Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” is nominated for eight Academy Awards this year, including Best Picture, which is no small feat for any movie, but especially a feature directorial debut from a high-profile actor. One category where “A Star Is Born” shockingly missed the mark was Cooper for Best Director, widely considered one of the year’s biggest shocks considering both the acclaim Cooper received for his filmmaking and his nomination in the same category from the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards, and Directors Guild of America.
With “A Star Is Born” being one of the year’s most nominated films, Cooper has remained a fixture on the awards season circuit, most recently attending the Oscar Nominees Luncheon with his fellow stars and Oscar nominees Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott. One thing Cooper hasn’t done is get honest about what getting snubbed for Best Director felt like, but he finally opened up while speaking to Oprah Winfrey during a February 5 taping of her new special “SuperSoul Conversation.”
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“I’m never surprised about not getting anything,” Cooper said when asked about the snub. “But it’s funny you ask this, because I’ve thought about this. I was with my friend at a coffee shop in New York City, and I looked down at my phone, and Nicole [Caruso, Cooper’s publicist] had texted me congratulations on these other things but didn’t tell me the bad news. And I went, ‘Oh, wow.’ And the first thing I felt was embarrassment, actually. Think about it. I felt embarrassed that I didn’t do my part.”
“Even if I got the nomination, it should not give me any sense of whether I did my job or not,” Cooper continued. “That’s the trick, to make something that you believe in.”
Cooper explained that, like many of his directorial peers, he did not set out to make a movie that landed Academy Award nominations. “The only thing I set out to do was to tap into as an authentic place as possible,” he said. “[An authentic place] in myself and everybody I asked to make this movie — to tell a human story of people who are going to deal with their family life, trauma as a child, addiction in a real way, love in this life and finding your voice.”
In addition to his nomination for Best Actor, Cooper is also nominated for Best Picture (he’s a producer of the film) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Cooper called all of the awards season attention on the film “icing on the cake” and stressed Oscar nominations “play into things that have nothing to do with creative art.”
“It’s a whole other element of the business,” Cooper said. “So, it’s really reconciling its effect on you. That’s the thing I have to deal with.”
“A Star Is Born” is now available on demand and in select theaters. The Oscars take place Sunday, February 24.