While preparing for his lead role as rockstar Jackson Maine in 2018’s A Star Is Born, Bradley Cooper spent some time with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder to learn the ropes of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
In a new interview with Howard Stern on Monday (Nov. 2), the rocker revealed the main piece of advice he gave to Cooper, and it wasn’t what one might expect. “We just hung out for a couple of days, and he just asked me a few questions and I told him things like, you know, ‘Make sure your guitar covers your balls at all times,'” he shared.
“Is that important?” Stern asked, taken aback by Vedder seemingly simple answer.
“Well, I think sometimes the guitar gets a little high. It looks more like a bib,” the rock star elaborated.
As for the end result, Vedder wasn’t expecting much. “If you really thought this through, because you have to have the talk and say, ‘Look, there’s a few movies out there on surfing, a few movies out there on rock ’n roll. None of them get it right. You’re putting yourself on the line here. I don’t think anyone can pull it off.’
“I will admit the first time he asked if we would come down to see it, on the way over, I’m thinking of all the ways I could let him down nicely, you know?” he continued. “I want to be honest, but how do I…? So, I was a little nervous. And I tell you, when I saw it, I just was—I was just f—ing blown away. It just took me there, and what he can do with his eyes and what [Cooper and Lady Gaga] did together and then Sam Elliott. It really took me there. I’m getting chills right now.”
During the interview, Vedder also remembered his friend Chris Cornell, who died by suicide in 2017. “I’ve had to be somewhat in denial,” he shared after taking an emotional pause. “One way I was even able to do it, and I don’t think I had a choice. It’s just like, I was terrified of where I would go if I allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel or what I instinctively wanted to feel or how dark I felt. Because I didn’t see him that often in the last 10 years, probably only like four, five times and usually at a gig or something, I just kind of–I still haven’t quite dealt with it.”
“I’ll get stronger as time goes,” he continued after another pause, “but we were close, and it wasn’t just because we were playing music. We were neighbors, we would do–I would hang out with him outside of the band even more than the band guys, and I didn’t know that many people in Seattle. So, we would go on crazy hiking adventures or we would go mountain biking or we would chase the dog in the rain drinking s—ty beer. It was cool, because it had nothing to do with anything like being around other music people or some kind of LA life.”