Bradley Cooper Addresses Past Romance Rumors and 'Instant Connection' With Lady Gaga

Bradley Cooper is opening up about his connection with Lady Gaga following the romance rumors that surrounded their 2018 movie A Star Is Born. A steamy Oscars performance of "Shallow" and Gaga's comments about having an "instant connection" with her co-star, paired with mutual 2019 splits from partners Irina Shayk and Christian Carino led to speculation that their relationship was more than platonic at the time, but Cooper is shutting down that narrative in Gaga's new Hollywood Reporter profile.

Sharing how the movie was such a "specific" moment in time for the pair, Cooper told THR "there was always a meta element to the project." He further explained that the Oscars moment, which catapulted the rumor into headlines was conceived to unfold like a scene from the movie to help manage his fears about singing live. "Just from a personal standpoint, it reduces the anxiety level," the actor and director explained. "They kind of fall in love in that scene in the film. It's that explosive moment that happens to them on a stage in front of thousands of people...It would have been so weird if we were both on stools facing the audience."

Cooper and Gaga do have a special connection, however, with the Silver Linings Playbook star gushing over Gaga's skills both on stage and on screen. "She's just so terribly charismatic and beautiful. When I met her, I thought, 'If I can just harness that ... then it's just for me to mess up,'" he said. "But then, when we started working together, I realized, 'Oh, oh, the sky's the limit in terms of what she's able to do and her commitment level.'"

Gaga has also long maintained that she and her co-star are only friends, telling Jimmy Kimmel in 2019 that "people saw love" between her and Cooper because that was what they wanted people to see as actors. The House of Gucci star told Elle in November 2019, "Quite frankly, I think the press is very silly. I mean, we made a love story. For me, as a performer and as an actress, of course, we wanted people to believe that we were in love. And we wanted people to feel that love at the Oscars. We wanted it to go right through the lens of that camera and to every television that it was being watched on."