Bradley Cooper Admits He ‘Felt Embarrassed’ About Not Being Nominated for Best Director Oscar

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Bradley Cooper speaks on stage at 'Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations' at PlayStation Theater in New York City on February 5, 2019. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Even Bradley Cooper gets embarrassed. The actor made his directorial debut in 2018 with A Star Is Born, in which he also starred alongside Lady Gaga, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not nominate him for the Best Director Oscar despite the film’s massive success.

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“I’m never surprised about not getting anything,” Cooper, 44, said during an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday, February 5, during a New York City taping of OWN’s Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations.

“But it’s funny you ask this, because I’ve thought about this,” he continued. “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.”

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Eventually, the Hangover star — who received three other Oscar nominations for A Star Is Born, including Best Picture and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role — came to the realization that “even if I got the [Best Director] 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,” he explained. “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.”

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Gaga, 32, has also been outspoken about how she believes Cooper should have scored a directing nod. “You never know what’s going to happen. 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,” the pop star told the Los Angeles Times in January.

The onscreen couple — in real life, Cooper is dating supermodel Irina Shayk, and Gaga is engaged to talent agent Christian Carino — are set to perform their A Star Is Born duet “Shallow,” which is nominated for Best Original Song, during the February 24 Oscars ceremony.

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations airs on OWN Saturday, February 16, at 8 p.m. ET.

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