When Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga made their appearance together in the multiple Oscar award-nominated film, A Star is Born, fans haven’t been able to stop commenting on the amount of chemistry that the stars have with each other. Cooper and Gaga have a special bond with each other that started from the first time the actor heard Gaga sing, and ever since, the two have maintained an incredibly close friendship both on and offscreen.
Ahead of their performance of “Shallow”at the 91st Annual Academy Awards, here is a look back at Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s relationship since they met for the first time.
Cooper met Gaga for the first time at a benefit event.
Gaga and Cooper met back in Los Angeles in April 2016 for the first time when she performed at the opening of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Sean Parker’s house. Two years later at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival, Cooper told the festival’s attendees that “she leveled the entire room when she came out. It was insane.”
Gaga performed Édith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” at the benefit concert, and it was the performance that inspired him to cast Gaga for the role of Ally and write the song into the movie. Before Gaga’s fateful performance that night, Cooper didn’t have much knowledge of who Gaga was as an artist. “I was at a cancer benefit with my mother. I really did not know Lady Gaga’s music,” he told W magazine. “They had a surprise musical guest, and Stefani came out with her hair slicked back.”
Cooper was so blown away by Gaga’s performance that the very next day, he requested to formally meet her to discuss the opportunity of working with each other. “I called her agent the next day and said, ‘Can I go to her house and meet her right away?’ I drove to Malibu, and we sat on her porch, and the next thing I know, I’m eating spaghetti and meatballs,” Cooper told W.
Gaga prepared dinner for Cooper at her house.
Cooper went to Gaga’s house for the spaghetti and meatball dinner and then learned that they had more in common than he initially thought. The food played a large part in their working relationship because they connected off of their shared backgrounds. “After 10 minutes we were eating homemade food that she cooked—I love to eat—and that was actually a huge bond that we both came from East Coast Italian-American families,” he explained at the Venice Film Festival Conference in 2018. “So we had a real synchronicity on that level from our upbringing.”
At the same festival, Gaga said that she and Cooper had an instant spark from that first meeting. “From the moment he came to my home and I opened the door and we locked eyes, I felt an instant connection with him.” After the pasta dinner, she and Cooper went over to her piano where they sang a duet of Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Midnight Special.” After hearing how amazing they sounded singing together, Gaga couldn’t deny the chemistry she had with Cooper. “I looked at him and said, ‘Bradley, your voice is incredible. You have a real voice.’ He sings from his soul,” she said.
Cooper had to fight for Gaga to play Ally in A Star is Born.
W reported that while Cooper was convinced that Gaga would make a perfect Ally, Warner Bros., who was funding the film, needed to do multiple screen tests to prove that Gaga was good enough for the part.
“She was completely illuminated by the sun. So charismatic,” Cooper told the The New York Times Magazine back in October 2018. “I thought inside my head, Oh, gosh. If she is like this on film, if that’s the worst case scenario that she’s this present on film, the movie will work.'” He also told W that “No actress can do musically what I needed Stefani to do in 42 days of shooting: I needed plutonium. And the plutonium in A Star Is Born is Stefani’s voice.”
Gaga, who always wanted to continue developing her acting, admitted to hearing about Cooper’s project before she was formally asked. On an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, she revealed that accepting the offer took “no convincing” on her part.
Gaga and Cooper began to hang out with each other while filming.
After it was confirmed that Gaga would star in Cooper’s new project, the pair was pictured out and about together riding on Cooper’s motorcycle. Gaga looked much more relaxed than her stage persona, with minimal makeup and a simple outfit for their night-time bike ride. This ultimately was in preparation for her role as Ally, who also kept her look relatively low-key.
Gaga and Cooper attended the 75th Annual Venice Film Festival together.
While at the festival, Gaga and Cooper opened up about their experience filming the movie together at a press conference and had nothing but positive things to say about their working relationship.
“For someone who doesn’t feel safe all the time, he made me feel so free,” Gaga said. “At the same time, he’s so laser-focused while he’s working. I got to live my dream. There could be 100 people in the room and 99 don’t believe in you, just one—and it was him.” Gaga felt so strongly about Cooper’s faith in her abilities, that she repeated this sentiment multiple times across the movie’s press tour, turning it into a viral meme in the process.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever had a closer artistic relationship than I have had with Bradley, a closer exchange,” she later said at the Toronto Film Festival conference. “It meant a lot to me, and I think to both of us, that at the beginning of making this film we kind of shook hands literally and he said, ‘You are an actress.’ I said to him, ‘You are a musician.'”
Cooper confessed his love for Gaga as a friend.
“I love her so deeply,” he told TIME Magazine in September 2018. “It’s because we were at our most vulnerable together.”
Gaga and Cooper attended the 2019 SAG Awards, but with separate dates.
Gaga and Cooper both attended the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards with their own dates: Cooper with his mother, Gloria Campano, and Gaga with her then fiancé, Christian Carino. Cooper is currently dating model Irina Shayk, who he shares one child with.
Cooper made a surprise appearance at Gaga’s Las Vegas residency.
To close out one of Gaga’s ENIGMA residency performances in Las Vegas, Cooper joined the singer for a live-rendition of A Star Is Born‘s chart-topping hit, “Shallow.” The video starts out with the co-stars sharing a loving embrace at the beginning of the song. The chemistry between the two stars was almost tangible—Gaga is seen clasping her hands together and kneeling on the ground when Cooper begins to sing. Cooper locked eyes with Gaga multiple times as she began to sing Ally’s part and ended their performance sitting with Gaga on her piano bench with his arm wrapped around her waist.
Gaga got a tattoo inspired by her and Cooper’s film.
To celebrate her success from A Star is Born, Gaga got a large contour line drawing tattoo of a rose accompanied by the words “La Vie En Rose,” a nod to the song by Édith Piaf that Gaga sings in the movie when she and Cooper’s character, Jackson Maine, meet for the first time. Gaga also got a second tattoo of music notes on her arm that spell out G-A-G-A.
Gaga gave a heartfelt thank you to Cooper in her Grammys speech.
Gaga had a very successful night at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, taking home two awards for “Shallow.” When accepting the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Gaga took a moment to shout out Cooper, who was at the BAFTAs that same night. “I wish Bradley was here with me right now. I know he wants to be here. Bradley, I loved singing this song with you.”
Gaga and Cooper will be performing at the Oscars.
Gaga and Cooper will take to the stage of the 91st Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles on February 24 to perform “Shallow.” A Star is Born is nominated in eight different categories, with “Shallow” up for Best Original Song. Cooper and Gaga are respectively nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress. The awards ceremony will take place live from the Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater and will air at 8 P.M. ET/ 5 P.M. PT.