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Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s new movie A Star is Born came out earlier this month and it’s gotten a ton of press. It’s a love story about a seasoned musician and a struggling artist. To promote the film, Bradley has been doing French media interviews in French. He picked up the language while studying in Aix-en-Provence back in college and charms the pants off adoring fans with his linguistic prowess. Beyond his charm, we can learn a lot from Bradley Cooper speaking French. It’s not the fact that he can speak French that’s remarkable since a lot of people speak more than one language; it’s what we can learn from him that’s impressive and what I admire. So let’s get right into it.
What we can learn from Bradley Cooper speaking French
For those who aren’t in the know, Bradley Cooper is a 43-year-old American actor and filmmaker. Does Bradley Cooper speak French? Heck yes! I love watching him en français not because he’s perfect at French but because he makes a pretty perfect effort. He’s captivating.
Aaaaand, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give the “nice eyes award of the day” to Bradley. Look at his eyes. Just look at those icy blue beauties. OK, fangirling is now over.
Why does Bradley Cooper speak French and how did Bradley Cooper learn French? Well, he credits much of his French learning to his college days when he did a semester abroad in Aix-en-Provence. He immersed himself in French language and culture and it’s stuck with him because he’s continued to make French learning a priority.
When it comes to his French skills, you can tell he focused on speaking French as much as he could (instead of concentrating on just reading and writing) while studying abroad back in the day because he speaks naturally and that’s incredibly important. He’s worked on his pronunciation which makes up for the grammar and vocab mistakes and helps him to sound more natural. On top of that, he knows the filler words and mannerisms that elevate his overall delivery.
Watching Bradley Cooper speaking French boosts my own confidence because it’s proof that you can speak naturally and improve at any level. We all have something to learn and the unknown shouldn’t hold us back from moving forward. He just goes for it.Watching #BradleyCooper speaking #French boosts my own confidence because it's proof that you can speak naturally and improve at any level. We all have something to learn and that shouldn't hold us back from trying.Click To Tweet
Bradley has the confidence to go on a national French TV program and interview in his second language and that’s majorly impressive. The thought of bombing or not understanding doesn’t prevent him from going out there and trying. I love this guy… in case that wasn’t already obvious.
So here’s what I’ve learned after observing Bradley Cooper speaking French.
Watch this 18-minute Bradley Cooper French interview first:
1. He speaks with confidence
Someone with very limited knowledge of French watching the above clip might assume Bradley Cooper is fluent in French or even bilingual, but he’s neither. The reason why his French comes across as so proficient is because he speaks with confidence and it counts for so, so much. I love this about him and it’s something I noticed the first time I heard him speaking French. He’s confident — but not arrogant or showy — and this translates to having major charm. He’s poised and his French sounds natural.
Speaking a foreign language is scary and doing your best to speak authoritatively and confidently goes such a long way. It ups your level of French! He has a “what’s the worst that can happen attitude” and isn’t afraid to try. You’ll see he takes out his earpiece with the English translation at the beginning of the interview so he can do it 100% in French. When we watch Bradley Cooper speaking French, it’s clear that he has no problem in the confidence department.
2. He doesn’t focus on his mistakes
When Bradley Cooper makes mistakes speaking French, he doesn’t dwell on them or let them mess with his flow. He pushes forward, keeps moving, and is already talking about something else before you even have a second to realize he has made a mistake.
I’m sure he doesn’t always realize he’s made a mistake, but other times he most definitely does. Instead of pausing to correct himself or to search for a better word, he just says something and goes with it. There’s no hesitation or waffling between un and une. He speaks with conviction and doesn’t let unimportant mistakes throw him off his game or get him down. He keeps on going and it’s great to see that he DGAF. He has no fear.
After the interview, I’m sure he didn’t get down about his mistakes or give a second of his time to thinking about that stuff. Totally high vibe and I love it.
Here’s an example of how he rolls with it and stays positive despite not always being 100% sure of himself. In the image above, Bradley says Lady Gaga is an incredible actress and then has trouble differentiating between the words heart and body, which sound similar. Yann, the host, makes a joke and says, “Heart or body? She has both, so…” and they both laugh. Bradley keeps it light and doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s a good sport and even reads some tongue twisters with the host.When #BradleyCooper makes mistakes speaking #French, he doesn't dwell on them or let them mess with his flow. He pushes forward and keeps moving. Let's talk about what we can learn from Bradley speaking French.Click To Tweet
3. He makes eye contact and smiles
So back to that Bradley Cooper French charm. Yeah, the eye contact and smiles up his French game and it can help yours too. These are two easy things that we can all do no matter the language we’re speaking that will help us come across as warm, friendly, and sincere. Bradley Cooper nails them both and is super personable. We’re perceived more positively (and better at our foreign language) by others when our non-verbal communication is friendly. Along with that, Bradley stays relaxed as he’s speaking and seems comfortable. It’s as if the eye contact/smiles erase the mistakes and put everyone at ease.
Simple tips to be less nervous when speaking French >>
I haven’t seen A Star is Born just yet, but friends have told me it’s worth the effort to find it in English. The mark of a great performer is when he or she plays the character so authentically that you forget you’re looking at a mega-star (a singer, not a career actress! and the reverse for Bradley) and all you can see is the character on the screen. Apparently Lady Gaga and Bradley kill it, so can’t wait to see it on the big screen. I have no doubt I’ll enjoy myself. Can’t wait to hear Bradley Cooper sing! 😉
As for all the Bradley Cooper French interviews, I can’t get enough of those either!
Have you seen A Star is Born? What do you think of Bradley Cooper speaking French? Does he inspire you too?
Also, check out my friend Jasmine’s post on “The Bradley Cooper effect” and her take on how one’s attractiveness affects how their language skills are perceived.
PIN the Bradley Cooper French interview graphic:
Does Bradley Cooper speak French? Bradley Cooper French skills are on point.
I haven’t seen the movie yet but I love his interviews in French. Your absolutely right, confidence is EVERYTHING!
It really is! Even if we aren’t confident about something, with a little effort, we can fake it. And as the saying goes, fake it until you make it! In Bradley’s case, I think it’s 100% genuine. LOVE HIM!
Watching that interview was well worth my time. Thank you for sharing. (Heart eyes.)
It really was great, wasn’t it? Thank you for reading!
I love this post! And his interview! I can’t wait to see the movie. I totally agree with you Diane — he is so natural and confident. Of course I didn’t understand most of what he said, but I did pick up on some of the fillers and the sounds French people make. It looked like he really enjoyed himself and so did the interviewer.
See, that just goes to show just HOW GOOD HE IS. You don’t even speak French and you watched the whole thing!! He’s captivating.
I watched this video a few days ago, I’ve heard him speak French before so I knew he was good. Although his French may be flawed ( although I didn’t pick this up, cos so is mine!) He speaks real French and has confidence in his ability, the audience clearly love him. And yes, he’s very easy on the eye.
He’s so incredibly charming and the confidence carries him so, so far. Hope you’re well! 😉
He’s very charming and confident while speaking French. *swoons*
I’m impressed. I thought it was really cool that he took the ear bud off and listened to the interviewer directly in French rather than listening to the interpreter. (BTW, I’m a French-English interpreter). He’s quite a charming fellow and your analysis of what others can learn about speaking a foreign language is spot on.
Reading this and watching the interview made me so happy today. It’s so easy to get bogged down in all of the stuff that I STILL have to learn about French that I let my confidence drop, when that is what is really essential. This is a good reminder that half of the battle is how you present yourself, whatever level your level of French. I have to remind myself that he was probably pretty nervous doing that interview without the ear-piece, and even if I’m nervous during an interaction, I don’t have to show it as much as I probably do. 🙂
Kameela Hays says
He comes across as very charming and as an actor he’s skilled at timing and generally knows how to perform in an interview unlike a lot of us normals who are trying to speak a second language convincingly. You can tell he was a bit nervous though by his laugh. But hats off to him. In any situation a little charm goes a long way. I haven t seen the film but my friend has seen it twice and wad keen for a third viewing! I’ll wait for the DVD
DSW Ministries says
That was so very good! Thank you for posting this. I could understand most of what he said, but the interviewer talked so fast! I will probably watch it more than once to see if I can get the jokes too. I hope I have that much class speaking French.
Phoebe | Lou Messugo says
I love this Diane! You’re absolutely right about just having the confidence to carry on and not be bothered by mistakes. It’s hard though! Thanks for linking to #AllAboutFrance again, good to be back!
Hi Diane. Like you, I always appreciate hearing an Anglophone who has mastered French at the level Bradley Cooper has achieved. And I think you’re absolutely right that confidence (and the ability to power through mistakes) are the keys to being really good at communicating in another language. For me, the day I was able to go to the office of our insurance agent and win a spirited argument over a billing error was one of the proudest days in my long and rocky development in French!
June de Silva says
I love this post and I love Bradley Cooper! I have just watched A Star is Born, on a long haul flight, and it is brilliant. BC Iooks incredible and he can sing but what really swung it for me – he speaks French! I’ve known for some time that he speaks really good French and had studied in France. I’d also seen him in other interviews but the one you have included is fantastic. I can’t get over how good his accent is. There are some really useful tips that you make as well for improving one’s own French. #AllAboutFrance
Margo Lestz says
I saw this interview a while back, and I too was so impressed with his ease and confidence. I wish I could be like that. When I make a mistake or have to search for a word, it really throws me off. And then to make matters worse, he says he only took a six-month course years ago. It’s just not fair! ;-).
Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) says
I#m inspired! What a great example to us all. My own failing when speaking French is embarrassment over my mistakes. I need to just get over it and move on, too! #AllAboutFrance
Another big Bradley Cooper fan here, and yes this makes me love him all the more! He’s certainly better than me at speaking French and I’ve lived here for almost 3 years… But I pretty much do the opposite, i.e. don’t speak confidently, focus on my mistakes, and shy away from eye contact/look nervous. So it’s no wonder really 😉
Rosie Hill (@EcoGitesLenault) says
I can so relate to this – I do tend to just go for it and laugh at my (many) mistakes. I know my grammar is pretty bad but the more I talk (and read and listen to French) the more confident I become. I will never be bilingual, unlike my extremely lucky boys, but I love the French language and will continue to try and improve #AllAboutFrance
Your article is spot on. So many people get hung up on speaking with perfect grammar and a native accent, but it’s just not that important usually. I teach English in Spain and I always tell my students that there are important things and not-so-important things about learning a language. The best thing you can do is dive in, have fun, and not over analyze things. Learning a language is about connecting with people after all.
Also, I had no idea Bradley Cooper spoke French! Plus, he studied in Aix, which is were I spent a year studying abroad. 😀
Such a unique and beneficial post. I’ve just begun to study French and I am now going to try to speak with more confidence as I repeat after the green owl and his friends (…that’s a Duolingo app reference – I’m not just a crazy person )