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Lukas Nelson in "A Star is Born," 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfristmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018

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Lukas Nelson is following in the "family business" -- in more ways than one.

The son of Willie Nelson is also a musician and songwriter -- and even plays frequently with his father. He also leads the band Promise of the Real, which in addition to its own music has become Neil Young's primary backing band.

The younger Nelson is also following his father's forays into film. Lukas, along with POTR, appears in the just-released "A Star is Born" as a member of the band that backs stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper on screen. He also co-wrote seven songs for the soundtrack, working with both of the leads on them.

It's Nelson's second film of the year, following the arty "Paradox" with Young and director Daryl Hannah, and he seems to be fitting as smoothly as music...

Nelson says by phone that being part of "A Star is Born" "was incredible. I feel lucky to be amongst those two superstars -- and I don't use that term lightly. They're really super-talented, amazing people and they really know how to work hard, both of them. Her acting is incredible and his singing and performance is incredible. I think people are going to dig it."

One of Nelson's other roles in the production was helping Cooper with his stage and playing techniques so they'd be convincing in the film. "I did some counseling with Bradley to keep things looking right and authentic -- how to hold (the guitar), how to stand, all of that. He saw us play at Desert Trip with Neil and wanted to recreate the sort of camaraderie, band-wise, on stage. We were the perfect band to help him do that. So we're a big part of the movie, which is pretty exciting."

Nelson was happy to be able to write music for the film as well, especially with Gaga, who he's worked with before. "It's kind of like finishing each other's sentences. She's a very intuitive writer, and we both kind of see eye to eye in terms of how we right, that that came naturally. When I first started I was writing for Bradley's character, and then (he and Gaga) were writing together, so I got to do a lot. I just wrote from the heart and had plenty of room to be as creative as possible."

Nelson would like to see the film's band play some live shows as well. "I would love to do that. We've talked about that situation happening, but it's hard. They're so busy. But even if we can't make that situation there's some of the songs I wrote that I'll definitely play live. That'll be fun."

Nelson says "A Star..." and the much lower-budget "Paradox "are completely different movies, but they're based on the same sort of story arc. There's a similar kind of spirit and marriage of new music and old music. The characters are unique in both films -- different from each other, but unique kind of characters. It's been fun to have both those experiences this year."

"A Star is Born" opens in theaters on Friday, Oct. 5. The soundtrack album comes out the same day. "Paradox" is available via Netflix.

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