If Bradley Cooper had his way during pre-production meetings for his smash-hit directorial debut, A Star Is Born, the final product could have had a very different feel. In a new Variety feature focused on Lady Gaga’s revelatory leading role in the film, the director revealed that he initially had a different player in mind for the role of Jackson Maine early in the process, before Gaga was cast as Ally: none other than Jack White.
“I saw this other person that I wanted to do this, who is an actual musician,” he told the magazine. “But [the studio] wouldn’t make the movie with him.” While Cooper didn’t divulge the name, Variety notes a source claiming that the former White Stripe was the musician in question for the role.
“Anytime a big pop star broke, we would talk about it,” the film’s producer Bill Gerber said of discussions around the remake. “Hey, should we do A Star Is Born with Lauryn Hill or Aaliyah? Whitney Houston had been talked about way back when.” Previous proposals for the current iteration of the film had Clint Eastwood in the director’s chair with Cooper and Beyoncé in the roles of Jackson and Ally, respectively, before those discussions broke down in 2014 and Cooper found himself in the role of director.
Had Cooper’s early wishes come true, White’s on-screen acting role wouldn’t have been his first. The guitarist has made several cameos in TV and film throughout his career, most notably in the role of an incoherent and karate chop-throwing Elvis Presley in 2007’s Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Check out a clip below for a glimpse of what could have been.