Audiences with good hearing have remarked on how similar Bradley Cooper sounds to his co-star Sam Elliott in “A Star is Born,” and according to Elliott, that was by design. When he first met with the actor-director about playing his older brother in the film, Cooper “played a tape for me” showcasing his extensive work with a vocal coach. Elliott thought “it sounded very much like me,” but he wasn’t offended. Quite the opposite, he took it as a good sign. “I thought it kind of increased my chances for being in the film,” he explains. After all, “who else is he going to get when he’s got my voice that he’s working with.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Cooper directs and stars in this drama as Jackson Maine, a fading rock musician who helps propel a young singer (Lady Gaga) to stardom. Elliott plays Jackson’s older brother and manager, who grows increasingly weary of his brother’s alcohol and drug addiction, which only worsens after he begins a romance with his protege.
Elliott had little doubt after that initial meeting that Cooper would prove capable in his first outing as a director. “He’s a brilliant man, for starters,” Elliott says. “As it turned out, he’s a brilliant filmmaker as well, and it was so clear to me in that first encounter with him that this guy knew what he was up to. I just wanted to be part of it.”
Though he has yet to compete at the Oscars, Elliott has received two Golden Globe nominations (Best TV Movie/Mini Actor for “Conagher” in 1991 and Best TV Supporting Actor for “Buffalo Girls” in 1995) and two Emmy bids (Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for “Buffalo Girls” and Best Voice-Over Performance for “Robot Chicken” in 2013).
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.