But on the set of box-office juggernaut A Star Is Born, he embodied his character Jackson Maine from the opening crawl to the credits: that gravelly drawl; the furrowed brow; the inebriated stumble.
And in an interview with Vanity Fair he’s revealed he took it one step further, remaining in his faux drunken haze behind the camera, particularly during pivotal scenes (namely, Maine’s disastrous turn at the Grammys). Just call it “method” directing.
“Thank God the actors were willing to allow me to direct them sort of in that state because it was easier to stay in that space,” he said. “It just took me a little longer to communicate what I wanted.”
Lady Gaga marvelled at how Cooper personified the self-destructive, drunken rocker while taking control as a director. “It was like a magic trick for us ... really, he was like Houdini.”