Bradley Cooper Talks About His “Crazy” First Meeting with Beyoncé as He Courted Her to Play the Lead in ‘A Star Is Born’

 Beyonce and Jay-Z.
Beyonce and Jay-Z.
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This is a bit of a deep cut at this point, but some will remember that before Lady Gaga was cast in the 2018 version of A Star Is Born, Beyoncé was heavily courted to play the role of Ally. The film, of course, went on to star Gaga and Bradley Cooper, to great success—but Cooper is taking us back to when he met Beyoncé as he was pitching the film to her, and what a moment it was in his life. (Nobody forgets the day they meet Beyoncé, also known as the No. 1 artist on the country music charts, for the first time.)

Beyonce and Jay-Z at the 2024 Grammys
Beyonce and Jay-Z at the 2024 Grammys

Cooper said in a recent interview with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation that he pitched Beyoncé for the role to studio executive Greg Silverman, who told him he would do it if he could secure Bey’s participation and “make it for under $25 million,” Cooper said.

“I went to Beyoncé’s house, and Jay-Z was watching Judge Judy, I still remember,” he said. “I’m not kidding. And I was freaking [out]. I remember I had this weird cough when I was pitching it to her.”

He continued “It was crazy. 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. Then that fell through.”

Adele
Adele

Cooper said he also envisioned Adele for the role of Ally, but she only texted him back once and was “busy,” Cooper said. (Don’t count Adele out for future acting roles, though—she told Vanity Fair in December that she might be open to it: “There is one movie I want to do, but the guy whose movie it would be, he’s not mentally ready to write the script for it,” she said. “That’s the only role I ever want. Because I think I’d nail it. I think I’d do really, really good at it.”)

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

After the Adele possibility didn’t take off, Cooper heard Gaga sing at a benefit concert and knew he had found his leading lady. (Cooper, by the way, not only directed the film but played country singer Jackson “Jack” Maine opposite Gaga.) “It just blew the doors off of the whole place, and it was in that moment where it was like, ‘That’s it. What was I even thinking?’ And then I asked to meet her [Gaga],” he said.

The film went on to earn eight Oscar nominations and won for Best Original Song for “Shallow,” a duet featuring Gaga and Cooper.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Per People, A Star Is Born hasn’t left Cooper’s mind: he once said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he would like to do a live reading of the movie’s script. “What I thought would be a cool thing to do, maybe one night, would be, like, a live reading of the script and sign all the songs as we read the script, like at the Hollywood Bowl or something,” Cooper said.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

That idea hasn’t come to pass yet, but the former costars did sweetly reunite on the red carpet for Cooper’s latest film, Maestro, in December of last year.

Maestro L.A. premiere
Maestro L.A. premiere