Bradley Cooper‘s upcoming Oscar contender, A Star Is Born, is a remake, not a biopic. So Jackson Maine, the country-rock crooner Cooper portrays in his directorial debut, is more of a riff on John Norman Howard, the singer Kris Kristofferson played in the 1976 film version (itself a second remake of the 1937 original) opposite Barbra Streisand, than a specific recording artist.
“It was an amalgamation, on a subconscious level,” Cooper told us at the film’s Toronto press junket, where he was joined by co-star Lady Gaga (watch above).
But if Cooper’s acclaimed performance does remind you of a certain real-life rock star, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder — as it did us — that is not a coincidence.
Cooper revealed to Yahoo Entertainment that he and Vedder have become good friends, and the singer was a go-to source for nailing down the character of Jackson Maine and all its nuances. “I went up to Seattle and spent four or five days with him and I asked him 9,000 questions,” Cooper revealed. “And he gave me minor, little things that only musicians know about what to do, just aesthetically and the inner workings.”
Vedder’s initial reaction to hearing The Hangover star would croon onscreen wasn’t as encouraging, though. “He thought it was crazy I was going to do this movie,” Cooper laughed. “He was like, ‘What? Bro, don’t do that.’
Vedder ultimately helped his friend get by, giving Cooper notes on songs he was writing for the film and everything.
“He was wonderful,” Cooper gushed.
A Star Is Born opens Oct. 5. Watch the trailer:
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