Bradley Cooper is revealing details behind his directorial debut A Star is Born, where he also plays the lead opposite Lady Gaga. Bradley Cooper has no doubt had a wide-ranging career in Hollywood, from his role in the cult comedy favorite Wet Hot American Summer and breakthrough turn in The Hangover (and its sequels) to action with the big-screen version of The A-Team, a pair of voice turns as the wickedly funny Rocket Raccoon in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, and dramas with Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.

Earning Oscar nominations for the latter two, perhaps Cooper’s most acclaimed role came in his riveting turn as real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in American Sniper in 2014, which earned a staggering $350 million domestically, becoming only one of four R-rated films currently to cross the $300 million plateau stateside. The film marked Cooper’s first acting turn under the direction of big-screen icon Clint Eastwood, who has won just as much acclaim in behind the camera over his 62 years in the film and TV business as in front of it.

Now, Cooper for the first time is venturing behind the camera under the auspices of Eastwood the producer for A Star is Born, a remake of the film tale first made famous by Janet Gaynor and Fredric March in 1937, and later by Judy Garland and James Mason in 1954. The most current iteration of A Star is Born came in 1976 starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofersen, and on May 18, 2018, Cooper is promising a fresh take on the time-honored narrative.

In a new interview exclusive with EW, Cooper says of the film, “It all comes down to this broken love story.” In it, Cooper plays a fading country crooner, Jackson Maine, who takes under his wing a gifted but unknown singer named Ally (Lady Gaga, who is going by her real name, Stefani Germanotta, in the credits). Describing the core narrative, Cooper says his version of A Star is Born asks a very tough, introspective question. He says:

“What happens when you’re 30 and the idea that ‘Maybe I’m not going to make it’ has crept into your artistic brain? There’s no better way to express that than through singing because there’s nowhere to hide when you’re singing.”

Crossing over from acting to directing a film is tough endeavor for any performer, and handling both chores is even tougher. However, his producer, Eastwood, had to do it at one point and there’s no question that the legendary filmmaker’s presence was huge in helping Cooper fully realize his first big-screen vision behind the camera. Eastwood is certainly vested in A Star is Born since he was at one point attached to direct with Beyonce starring in one of the film’s two leads.

Additionally, Cooper has had wonderful benefit of working with some of the industry’s best helmers, including Todd Phillips for The Hangover trilogy, James Gunn for the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, and David O. Russell, who directed Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and Joy. With teachers like that, A Star is Born may very well signal the birth of a new star director named Bradley Cooper.