For British musician Barns Courtney, hitting the big time seemed like a dream that was fizzling away fast. That is, until Bradley Cooper and Harvey Weinstein served up an opportunity on the soundtrack of their new movie Burnt.
Upon hearing Courtney’s rousing tune “Fire”, Cooper and Weinstein decided it had the perfect recipe to fit into the comedy-drama about a top chef trying for his third elusive Michelin star.
“It was absolutely bizarre,” Courtney recalls to PEOPLE, on finding out his song had been plucked out of thousands that had been submitted for the motion picture. “Considering I had thought my career was over, then I hear Harvey Weinstein has played Bradley Cooper my song and the rest is history.”
Suddenly, Courtney – who had been working at a computer software store in London – was on the fast track to Hollywood. “This time last year I was sleeping in my girlfriend’s car and working at Curry’s and PC World,” he laughs. “I was going to quit so many times, but because music was just so hard wired into me I kept going with it.
“Then I find out Bradley has approved the song and it’s going to be played in the end credits.” In fact, the song not only plays at the credits, but also in the middle of the film and it has been used in the international trailer.
Courtney – who has been supporting fellow British singer Ed Sheeran on his latest tour – got a taste for fame at the Burnt premiere in New York City earlier this week. “It was very weird walking the red carpet and seeing all the photographers,” he admits. “I’m going to the London premiere next, and I am taking my grandmother who is from Yorkshire. It’s going to be like a trip to the moon for her!”
As well Cooper and Weinstein, Courtney has had to get his head around the fact that apparently both Sienna Miller and Uma Thurman are now considered fans of his music, and it seems that he could be on his way to hitting the big time after all. He adds: “I’ve put my heart and soul into my music, into my album, so none of this seems real to me just yet.”