Clint Eastwood Inspired This Actor to Turn to Directing

The filmmaker is a guide and mentor to his 'American Sniper' star, who has a movie starring Lady Gaga dropping this October

Image Credit: MARK RALSTON / AFP / Getty Images

Most moviegoers knows Bradley Cooper as an actor — but he’ll soon be adding “director” to his resume when “A Star Is Born,” starring Lady Gaga, drops in theaters on October 5.

Cooper, 43 (above right), says there is one man responsible for inspiring the actor to step behind the camera.

That man is Clint Eastwood.

Cooper’s “American Sniper” director was originally set to lead “A Star Is Born” — and he actually approached Cooper to act in it (he stars in the current version in addition to directing).

“I was too young. I always thought I didn’t have enough experience to play this guy,” Cooper told Entertainment Weekly, admitting he wasn’t ready to play the part when it was first offered to him.

“But that was when I first became aware of the project and first met Clint, actually. He was thinking about doing it and we were talking about it. I was 38 at the time — I’m 43 now, and I just knew,” said Cooper. “I just thought, ‘I don’t know if I could buy me like that.’ And then life happens and we wound up doing ‘American Sniper’ together, which aged me. And then a year of doing ‘The Elephant Man’ — on Broadway — aged me. And I thought, ‘You know what? I think I’m ready.'”

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Cooper revealed that Eastwood is a mentor; the actor wants to follow in the legendary filmmaker’s footsteps.

“I love Clint Eastwood, and I look up to him so much. And I always had in my mind, ‘Well, he was 41 when he made ‘Play Misty For Me.’ So I always thought when I get around to that age, then I gotta just [direct].”

“A Star Is Born” follows the relationship between an aging musician (Cooper) who mentors a young up-and-coming performer (Gaga). The film is a remake of the most famous version from 1976, which starred Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, as other outlets have noted.

Eastwood previously directed Cooper in “American Sniper,” the life story of late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Cooper acted as Kyle (and helped produce the film), and it went on to gross over $350 million domestically.

Cooper will also star in Eastwood’s next directorial effort, “The Mule,” a movie based on the true story of a man in his ’90s who smuggled drugs across the border.

Eastwood also stars in the film, his first speaking role since 2012’s “Trouble with the Curve.”

Watch the trailer for Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” below:

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