According to Variety, in their profile on Lady Gaga, who stars as Ally in the film, White was considered early on in the process, when Cooper was first attached as director but Gaga had not yet been cast.
“I saw this other person that I wanted to do this, who is an actual musician,” Cooper said. “But [the studio] wouldn’t make the movie with him.”
Cooper was originally attached to star in the project in 2011, with Beyoncé in talks for the Ally role and Clint Eastwood in the director's chair. The deal fell through, but in 2014, Cooper took it on as his directorial debut, although he initially resisted also starring in the film.
White's filmography is fairly limited, although he had a significant role in Cold Mountain (2003) and played Elvis Presley in the music biopic spoof Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007). Over the course of the film's development, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, and Tom Cruise were all considered for the male lead.
The film is one of the several remakes of the 1937 film of the same name. The 1954 version starred Judy Garland, while the 1976 film starred Barbra Streisand. The story follows Cooper's faded country star, struggling with alcoholism, as he discovers Gaga's Ally and helps her climb to fame, as the pair fall in love.
The film has received mass critical acclaim and is an early favourite for awards season. Cooper revealed that he had already discussed with Gaga how the duo would perform the song "Shallow" at the Academy Awards ceremony next year, adding: "I started texting her the whole pitch of how we should do it. So we’ll see. There might be a cool, unorthodox way we could perform it."
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