How Bradley Cooper Is Prepping for His Oscars Performance With Lady Gaga (Exclusive)
By Angelique Jackson
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Is Bradley Cooper ready to sing his heart out at the Oscars?
ET spoke with the actor at the 71st Annual Directors Guild Awards on Saturday at the Hollywood and Highland Center's Ray Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles, where he talked about his highly anticipated performance with his A Star Is Born co-star, Lady Gaga.
“Not at all,” he told ET with a laugh when asked if he was prepared. “I’m going to have to prepare a lot.”
The Academy announced on Friday that Cooper and Gaga would perform their monster hit “Shallow” on the telecast with a simple tweet.
The duet from A Star is Born is one of the five nominees for Best Original Song, and an onstage reunion of Ally and Jackson Maine has been one of the most in-demand moments of this awards season.
Last weekend, fans got a preview of what’s to come when Cooper surprised everyone by singing with Gaga during her Las Vegas show, Enigma.
“I didn’t have any preparation. That was just to see,” he explained about joining his co-star on stage. “That was an amazing experience. But no, I want to work and like rehearse [before the Oscars].”
Cooper told ET that the surprise performance came together in just two days.
“I’d thought about it and called [Gaga], so maybe I’d go to the show and then I knew she was singing 'Shallow' for her finale,” he explained. “And I thought, I don’t know, maybe if she wants to bring me up, let’s see if it’s not horrendous.”
Now that the test run is out of the way, Cooper is getting ready for the big show by working with the “incredible” coach who helped find Jackson Maine’s voice in the first place, Roger Love.
“I couldn’t sing before this movie and so, in terms of being able to sing in front of people, it’s very nerve wracking. It’s not easy what they do,” he admitted. “We worked tirelessly [to prepare for the movie]. So I called him and said I’m back in L.A. on the 15th of February and hopefully I can do it!”
“It’s incredible,” Cooper said of his double nomination. “This morning, I was with all these gentleman [nominated directors Cuarón, Spike Lee, Adam McKay and Peter Farrelly] on a conference and just to be there and talk about movies and talk about the work, was a dream.”
He was particularly in awe of sitting on a panel with one of his idols. “Just to be there with Spike Lee, I can’t even believe it,” he said before acknowledging the fact that both directors were first-time nominees tonight, laughing, “That’s not right”. In fact, during the DGA Meet the Nominees panel on Saturday, Cooper revealed that he had once auditioned for Lee and didn’t get the part.
But back to the Oscars. A Star is Born is nominated for seven awards, including Best Actor (Cooper), Best Actress (Gaga), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Elliott) and Best Picture. The 91st Oscars will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, on Feb. 24 on ABC.
For a look back at Cooper and Gaga's surprise Vegas performance, watch the video below: