Cooper learned to play guitar for the role, though noted that in the live sequences of A Star Is Born, the music the audience will hear was recorded by Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson (Cooper also admitted that an air-guitar bit he did during his last Tonight Show appearance was in part a practice run to see if he looked ridiculous trying to play). When it came time to film the live performances for A Star Is Born, Cooper and the crew were given just a few minutes to get the shots they needed in between sets at Stage Coach and Glastonbury.
“We couldn’t play through the PA system because of the music,” Cooper said. “All the music’s original, so the music couldn’t get out, but it was playing through the monitors. So about five rows out they could hear us, but then 20 rows out they couldn’t.” Cooper said the filming was so fast he wasn’t sure anyone noticed who was on stage, and luckily, no one booed either. “I thought about that though,” Cooper said. “Then the guy’s career really takes a tumble.”
Cooper also spoke about filming a faux Saturday Night Live performance and how Lady Gaga’s rendition of “La Vie En Rose” – which is recreated in the film – inspired him to direct A Star Is Born. Cooper also shared the vocal warm-ups he would do before filming and enlisted Fallon to go through the goofy exercises with him.