The latest remake of the classic film “A Star Is Born” is one of the most talked about films in recent months. It was headlined by none other than pop star Lady Gaga with actor Bradley Cooper who also directed the movie. Unless you’ve been living in Uranus, which is unlikely, then you’ve probably seen the hot and heavy “Shallow” performance of the two lead stars at the 2019 Oscars. The award-winning duet sparked renewed interest in the film that had producers re-release the film for a limited one week run in theatres.
The movie tells the story of an up and coming singer played by Gaga who was mentored by a famous but alcoholic rock star portrayed by Cooper. The plot delves on how the two characters who later developed a romantic relationship had to deal with fame, substance abuse, and depression.
While the all-original soundtrack of the movie is one reason why many people loved this version, it was the poignantly realistic portrayal of the two main leads that truly captivated the audience. In several interviews, both Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper talked about how they could relate to the movie’s theme as they also had to undergo the same issues themselves.
Bradley’s sobriety story
In the movie, Cooper plays an alcoholic unable to deal with fame. While his role was not fully inspired by his personal journey, the actor admitted that remembering his painful past was useful in his role as Jackson Maine.
In 2012, Cooper admitted in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that he had been sober for eight years. He said that he does not do drugs or alcohol anymore which he gave up when he was 29. According to the actor-director, he reached a point when the effects became unbearable. He shared that there was even a time that he deliberately smashed his head on the concrete floor during a party and he had to get stitches because of that.
Cooper said that he decided to change when he realized that he was going to ruin his life if he didn’t. He said that being sober helped a great deal. In a 2016 interview with Barbara Walters, Cooper talked about his substance abuse struggles again and shared that he was celebrating 11 years of sobriety at that time.
Lady Gaga on drugs, fame, and mental health
In a 2011 interview with Howard Stern, Gaga admitted that she struggled with cocaine abuse. She said that this happened even before she became famous. According to the Academy Award winning actress, she did it alone while she was writing music in her apartment.
She said that the drug made her feel that there was something about the drug that made her feel she had a friend. However, she confessed that she regretted every line she did and advised people not to touch the drug and called it the devil.
It was in the same interview that Gaga mentioned that she occasionally used marijuana, although she said that she did not use it very often. The singer said she was upfront about her marijuana use because she does not respect artists who lie about what they do recreationally.
But in 2013, Lady Gaga admitted in a morning show interview that she was addicted to marijuana, smoking up to 20 marijuana cigarettes without tobacco. She said she did it to cope with anxiety issues and as a form of self-medication. Gaga said that she knew she had to stop because she was living on a totally other psychedelic plane, numbing herself completely.
At that interview, Gaga also said that from 2006, she went from substance to substance. Gaga admitted that it was very hard to be famous and drugs became her method to deal with the demands of fame. It became worse during her Born This Way tour when the singer suffered a hip injury. She said that she did a lot of drugs and took a lot of pills to cope with the pain.
The singer then said that she was working to get to a place where she does not have to use drugs to be creative as she believed she could be brilliant without drugs. She also said she was doing this because she wanted to live and wanted her fans to want to live.
While promoting ‘A Star Is Born’ in a press conference at the Toronto Film Festival, Gaga highlighted the importance of early intervention in cases of addiction. According to Gaga, there is a need for more compassion for addicts especially those in the entertainment industry as fame is a very unnatural thing.
But Gaga is not all talk and no action. In fact, after the Oscars, Lady Gaga talked about the foundation she set up seven years ago called the Born This Way Foundation during a TV show guesting. According to Gaga, the BTWF will launch the first ever Mental Health First Aid training program in partnership with the National Council of Behavioral Health. This program, which will focus on issues like substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders, will be taught to high school students from Grade 10 to 12.
The stories of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are not unique. Millions of people in America also experience the same substance abuse struggles.
If you or a loved one is struggling from substance abuse, it is very important to speak to a professional who could help you heal.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center to learn more about our holistic treatment programs.