Bradley Cooper’s Dog Is the Real Star of ‘A Star Is Born’

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Saturday, 6 October 2018

Bradley Cooper’s Dog Is the Real Star of ‘A Star Is Born’


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Bradley Cooper’s Dog Is the Real Star of ‘A Star Is Born’

At its core, A Star Is Born is a love story about two people who meet and bond over music but are later torn apart by fame and inner demons. Lady Gaga is mesmerizing, sounds fantastic, as always, and smiles with her entire face. Bradley Cooper has greasy hair and makes you want to scream “shower already” every time he shows up on screen, but is convincing enough as a broken-down rock star who needed an intervention over his addiction to pills and booze yesterday.


Going into the film, I was prepared to be taken away by the event that is “Shallow” on the big screen, Bradley’s singing, and the 65th time my eyes would see Bradley tell, no, grunt to Gaga, “I just want to take another look atchu.”


Just before the lights went down, I was even told that what I was about to watch would be an experience thanks to the “37 chambers” of sound at a fancy AMC movie theater in Times Square.


But no one warned me that I would be repeatedly comforted by the sight of a fluffy creature who would show up at just the right moments: Charlie the dog.


Charlie enters the picture not long after Ally (Gaga) and Jackson (Bradley) cohabitate in what can only be described as a woodland dream house surrounded by nature and excellent light. Charlie starts out as a puppy—an adorable goldendoodle type, to be exact—but grows as quickly as Ally’s rise to stardom (he is not required to dye his hair orange to match Ally, thank goodness). Only one of these growths leads to something positive.


In the middle of all the big performances, dramatic scenes, and thin eyebrow moments, Charlie provides comic relief (who else let out a chuckle or an “aww” when he wriggled in the arms of our lovers?). He also holds the key to one of the more important questions you might have when the credits begin to roll: How much time has passed? And specifically, how long were Jackson and Ally together? As mentioned, goldendoodles grow fast. Don’t let Charlie’s size fool you. (So, best guess: one to two years, tops?)


Time concerns aside, Charlie remains the star of the film even when his fluff is nowhere to be seen. When Ally visits Jackson during his rehab stay, she says Charlie waits for his human father by the door and mimics the dog’s sweet floor posture. Later, when Jackson returns home from rehab, he frolics in some leaves with Charlie outside while Ally arranges music on the piano. If you paid attention to anything but the frolicking, you must hate dogs—or joy.


Finally, when you’re trying to hold back those ~feelings~ related to Jackson closing the garage door on the same night he’s due to join Ally on stage at her show, you’re reminded of Charlie the dog’s loyalty. How much does the dog know at this point in the film? Does he always have steak for dinner, or does the sudden appearance of juicy red meat make Charlie wonder? What can he do except wait on the other side, no matter what happens?


Fittingly, Bradley revealed to PEOPLE this week that Charlie is his own dog and is named after his late father, Charles Cooper, who died in 2011. “There was no nepotism—I wanted this relationship with the dog,” Bradley explained. “[Jackson and Ally] don’t have a child together but they have a dog together, and I wanted it to be part of their story. I love dogs.”


It’s nice to know that beyond A Star Is Born, Bradley and Charlie have had plenty of opportunities to frolic in leaves and other gifts nature has to offer. And that is something worth singing about. Or something. I don’t know. I love goldendoodles!




Update 10/5, 4 p.m.: PETA announced on Thursday that Bradley will receive its inaugural Compassion in Film Award for casting his own companion dog. Says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange, “Bradley Cooper's happy, adorable, and much-loved dog steals the spotlight—and viewers' hearts—in this film because it's clear that he loved being with his real-life 'dad.’ PETA has witnessed so much abuse and neglect of dogs, both on and off set, that we're hoping Cooper's kind decision sets a precedent for all of Hollywood to follow." GOOD BOY CHARLIE!


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