There’s a particularly viscerally moving scene in A Star Is Born between Jackon Maine’s surrogate father figure Bobby (Sam Elliott) and the love of the rockstar’s life Ally (Lady Gaga). “Music is essentially twelve notes between any octave,” says Bobby. “Twelve notes and the octave repeats. It’s the same story told over and over. All the artist can offer the world is how they see those twelve notes.”
Similarly, the way Bradley Cooper sees the world and his place in it has significantly changed since the passing of his late father. Like a lot of people who have lost a loved one, they are caused to think about the fragility of life, the scarcity of time and the way they lead their lives as humans. In a recent interview with Oprah, the A Star Is Born actor and director says watching his dad pass in his arms has significantly altered his artistry.
“[My father’s death] was the biggest gift he gave me – well, the second biggest gift; having me and brining me into this life and [then] being a witness to his passing was equally as huge,” Cooper said. “When he took his last breath, I honestly felt like it went into me and I’ve never seen anything the same since. I stopped sweating stuff that I was sweating before that. It changed the way I was as an actor by the next day and I just started to live my life in a different way.”
Cooper father Charles died in 2011 after a long battle with lung cancer. It’s not the first time he has referenced his dad’s death. “It’s a new reality,” Cooper told the New York Times in an interview late last year. “Everything, everything. It’s not even one thing, it’s a whole new world. And it was instantaneous. It wasn’t like, months later. It was like, his last exhale, and I was holding him, and it was like, everything changed.”
In April 2016, Cooper gave an emotional speech at charity event. “I just want to tell you about my father Charles J. Cooper, he passed away from lung cancer in 2011,” Cooper began. “I was in a very lucky position because I was able to put everything on hold in all aspects of my life and completely focus on taking care of him.”
Even with all the help around him and the many millions behind him to pay the medical bills, Cooper says he still found the experience “just simply overwhelming, incredibly stressful, complex and all consuming.” “I can’t even imagine how much more difficult it is for those patients and the families that are less fortunate than I was that simply can’t afford to pay for both treatment and rent,” he said.