The latest adaptation of A Star Is Born takes a story which has migrated over the years from Hollywood to musical theater to rock and roll, and turns it into a story set in the country music business. There's a joke about country music (which some might consider "farm emo") where the plot of every song begins with the wife leaving, then the job leaving, and then at the very end, the dog leaving. Considering this stereotype, I'm not sure if the news Bradley Cooper cast his dog in A Star Is Born is a good thing or a bad thing, but either way, I think the only proper response is "aww."
To be fair, most people would take their faithful, loving companion to work with them if they could. It's why "Take Your Dog To Work Day" exists. Those of us with cats are less lucky, as most feline friends would not wish to go in the carrier to a strange place for the day when they could spend it at home ruling the roost, while their staff is off making money to keep cat food on the floor. So perhaps Cooper's choice to bring his own pup to the set, when he realized his character needed a dog, was only natural. After all, he was the director as well as the star of the film. He could make these casting choices.
Speaking to People Magazine during the movie's premiere last week, he insisted it wasn't a totally selfish choice.
There was no nepotism — I wanted this relationship with the dog. [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.
Cooper points out he didn't just cast his dog in the movie. There's a lot of personal choices he made in casting the film, to make it an emotional a piece as possible.
....so many of the people in this movie are people I’ve known forever. [The character of Tommy is played by] Gabe Fazio, who I went to grad school with. Derek Jones. My ear doctor is the doctor in the movie, Dr. Slattery … so why not [my dog] Charlie?
According to People, Cooper's love of dogs runs deep, and he has referred to his other rescue dogs, a German shorthaired pointer named Samson and a Chow Retriever mix named Charlotte, as "his kids." But he may live to regret casting Charlie in the movie. The actor said "since making his big break":
[Charlie] has an agent. I don’t talk to him much anymore. He doesn’t return my calls. He always walks away from me unless I have food.
Funny... I have this exact same problem with my cats, and they've never been in anything except an occasional YouTube video. Stardom does go to the heads of animals if their owners and staff are not careful.
A Star is Born premieres across the U.S. this coming Friday, Oct. 5, 2018.