In a recent interview with GQ, singer-songwriter Jason Isbell discussed writing “Maybe It’s Time” for the recent A Star is Born adaptation starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Isbell apparently hesitated before taking the gig, in large part because he wasn’t sure if Cooper could deliver the vocals necessary for the song he’d written. Nice to know I was not the only person who was both confused and concerned upon hearing that Bradley Cooper was going to be in a movie where he played a musician. And sang. Alongside Lady Gaga.
Perhaps I should’ve held my judgment, but let’s be honest, up until “A Star is Born” Cooper was best known for playing a debatably charming asshole with no other distinguishing characteristics—least of all, the ability to actually play the guitar.
So, all of that is to say, I shared Isbell’s concerns.
Isbell was contacted to contribute a song to the film by his producer Dave Cobb, who was in touch with Cooper about the project. “I said, ‘No, Dave. I don’t have time for that shit,’” Isbell said.
Honestly, I wish I was in a position in my life to respond to work requests like this. What a rush!
“What happened was, he sent me a voice memo, like a demo,” Isbell said. “And I was getting on a plane. And I was like, ‘Man, I’ll listen to this when I get off the plane.’ But then I was thinking this might be bad, and if this is bad, I don’t know if I want to tell Bradley Cooper, ‘You can’t sing my song. You suck.’ First of all, I don’t think he gives a shit what I think about it. But I was wrong.”
I’ve never been in this exact situation, but I’d have to imagine that there are many better ways to tell someone that they don’t sound good on the song you wrote rather than “You suck.” Especially if they’re an Oscar-winning actor who can afford a Hollywood-caliber voice coach?
But of course, upon actually hearing Cooper’s demo of “Maybe It’s Time”, Isbell found himself surprisingly impressed. (Same.)
“I was like: ‘This is good, Bradley. Thank you for sending that. I think it’s great.’ I didn’t know this, but he had been waiting on that response to go forward. I didn’t know he was sweating it out. But he gave a shit. He really cared about it. So that was more than I expected out of Hollywood, you know? Way more.”
This actually made me respect Bradley Cooper more, because we’ve all watched musical movies where a white man who very obviously cannot sing has somehow snagged the lead role, which naturally involves a lot of singing. Remember Russell Crowe in the film adaptation of Les Misérables? That was painful.
I know the bar is literally ten feet below ground, but it is unusual to see an Oscar-winning male actor whose ego hasn’t so eclipsed their common sense that they are willing to admit they might not be good at something. Or at the very least, who has enough common sense and humility to not want to embarrass themselves in front of audiences across the globe.
But even though Cooper delivered as Jackson Maine, in my mind his most iconic performance will always be as Rocket, the genetically modified raccoon sidekick in Guardians of the Galaxy. [IndieWire]
I’m confused as to why Britney Spears’s boyfriend is wearing a jockstrap like a protective mask. But it’s clear he is also confused, so let’s leave him to his jogging.