It’s never entirely clear what real-life rock star Jackson Maine is analogous to in A Star Is Born. But it turns out Bradley Cooper did have someone else in mind besides himself to play the role, though it didn’t work out.
In a new Variety cover story on Lady Gaga, Cooper says that at one point in 2014, after Beyoncé had dropped off the film but before Gaga came on, he approached an “actual musician” to play Maine. “I saw this other person that I wanted to do this, who is an actual musician,” Cooper says. “But [the studio] wouldn’t make the movie with him.” That actual musician? Reportedly, it was none other than Jack White.
White has some film experience — he had a part in the 2003 film Cold Mountain (and also sang on its soundtrack) and played Elvis Presley in the 2007 satirical film Walk Hard — but could you imagine White playing the main dude in A Star Is Born? Phew. Thankfully, Lady Gaga decided to do the film and the studio insisted that Cooper star alongside her and, well, a star was re(born). Let’s revisit White’s cameo in Walk Hard:
Elsewhere in the Variety cover story, Cooper says that he doesn’t necessarily view ALLY’s ass song “as superficial” and that “she’s performing with all her heart.”