Bradley Cooper Reveals Howard Stern Turned Down This Oscar-Nominated Acting Role

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Bradley Cooper stopped by The Howard Stern Show on Monday to promote his new Netflix film, Maestro. During the interview, Cooper revealed that the notoriously prickly SiriusXM host turned down an opportunity to play his brother in A Star Is Born.

Cooper wrote, directed, and starred in the 2018 melodrama as troubled musician Jackson Maine, who gets a second shot at fame when he meets Lady Gaga’s preternaturally talented Ally. Sam Elliot received an Oscar nomination for the role Stern turned down, as Jackson’s older sibling, Bobby, who doubles as his business manager.

"You came to me and you said, 'Hey, you will play my brother,'" Stern recalled to Cooper. "And I went, 'Whoa, he must think I'm a lot better looking than I am. They’re gonna be like, 'What the fuck, [is] this movie gonna be like Twins?' I'm Danny DeVito and he's Arnold Schwarzenegger or something?"

While it’s nearly impossible to imagine Stern as the character that appears in the film, Cooper reiterated that his offer to the comedian came “early, early” on in the creative process. “The role that was written for [Sam Elliot]. It’s a totally different role,” the director clarified.

"I went, 'No shit, that's kind of intriguing,'” Stern said of his first reaction to the proposal. “I said, 'I'm gonna go full-on into it. I'm gonna shave my head, I’m gonna change my whole look.' I was really toying with the idea."

The part would have been Stern’s first film appearance since he played himself in Betty Thomas’ playful biopic Private Parts (1997). That movie was a financial hit and earned strong reviews, many of which praised Stern’s naturalistic performance. Yet despite—or perhaps because of—that success, the former shock jock has never again acted in film.

Still, it seems he gave Cooper’s offer more weight than most. The actor confirmed that Stern considered how he would play the part for about three weeks before ultimately passing. "It wasn't like you said no right away,” Cooper said. “You really contemplated this. When we started talking about you shaving your head, that was very exciting.”

"Can you imagine? Maybe we'll do [it] one day,” Stern laughed, to which Cooper replied earnestly: "I think it's gonna happen, man. I think it's gonna happen. I just have to figure out the right thing so that you'll say yes."

Cooper did inevitably cast several other comedians in dramatic roles throughout A Star Is Born. Dave Chappelle plays Jackson's friend, while Eddie Griffin appears in a small role as a pastor. Most notable is the inclusion of shock-comic Andrew Dice Clay, whose career superficially mirrors Stern’s, as Lady Gaga’s blue-collar dad.