Bradley Cooper Recalls Meeting Beyoncé for 'A Star Is Born' While JAY-Z Was Watching 'Judge Judy'

The 'Maestro' filmmaker offers a funny anecdote about visiting the 'Texas Hold 'Em' singer's home in a new career retrospective.

Bradley Cooper is offering an amusing glimpse into the Knowles-Carter home. The Maestro filmmaker looks back on the making of his directorial debut, A Star Is Born, sharing an offhand anecdote about meeting with Beyoncé to play the film's leading lady. 

In a recent career retrospective moderated by Willie Geist for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations, Cooper shared the twisty story about how his beloved 2018 adaptation of the classic story came to fruition. The 49-year-old star says that Clint Eastwood was originally attached to direct Beyoncé in the film, and initially approached Cooper to star as Jackson Maine around the time that Silver Linings Playbook was released in 2012. 

"I didn't think I was able to play this sort of weathered drunk guy," Cooper admits. "I just felt I hadn't lived enough." 

He initially declined the job, saying, "I think I'd be acting." 

"And that's not a good thing, to say no to him," Cooper says of Eastwood. "He was like, 'Well, good luck with this Silver Bobbedy Bob.' And I was like, 'Well, that's it. I'll never see this man again.' I was like, 'Oh s**t.'" 

The duo did end up working together on 2014's American Sniper. Shortly after, moved by Annie Lennox's performance with Hozier at the 2015 GRAMMYs, Cooper asked Eastwood to revisit the idea of making A Star Is Born. Though the 91-year-old Hollywood legend had "moved on," Cooper said, "I couldn't get it out of my head." 

Hollywood producer Greg Silverman gave Cooper the go-ahead to bring the project to life if he could get Beyoncé on board and make the film for under $25 million. 

"So then I went to Beyoncé's house, and JAY-Z was watching Judge Judy, I still remember. I'm not kidding," Cooper shares with a laugh. "And I was freaking out. I remember I had this weird cough when I was pitching it to her." 

He continues, "It was crazy. And she was incredible, and so was he, and we developed it for like a year together. I mean, she's one of the greatest people of all time. And then that fell through." 

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Cooper then considered Adele for the role, but recalls "she texted me back once but didn't -- she was busy." 

Then, after seeing Lady Gaga sing "La Vie En Rose" at a cancer benefit, he knew he had found his Ally. 

Cooper also shares what it was like visiting the pop star at her Malibu, California, home as they discussed the film. 

"She came down the stairs, I'm not even kidding, and was like, right away, 'Oh, she's like a girl from Jersey,'" he says. Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, offered him pasta and the two ended up singing together around her piano. 

"That was it," he says. "I was like, 'This is it.' I was like, 'If I could just capture this person that's sitting with me on her porch,' and then she just starts singing effortlessly and it's like, it's beyond."

Cooper notes that Gaga was "a huge part of writing the script," as he tailored the character directly to her. 

It was the start of a beautiful friendship for the collaborators. Most recently, Gaga stepped out to show her support for Cooper at a special Maestro screening in December. 

A source told ET at the time that "Gaga and Bradley are very dear friends and have a deep love and respect for each other. They have a good friendship and admire each other as people and artists. Gaga wanted to be there for Bradley last night and support him. It was important for her to show up. Gaga is hoping to focus more and have a big push on her acting career in the upcoming months and new year."

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Gaga went on to win an Oscar for her work as a songwriter on the film, taking home the trophy for Best Original Song for "Shallow." The film also scored Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Cooper for Best Actor, Gaga for Best Actress, Sam Elliott for Best Supporting Actor, as well as Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing. 

Currently, Cooper is up for Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for his Leonard Bernstein biopic at the upcoming 2024 Academy Awards

Speaking with ET about lessons learned during the making of Maestro, Cooper shared, "There's really no end to what one can accomplish if you work really hard and stay open, and then there are more possibilities the more people that gather around for the same journey."


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