By Tim Stack
August 13, 2018 at 01:53 PM EDT
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  • Movie

To read more on A Star Is Born and other highly anticipated fall movies, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands now, or buy it here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Bradley Cooper gives a tour de force performance in A Star Is Born, both in front of the camera and behind it, where he makes his directorial debut.

To believably play rock star Jackson Maine, the actor felt like he had to really transform. “I knew that I couldn’t play me as this guy — I had to change everything,” says Cooper.

Clay Enos/Warner Bros.

One of the most distinct choices Cooper made was to lower his voice. Jackson has a raspy, almost-growl when he speaks. “I knew I wanted to lower my speaking voice an octave,” explains the actor. “So I hired [dialect coach] Tim Monich early on — I mean, like, a year before we shot the movie. He moved to L.A. and we worked five days a week, four hours a day on exercises and lowering my voice. It was brutal, and it took months and months and months. The person that I used was Sam Elliott [who plays Jackson’s brother, Bobby] because I didn’t want [Jackson] to be only a country musician and I didn’t want him to have an accent. Sam grew up in California and his mother is from Texas, so it’s kind of this great hybrid voice.”

A Star is Born hits theaters Oct. 5. Read more with Cooper and Lady Gaga in our cover story, and check out exclusive photos from the film of the two here.

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  • Movie
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  • R
release date
  • 10/05/18
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