Credit: Laurent Viteur/Getty Images

When it came time to cast A Star Is Born‘s VIP—that very important pup—Bradley Cooper knew exactly where to turn. Cooper—who wrote, directed and stars in the film, out Friday, October 5th—picked his own dog, Charlie, to play the dog his character Jackson Maine has with Ally (Lady Gaga).

Indeed: Cooper, 43, previously had two rescue dogs, German shorthaired pointer Samson and Chow Retriever mix Charlotte, whom he once called “his kids.” Charlie holds a special place in his heart though, as he’s named for Cooper’s late father. “That meant a lot for him to be in the film,” Cooper added.

Charlie isn’t the only person (er, pet) in the film from Cooper’s inner circle; the actor revealed that “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,” Cooper said. “Derek Jones. My ear doctor is the doctor in the movie, Dr. Slattery… so why not Charlie?”

Maybe because of his newfound attitude? Cooper joked that 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.”

This article originally appeared on People.