Bradley Cooper reveals how having a child has changed him

Bradley Cooper is opening up about how being a dad has influenced his career choices.

The 43-year-old "A Star Is Born" actor and director tells NPR that having a family is "a miracle."

"I guess having a child, and having a family of my own — which is a miracle and something I've always dreamt of — has opened me up even more, I guess, to the day, and to be present," he tells the outlet.

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Cooper -- who shares a 1-year-old daughter, Lea, with his girlfriend Irina Shayk -- also said that his newfound family life has made him more choosy about the projects he takes on.

"I spent about 15 years going from movie to movie to movie. And then I hit 39 and I stopped and I said, 'What do I really want to do?'" he recalls. "I want to tell Joseph Merrick's story in 'The Elephant Man.' So I did that for a year. Then this story came to me, 'A Star Is Born,' and then I spent the next four years doing that."

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His new career plan of only signing on to films he cares about is something he truly believes in and is looking forward to.

"The one thing that I know in the future is: It's worth all the time to dedicate, even if one piece of art comes out of it in a half a decade, that would still be incredible as long as I can feel like it's the movie I wanted to make, which is this movie," he says of "A Star Is Born," which he stars in alongside Lady Gaga.

The co-stars hit it off quickly thanks to, Cooper believes, their similar upbringings.

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"Here's the other thing that connected Stefani [Germanotta, Gaga's given name] and myself right away, is that we were very, very loved as children. And when I meet people that have had that similar upbringing, I can just see it in them," Cooper says. "And that's the thing I want my daughter to have — I just always want her to feel loved."

Cooper's praise for Gaga didn't stop there, though. The actor went on to say that the "Born This Way" singer gave him confidence throughout the making of the film.

"I knew nothing about her. I didn't even know, really, what she looked like before I met her. And I was — I couldn't believe how comfortable she made me feel, and how present she was — is. And then we went to the piano and sang, and it was this kind of wonderful thing. I couldn't believe it," he says.

"... The first time we sang together — everything's live; we sing everything live in the movie... And I turned to Lady Gaga, who was singing next to me, and she was looking at me like I was [my character] Jackson Maine. And when you're in a scene, and the actor is fully believing that you're the character, you can't not believe it yourself. So she really gave me that confidence."

When ET recently caught up with Cooper, he doled out even more praise for his onscreen leading lady.

"The chemistry was instant -- the minute that she was kind enough to let me come and talk to her about this potential project," Cooper told ET of working with the pop star. "And so we were like, what are we going to do with this? So the fact that we forged a friendship by creating art together is kind of the most ideal way to use that chemistry."

"A Star Is Born" hits theaters on Oct. 5.