When making his directorial debut for the 2018 film A Star Is Born, Bradley Cooper was searching for something more when casting his female lead.
The actor-director has since gone on to produce other major motion films including Maestro, starring as the lead role of Leonard Bernstein and going on to be nominated for Best Director and Best Performance at the Golden Globes – despite some backlash.
Although the Star is Born team eventually landed on the award-winning singer-songwriter Lady Gaga, there were a few other A-listers he had his eye on, he shared at the 2024 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where he accepted the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award for his starring role in Maestro.
Adele has not spoken publicly about considering the role. However, after realizing Adele was not in the running, he shared that he tried to pursue Beyoncé in “A Star Is Born” after he took over directing duties from Clint Eastwood.
“She was incredible,” he said about the Break My Soul singer. “And we went down the road and then it didn’t work out.”
He added: “I remember I was so nervous. I had this weird cough as I was pitching it to her.”
However, he says he knew he found his lead after seeing Lady Gaga perform live.
Bradley Cooper shared that he saw Lady Gaga close out a cancer benefit, performing her rendition of “La Vie En Rose,” which is when it all clicked for him.
“It crystallized in that moment and I thought, ‘how did I ever think anybody else,’” he said. “I was so lucky. I went to meet her the next day or the day after in Malibu, at her house, and she came down the stairs—I’ll never forget it—right away I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to work.’”
He and Lady Gaga both went on to receive multiple Academy Awards nominations for their work on “A Star Is Born,” including nods for Best Actor and Best Actress, with the latter star winning Best Original Song for their onscreen duet “Shallow.”
Although Cooper has yet to win an Oscar himself, his sophomore directorial effort for Maestro received seven nominations, including ones for him in Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay.