Bradley Cooper Once Considered Adele for the Lead in ‘A Star Is Born’

Although the long road toward Bradley Cooper making his directorial debut with “A Star Is Born” in 2018 has been well-documented, the writer, director, and star revealed a new detail about who he considered for his female lead before landing on Lady Gaga.

“I thought about Adele for a while,” said Cooper in conversation at the 2024 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where he was there to accept the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award for his performance as Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro.”

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Mimicking his thought process at the time, trying to figure out how his “A Star Is Born” character would come into contact with a woman played by the Oscar-winning UK songstress for his take on “A Star Is Born,” he said, “It was like, his career’s not great. He goes abroad. He meets this woman, but no—And then that never even took off at all.”

IndieWire has reached out to a representative for Adele to confirm whether or not news of her being considered for the lead in “A Star Is Born” ever reached her. To this day, the only acting credit the “Rolling in the Deep” singer-songwriter has outside of her music videos is a cameo in a 2009 episode of “Ugly Betty.”

At the festival event, Cooper confirmed that prior to those considerations, he had still pursued starring opposite Beyoncé in “A Star Is Born” after he took over directing duties from Clint Eastwood. “She was incredible. And we went down the road and then it didn’t work out,” he said. “I remember I was so nervous. I had this weird cough as I was pitching it to her.”

Ultimately, it was seeing Lady Gaga close out a cancer benefit with her rendition of “La Vie En Rose” that put all the puzzle pieces together for how he wanted to approach making his take on the already thrice adapted “A Star Is Born.” “It crystallized in that moment and I thought, ‘how did I ever think anybody else,’” said the actor and filmmaker. “I was so lucky. I went to meet her the next day or the day after in Malibu, at her house, and she came down the stairs—I’ll never forget it—right away I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to work.’”

He and Lady Gaga would both receive multiple Academy Awards nominations for their work on “A Star Is Born,” including nods for Best Actor and Best Actress, with the latter star winning Best Original Song for their onscreen duet “Shallow.”

Though Cooper has yet to win an Oscar himself, his sophomore effort “Maestro” recently received seven nominations, including ones for him in Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay.

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