-up routine. After the first round, Cooper began stating, “Ma ma ma ma ma ma ma” and Fallon repeated after him.
Earlier in the interview, Cooper and Fallon broke out into a giggle fit while discussing their careers. Cooper began the conversation by asking if people ever point out how crazy it is that Fallon gets to host a show that he grew up watching. “No, no one ever says that,” Fallon responded, which prompted the actor to laugh.
The laughs continued when Cooper used the word “Whatevs” casually in a sentence. “Here we go,” said Cooper as he bent over to laugh and Fallon fanned himself to calm down.
The interview isn’t the first time the two have had a laughing fit together. During an appearance Cooper made on the show in 2014, the two also had a fit when talking about the background for his Broadway play Elephant Man.
During Wednesday night’s interview, Fallon told Cooper he looked nice. “This is the same suit I wore, I think, last time I was here,” he said. Fallon said that they have a photo from his last appearance hanging in the hallway, so the two left the stage mid-interview to confirm that Cooper was outfit repeating. “It’s the same suit,” they both said after checking the photo and returning to the stage.
Cooper also spoke about playing at actual music festivals when filming A Star if Born, including Glastonbury Festival. “We couldn’t play through the PA system because of the music,” he explained. “All the music is original so the music couldn’t get out there. But he was playing through the monitors, so about five rows out, they could hear us.”
“It happened so fast,” he said after Fallon asked if the audience knew who he was during the performance. “We had eight minutes at Stagecoach and we have four minutes at Glastonbury.”
He said that no one in the crowd booed during his performance, but the thought of it was a fear of his. “You have to think about it: Well then the guy’s career really takes a tumble fast,” he joked about his character. “But I didn’t know. You’re in England. I don’t know if they’re going to throw bottles. I have no idea what’s gonna happen.”
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Robert De Niro