After co-starring in A Star Is Born together, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are understandably close. The palpable connection between the two is evident in everything they do together, from playing lovers in the movie to co-writing the film’s emotional soundtrack to gushing about one another on the red carpet.
Here, a comprehensive look at Cooper and Gaga’s working relationship, and the journey they undertook together to create A Star Is Born.
Bradley Cooper watched Lady Gaga perform and was blown away.
Per Vanity Fair, Cooper realized he wanted to cast Gaga in his version of A Star Is Born when he saw her perform at a benefit in Los Angeles in April 2016 . As the actor told the audience at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2018, “She leveled the entire room when she came out. It was insane.”
Notably, Gaga sang Édith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” at the benefit, and Cooper revealed, “I thought, right then, that song is in the movie.” He told the same story of discovering Gaga to W magazine, saying, “I was at a cancer benefit with my mother. I really did not know Lady Gaga’s music. They had a surprise musical guest, and Stefani came out with her hair slicked back.”
Cooper was so enamored with her performance, he told W, that he “called her agent the next day and said, ‘Can I go to her house and meet her right away?’ I drove to Malibu, and we sat on her porch, and the next thing I know, I’m eating spaghetti and meatballs.” It turns out she cooked it for him…
Lady Gaga made dinner for Bradley Cooper at her house.
At a press conference at Venice Film Festival in August 2018, the talented duo opened up about the first time they sat down together to discuss the possibility of working together. Via Vanity Fair, the “Paparazzi” singer told reporters, “From the moment he came to my home and I opened the door and we locked eyes, I felt an instant connection with him.”
The singer revealed that she heated up pasta, and then they sat at the piano and sang “Midnight Special” by Creedence Clearwater Revival together. Their chemistry was evident from that first duet, with Gaga explaining, “I looked at him and said, ‘Bradley, your voice is incredible. You have a real voice.’ He sings from his soul.”
According to Vanity Fair, Cooper concurred that food played a huge part in their working relationship, explaining, “after 10 minutes we were eating homemade food that she cooked—I love to eat—and that was actually a huge bond that we both came from East Coast Italian-American families. So we had a real synchronicity on that level from our upbringing.”
Basically, the magic audiences witnessed onscreen started in Lady Gaga’s living room. As she told VF, “That was us singing together for the first time—we were laughing, harmonizing, singing.”
Cooper fought to cast Gaga opposite him in the movie.
Cooper’s journey to casting Lady Gaga was far from smooth. W reports reports, “Unfortunately, Warner Bros., which was financing the film, did not agree. Cooper had to shoot several screen tests with Gaga to convince them she could play Ally.”
In October 2018, Cooper told The New York Times Magazine, “She was completely illuminated by the sun. So charismatic. I thought inside my head, Oh, gosh. If she is like this on film, if that’s the worst case scenario that she’s this present on film, the movie will work.'”
According to Vanity Fair, Cooper never had any doubt about casting Gaga as the lead, and told the press conference at Venice Film Festival in August 2018, “I can’t imagine having the courage to do it without her.” The actor was also adamant that noone else was capable of playing Ally. He told W, “No actress can do musically what I needed Stefani to do in 42 days of shooting: I needed plutonium. And the plutonium in A Star Is Born is Stefani’s voice.” And anyone who’s seen the movie will agree that Lady Gaga’s vocals are consistently superb throughout.
Meanwhile, Gaga wasn’t all that surprised when Cooper approached her about doing the movie as she’d “heard about the project through the grapevine,” and had long dreamt of developing an acting career . She famously appeared in, and won awards for, American Horror Story, and revealed on The Graham Norton Show that when it came to doing the movie, “It took no convincing on my part.”
Cooper and Lady Gaga were spotted together for the first time as filming began.
Following rumors that Gaga would be starring in Cooper’s directorial debut, they were photographed in Los Angeles together riding a motorcycle. Dressed casually, it was immediately clear that the movie would be showing us a totally different side of Lady Gaga, especially in her character’s simple style and pared-back makeup:
In a preview with Entertainment Weekly in August 2018, Cooper teased the experience of working together, saying, “I think the biggest thing I learned is that the sky’s the limit if you find a companion artistically, and you have a project. There is no dreaming too big. What people can do together is so much more powerful than what they can do by themselves.”
They arrived at the 75th Venice Film Festival together.
It was at the Venice Film Festival that Cooper and Gaga begin to really gush about one another, making it clear that their shooting experience was pretty special.
Gaga revealed (via Vanity Fair), “I don’t know that I’ve ever had a closer artistic relationship than I have had with Bradley, a closer exchange. It meant a lot to me, and I think to both of us, that at the beginning of making this film we kind of shook hands literally and he said, ‘You are an actress.’ I said to him, ‘You are a musician.'”
And there was, of course, Lady Gaga’s story about Cooper that instantly went viral, purely because she repeated the sentiment so frequently while promoting A Star Is Born: “There could be 100 people in the room and 99 don’t believe in you. You just need one—and it was him.” Cooper truly believes in Gaga, and that’s ridiculously endearing.