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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born character is based on Eddie Vedder

Illustration for article titled Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born character is based on Eddie Vedder
Screenshot: A Star Is Born

Lady Gaga is drawing raves from critics—and the heavens themselves—for her turn in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born remake, which, as in its previous iterations, updates the timeless story of a singer’s rise to fame to the tunes of our times. That means Cooper’s Jackson Maine, the fading musician who nurtures our heroine’s talent, couldn’t simply emerge as a carbon copy of, say, Kris Kristofferson’s turn from the 1976 version. In a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Cooper reveals that while he certainly studied Kristofferson’s take, he also drew on a more modern inspiration for the character in Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder.


Cooper and Vedder apparently became pals—The Wrap reminds us that the pair enjoyed a Philadelphia Eagles game together earlier this year—after the former ventured up to the Northwest to pepper the legendary grunge rocker with “9,000 questions,” including, presumably, how he makes his voice do that. “[He] gave me minor, little things that only musicians know about what to do, just aesthetically and the inner workings,” Cooper told Yahoo.

Vedder, adopting the reaction of nearly everyone when they first heard Cooper was remaking A Star Is Born, wasn’t so supportive. “He thought it was crazy I was going to do this movie,” Cooper said. “He was like, ‘What? Bro, don’t do that.’”

Still, it’s interesting to consider while rewatching the trailer. Though Cooper’s music sounds like pretty standard pop country—if only he’d channeled Vedder’s ukulele phase!—his vocals are most certainly sinking into those lower registers. We’re also curious as to whether or not Vedder’s history as an MTV icon will seep into Maine’s history; considering how the times have changed, an aging grunge rocker shepherding a rising pop star would most certainly resonate.

Revisit the trailer below and let us hope that Vedder’s face never gets that red and puffy:

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.