Bradley Cooper Responds to Best Director Oscar's Snub: 'I Was Embarrassed'

When the Oscar nominations were announced in January, many people were surprised to find that Bradley Cooper had not received a Best Director nomination for A Star Is Born, an award the 44-year-old was easily expected to be up for.

On Tuesday, Cooper opened up about the snub while speaking to Oprah Winfrey during a taping of Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations at the PlayStation Theater in New York City, sharing that he felt embarrassed when he found out rather than surprised.

"I'm never surprised about not getting anything. But it's funny you ask this, because I've thought about this," he said, via The Hollywood Reporter. "I was with my friend at a coffee shop in New York City, and I looked down at my phone, and Nicole [Caruso, his 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."

Cooper added that in his opinion, nominations and awards "play into things that have nothing to do with creative art."

"It's a whole other element of the business," he said. "So, it's really reconciling its effect on you. That's the thing I have to deal with."

By this reasoning, he explained, "even if I got the nomination, it should not give me any sense of whether I did my job or not. That's the trick, to make something that you believe in."

Cooper continued, "The only thing I set out to do was to tap into as an authentic place as possible — 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 total, A Star Is Born was nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Original Song for "Shallow," Best Actress in a Leading Role for Gaga, Best Actor in a Leading Role for Cooper, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Sam Elliot, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing and Best Picture.

"It's just the icing on the cake to be able to work with people, and having them be recognized by the Academy for A Star Is Born is incredible," Cooper said.

The movie marked Cooper's directorial debut, and he had previously earned directing nominations for the film at the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice Awards.

After the nominations were announced, Cooper's co-star, Lady Gaga, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the snub and shared that she supports Cooper regardless of any nomination or lack thereof.


"Well, you know, you never know what's going to happen," she said. "But at the end of the day, he knows that he's the best director in my eyes, and in all of our eyes as his cast. I know that he's so happy that we've all been nominated and that the film was recognized and we all feel really, really beyond elated for the recognition."

Photo Credit: Getty / Frazer Harrison