Bradley Cooper embarrassed by Oscar snub

By Alexandra Heilbron on February 7, 2019 | 30 Comments

A Star is BornBradley Cooper in A Star is Born received a whopping nine nominations at this year’s Oscars, but noticeably absent was a Best Director nod for Bradley Cooper, who not only directed, but starred in, co-wrote the screenplay and produced the hit film, in addition to co-writing some of the songs.

It’s considered one of the biggest snubs of 2019 (along with Emily Blunt‘s absence from the Best Actress category for her SAG award-winning role in A Quiet Place).

During an appearance on the talk show Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations, Cooper revealed, “I was embarrassed. I was at a coffee shop in New York City and looked down at my phone and [my publicist] Nicole [Caruso] has told me congratulations and said what we had been nominated for.”

His publicist neglected to tell him “the bad news,” as he puts it, adding, “I was embarrassed because I felt I hadn’t done my job.”

It’s always incomprehensible when a movie gets Best Actress and Best Actor Oscar nods in addition to Best Picture, but nothing for the director. However, Cooper shouldn’t feel too badly about the snub. Audiences love the film, which has done well at the box office, and it also has a 90 percent critic approval rating at

Not only that, but Cooper received Golden Globe and BAFTA award nominations for his directing debut with this film and stands to win three Academy Awards in total. Not only is he nominated for Best Actor, but as a co-screenwriter and producer, he could pick up a statuette if the film wins for Best Adapted Screenplay or Best Picture.

Vote in our poll below on this year’s Oscar snubs to tell us which was the biggest surprise. If we haven’t listed the nominee you think was overlooked, comment below to tell us who/which film should have gotten a nomination.

The 91st Academy Awards take place on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Click here to view our Oscars micro-site and to enter our Oscars contest for a 50″ LED TV. ~Alexandra Heilbron

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Anneke Van Dyk • February 7, 2019 @ 10:23 AM

    I totally agree. How can a director not be mentioned if it her people are no,instead. It seems a great mishap. For me his film is the best film of the year no holds barred!

  2. Eleanor Dorst • February 7, 2019 @ 10:28 AM

    most of us on the planet 99.9% will never receive an Oscar, and that’s ok. You are a movie star and make millions for your talent. Isn’t that something in itself. Look at the famous stars out there who never receive an Oscar, but, we still know they are talented. I am sure it will come someday.

  3. Jo • February 7, 2019 @ 10:42 AM

    I think Julia Roberts in Ben is Back was brilliant for her portrayal of an angst ridden mother of an addict!

    I LOVED A Star Is Born! Bradley and Lady Ga Ga were both brilliant! But I’m sorry Bradley but this isn’t an original film. Maybe win an award for adapted screenplay but directing no. It was pretty much the same movie as Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristopheran (sp?) so just be happy with all of the other accolades!

    I think Bohemian Rhapsody was slightly better though! Love me some Remy!


  4. LJ • February 7, 2019 @ 10:48 AM

    I don’t even know where to begin. What an egomaniac. Did he not see who was nominated for Best Director? He does not belong in the same category with them. Why he thinks he deserved a nomination is baffling. Also, he was nominated for Best Actor, and the film itself received many nominations. Be happy you spoiled brat! And learn some humility.

  5. Ike • February 7, 2019 @ 10:56 AM

    I think Ryan Gosling did a great job in First Man, and the film itself gave an amazing viewpoint of events from the astronaughts point of view especially the scenes inside the launch vehicles.

  6. SUE • February 7, 2019 @ 11:29 AM


  7. Nathan Elke • February 7, 2019 @ 11:31 AM

    I always find it funny when the media talks of “snubs” when someone isn’t nominated. The word means they should’ve been nominated and weren’t; fine, then WHICH of the other nominees should NOT have been nominated? No one in the media is willing to answer that question, and until they are, they should shut up about “snubs”

  8. Sheila • February 7, 2019 @ 11:31 AM

    I was shocked that First Man was not nominated for best score. I thought the nomination (and win) were sure bets. Also surprised by lack of nomination for Won’t You Be My Neighbor.

  9. Keven • February 7, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

    Toni Collette for Hereditary is the biggest snub.

    Bradley Cooper saying “I didn’t do my job”… shut the hell up, the movie was a huge success, this was your first time Directing so take what you get and don’t cry about it.

  10. Vanessa • February 7, 2019 @ 12:09 PM

    I don’t know if I agree with Alfonso Cuaron being nominated for Best Director for a direct-to-Netflix film. His direction of the film was indeed beautiful, but if they’re going to be extending the nominations to Netflix movies, where do you draw the line?! I would have removed his nomination and replaced it with Bradley Cooper, who did a phenomenal direction job on his first feature. Totally deserving of a nomination! I was very surprised to see he didn’t get one.

  11. Pamela • February 7, 2019 @ 1:03 PM

    BRADLEY COOPER, read this I saw STAR IS BORN EIGHT TIMES, due to your singing,directing and acting…….KEEP SMILING!!!!!

  12. don • February 7, 2019 @ 1:26 PM

    it’s hard for anyone in an eco-system like Hollywood to step back and look at the big picture (no pun intended). Hard for any of us. I get he was disappointed, but as others have written, it shouldn’t take an intelligent person more than a few minutes to take that step back and say, “uh, wait, i’m a movie star” – and then be humble through the mass media. I liked the movie, but I also didn’t feel the chemistry for Gaga and Cooper. He’s a terrific talent and will have many more opportunities as a director provided he leads with his art and not his fame. In my book, the best movies of the year were First Reformed and Free Solo.

  13. Berdj Garabedian • February 7, 2019 @ 2:58 PM

    Jonathan Price should have been nominated for best actor in ¨THE WIFE¨

  14. Sara • February 7, 2019 @ 3:59 PM

    I think Bradley Cooper did a freaking amazing job as director, co-screenplay writer, co songwriter, actor, singer…I was simply in awe of the whole production and him as a visionary and artist. It was definitely a snub. I feel the oscars get it wrong many times..sometimes the deserving one doesn’t get the nomination or award..then sometimes years later the person will get an award ( but not for their best work) …Everybody raves about GaGa bit the real Star that was born was Bradley Cooper. His voice change, his singing, his ability to bring out the star that is GaGa..just so many things. I think the fact that Oprah interviewed him she feels as I do…Bradley I love you.

  15. JD • February 7, 2019 @ 4:54 PM

    I don’t think he should be embarrassed considering actor and actress nominations and Best Picture nod too. Ben Affleck wasn’t when similar situation arose with Argo. The Academy looks at a person’s entire career and maybe felt when measured against other directors that he hadn’t achieved as much.

    Elsie Fisher should have had a nomination for actress for Eighth Grade. What she did with her performance was brilliant. The MPAA killed the film in the U.S. preventing it’s core audience from seeing it in a theater. It got an unjust R for 4 usages of the F-WORD and a sexually suggestive scene.

    If you haven’t done so please see it. Fisher portrays a 13-year-old girl who is socially inept and outright ignored. She puts her innermost thoughts into You Tube videos which we initially think are for subscribers but suspect at start of film are for an audience of one. She has a mature philosophy on life that she may/may not be able to live up to.

    Bo Burnham as writer and director could have easily been nominated if the audience for the picture was bigger.

  16. Wendy • February 7, 2019 @ 6:02 PM

    I work for a movie theater, we had people coming out telling me how sad but what a great movie it was, the singing the talent I was impressed I too saw the movie at least I could say to somebody how much I really enjoyed that movie but be prepared to bring a lot of Kleenex with you you will not be disappointed when they came out after the movie was over they agreed with me best damn movie ever.!

  17. J. • February 7, 2019 @ 8:03 PM

    Ethan Hawke should have been nominated for First Reformed.

  18. J. • February 7, 2019 @ 8:08 PM

    Can You Ever Forgive Me? had its two main actors nominated, as well as its adapted screenplay, but not its director Marielle Heller. I think she should have been nominated.

  19. Joyce Jeffries • February 7, 2019 @ 8:24 PM

    He is a very good actor and singer and I saw the movie at Movies 8 or 9 X plus I have bought it on Xfinity so I watch it at least three or four times a week

  20. Snepts • February 7, 2019 @ 9:54 PM

    How could Emily Blunt not be nominated for Mary Poppins Returns?!?!

  21. pickles • February 7, 2019 @ 11:47 PM

    winning an oscar means next to nothing when it comes to talent though.

  22. Muzamba • February 8, 2019 @ 5:05 PM

    I haven’t watched this movie. So obviously I am NOT qualified to talk about the CALIBER of the movie. What I can talk about is logic. With the number of nominations, the film has been well received, so Brad would be right to think his Directing would be acknowledged too. He was honest enough to express his opinion and humble enough to realize that he hadn’t done enough to earn recognition as a Director. His statement about ‘not doing his job’ speaks to his tenacity and constant desire to improve himself. I can’t WAIT to see what ‘doing his job’ looks like! Remember this is someone who started off with a bigger reputation as playboy than an actor. A ‘pretty face’ good for one type of role. He has not only shown us what an amazing range he has as an actor but he is a writer, producer and now a Director! He does not settle and is constantly pushing barriers and he should be admired for that. Cooper is a genius. Let’s strive to also excel in our fields instead of tear each other down.

  23. donna • February 8, 2019 @ 6:31 PM

    It’s a rare day when the Hollywood elite let a first time director win an Oscar for that “most important job in La La Land.” What Brad should really be upset about is not winning best actor for Silver Linings Playbook- I bought it and watch it one a month because all four main acting performances were incredible. I think the chemistry between Gaga and Brad was thick- Gaga admitted to having a slight crush on the guy because he is so devoted to the mother of his child- that does make a guy appealing, right girls? Brad, just keep making movies- who cares about the Academy- it means nothing. Most of them get bribed for their votes because it can re-explode your picture for a second time after the Oscars are over- it’s about money- not you

  24. Jo-anne Dunne • February 9, 2019 @ 2:13 AM

    Biggest surprised , was Timothee Chalamet – Best Supporting Actor in Beautiful Boy – because he was too young . Oscar is full of B.S ! too much politics goin on. Toni Collete deserve to be nominated as well but that girl from Mexico done nothing but running got nominated , i dont get it.

  25. Michelle Gerard • February 9, 2019 @ 3:31 AM

    I have seen all five treatments of this film . Yes I said five the first was done in 1931 or 32 with Alexis Smith where she plays an waitress who falls in love with a famous director in Hollywood who is very famous but drinks badly . He becomes infatuated with her and puts her in his next film . She is an overnight success as his fame goes down . She tries to help him but he continues to embarrass her publicly and it starts to effect her success as well . When he sees this , he commits the ultimate sacrifice for her . The next film with Janet Gayor was called A Star is Born as were the other remakes , thus afterwards . Bradley Cooper does a brilliant job putting his own spin on this retail of this movie. He made it fresh , real and yet stay true to the original story of two people who were just not designed to stay together. His casting was spot on and his direction was raw and real not overplayed as we see so often today . The academy as usual screwed up again and decided to play politics in stead of looking at the direction of film . It is a sad state of affairs as a film buff and person who believes that the film industry needs more diversity in its industry and women filmmakers.

  26. bobby orr • February 9, 2019 @ 5:58 PM

    ‘A quiet place with crazy asians’ – was snubbed, too.

  27. George K. • February 9, 2019 @ 6:46 PM

    Besides meat-fashionista/singer, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta better known as Lady Gaga there have been several notable predecessors:

    Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand (1976)
    James Mason and Judy Garland (1954) …
    Fredric March and Janet Gaynor (1937) …

    I grew up with Janet Gaynor and Judy Garland’s version; Both were actresses who learned how to also sing. Cooper has no real directing experience (we have yet see how he does with ‘Bernstein’)

    Point is this film, as so many others, is a remake. Despite Ms Gaga’s announced ambition, It is always preferable to cast the film’s leads with trained actors and actresses. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta should stay in her lane until she learns her lines.

  28. JD • February 9, 2019 @ 7:59 PM

    The director’s branch of the Academy is an old boys club. They don’t like letting women get in or nominated. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember and of all the voters they are staunch conservatives. Also, if you have seen every film by each nominated director you will see why Cooper was left out. This is a debut and although entertaining it’s still a debut. The voters are looking at a director’s entire career. The others simply have more credits and more pretigious work. They also know that Cooper still has a lot to prove as a director and time whereas others do not. There’s always politics too. They may feel he hasn’t paid his dues. You’re always going to find a situation where people are snubbed here for reasons unknown or chosen when they shouldn’t. This award will go to Cauron for Roma unless they want to right an incredible wrong and give it to Spike Lee. It’s his first nomination for director in a 40 year career. They gave him a pity Oscar honoring his career in 2015 but never a real Academy Award.

  29. Elvin burnette • February 10, 2019 @ 5:00 PM

    I really like Bradley cooper,ok haven’t seen star is born,ok I can remember,Barbara Streisand telling Elvis, he had the main roll,and he did except the roll,but col tom Parker cal that and kept Elvis in Las Vegas, making him millions,ok. Too bad because that roll could of jump started Elvis movie career into serious movie rolls,which he always dreamed of,ok too bad,ok Elvis would of done a excellent job,ok look what that roll did for Kris krisstofferson,ok mr.cooper is still a young man who will have plenty of chances for a golden globe award of academy award ok so people don’t feel bad or sad for mr.cooper,ok cause like my momma used to say life is like a box of chocolates,you never know what your going to get,ok just keep enjoying making your 30 or 40 million a year from movies,ok and really stop complaining,ok people born with no arms or legs have a real right to complain,ok not you ok Elvin burnette jr.

  30. DARYL MOAD • February 10, 2019 @ 9:24 PM

    ETHAN HAWKE was robbed for “First Reformed” & so was EMMA THOMPSON for “The Childrens’ Act”

  31. Carol • February 11, 2019 @ 9:58 AM

    I think A STAR IS BORN WAS THE BEST MOVIE OF THE SEASON. I also think Bradley Cooper should have received best actor and director awards. Another snub is
    Clint Eastwood movies. They never seem to acknowledge him for his great works.

  32. Ron Greenfield • February 11, 2019 @ 10:32 AM

    Absolutely ridiculous! I turnd to teh person sitting next to me and said “he should get a directorial nomination” about 7/8’s of the way thru seeing the movie in the theatre. A nomination at the very least was a no brainer… does this mean the Academy has no brains?

  33. Liz • February 11, 2019 @ 3:28 PM

    It was definitely a snub and I certainly hope Bradley Cooper isn’t embrassed by it. I think the film industry is a lot like high school with a pecking order, bullying, shunning etc… Obviously this film is worth its weight in gold and was directed beautifully by Bradley Cooper. I hope this experience does not stop him nor any other first time director from creating masterful work. Now that would be a shame and the fact he was not at least nominated, it a complete shame! I’ll be watching on the 23rd and rooting for Stephani and Bradley as they are born stars… 🙂

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