Bradley Cooper originally passed on his role in A Star Is Born”

On Feb. 24, winners will be crowned at the 91st Academy Awards. But before the red carpet is rolled out and envelopes are opened, Entertainment Weekly has inside intel on the 2019 nominees. Keep checking back at EW.com this week for spotlights on contenders in all the major categories.

Bradley Cooper
Starring in: A Star Is Born
Age: 44
Oscar past: 4 noms, 0 wins
Role call: Jackson Maine, a rock superstar struggling with drinking and drugs, who finds the love of his life in rising sensation Ally (Lady Gaga)

Best Actor nominee Bradley Cooper initially turned down being in A Star Is Born. The actor was approached years ago about the project when mentor Clint Eastwood was potentially directing it. “I was too young. I always thought I didn’t have enough experience to play this guy,” says Cooper of the grizzled role. “I was 38 at the time — I’m 43 now — and I just thought, ‘I don’t know if I could buy me like that.’ And then life happens.”

Cooper starred in 2014’s Eastwood-directed American Sniper and then performed in The Elephant Man on Broadway for a year, two projects that he says aged him significantly. “I thought, ‘You know what? I think I’m ready.’”

Thanks to those extra years (and projects), Cooper — who also co-wrote and directed A Star Is Born — brings a vulnerable weariness to Jackson, a man broken by his past and trapped in a cycle of addiction.

Related content:

  • Watch the 2019 Oscar nominations announced live
  • Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper cheer on costar Sam Elliott at his hand and foot imprint ceremony
  • Sam Elliott says making A Star Is Born was ‘a once in a lifetime’ experience|

 

A Star Is Born (2018)

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