The Actor’s Process In ‘A Star Is Born’ & ‘Crazy Rich Asians’: Bradley Cooper, Michelle Yeoh & Ken Jeong At The Contenders NY

Bradley Cooper had a shot some years ago to play the tortured country rock singer, Jack, in A Star Is BornClint Eastwood was then attached to direct.

Warner Bros

But being a young actor, Cooper said, “I knew, deep down, I hadn’t lived enough and wouldn’t play that character.” But then he did – he played hardened NAVY S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle in Eastwood’s American Sniper. Both Eastwood and Cooper were watching Annie Lennox perform I Put a Spell on You on TV, and Cooper was blown away by how fierce her performance was, singing with her veins throbbing in her neck.

He suggested to Eastwood that they consider A Star Is Born again. He wasn’t into it, so Cooper, who already had the beginning of the film and how it would look in his head, pitched to then-Warner Bros. production boss Greg Silverman.

In developing a rock star voice that could fill stadiums, Cooper said that he “had the luxury of time,” with the pre-production start to final finish of A Star Is Born taking four years.  He consulted heavily with his American Sniper dialogue coach, Tim Monich, to find Jack’s gravely voice. Cooper would take to the basement of his house to play and write music.

Jack, an alcoholic, wasn’t a casualty of fame, but a guy “who, at 13, was stunted by his relationship with his father and his brother. His injuries aren’t from narcissism, but come in many forms.” He finds inspiration in Ally (Lady Gaga), a budding songwriter with a gorgeous voice.

Warners initially didn’t see Lady Gaga for the part, so, to convince them, Cooper shot footage of her in her house and edited it with the pic’s editor, Jay Cassidy, and wowed them over. To date, A Star Is Born, has profited greatly off its $36M production cost, raking in $358M WW.


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Just like Nick Young’s mother puts out his clothes on his bed in Crazy Rich Asians, so does Michelle Yeoh’s to this day, It was those kind of maternal details and tough love that she absorbed in building wealthy matriarch Eleanor Young in Jon M. Chu’s romantic comedy.

“I sculpted her to be very composed from hair to every piece of jewelry, and that each movement was contained. How you command that attention when you’re quiet,” Yeoh said about her process.

Ken Jeong, who plays Wye Mun Goh, the wacky father of Rachel Chu’s (Constance Wu) friend Peik Lin Goh (Awkwafina), related to the scene where Eleanor tells Rachel she’ll never be good enough for Nick. “Every Asian-American can relate to that dynamic,” said Jeong, “Being a physician in a former life, I painfully relate to this. You can never be enough.”

Goh’s house is a place where Rachel retreats when she’s rejected by Nick’s mother because it’s a place of “un-judgemental love,” per Jeong. In creating his character, he drew from his experience as a loving father to two daughters.

Crazy Rich Asians is the first major studio film made by and starring Asians and Asian-Americans since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club. The movie has amassed $173.9M at the domestic B.O. and $236.7M WW.

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