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Bradley Cooper on Oscars snub: "I was embarrassed"

2019 Academy Award nominations revealed
"Roma" and "The Favourite" lead 2019 Academy Award nominations 02:16

Bradley Cooper made his directorial debut last year, but despite good reviews and a big box office haul, he's a little disappointed. Cooper, who directed and starred in "A Star Is Born," told Oprah Winfrey that he feels "embarrassed" he did not get an Oscar nomination for his directing. 

Cooper sat down with Winfrey for "Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations," which will air February 16 on the OWN Network, and opened up about the nominations he got — and one he did not. "I was surprised, I got to admit that you weren't nominated for best director," Winfrey said. "Were you surprised by that, disappointed by that or do you just take it in stride?" 

Cooper told her he was not surprised. "I'm never surprised about not getting anything," he said. "But it's funny you ask that because I have thought about this." He went on to tell the host that when he saw the list of Oscar nominations — "A Star Is Born" received eight — he felt embarrassed by the one he didn't get.

"Think about it, I felt embarrassed that I didn't do my part," he told Winfrey. "I'll work on that," he said with a laugh.

Bradley Cooper talks to Oprah Winfrey about "A Star Is Born," which earned eight Academy Award nominations. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

"I'm at least glad you said that, because if I were you, I would be feeling some kind of way about it," Winfrey said.

"Yeah, embarrassment. I went, 'Oh my gosh. I didn't do my job,'" Cooper said. 

"But you know you did," Winfrey assured him. He responded, "I do."

Cooper received nominations for best actor and best adapted screenplay and the film itself was nominated for best picture. His co-star, Lady Gaga, received a best actress nomination. The stars' duet, "Shallow," was nominated for best original song. 

Cooper told Winfrey the best advice Gaga gave him was about his singing. "Her best advice ... she came up to me and whispered and said, 'Don't try to sing it,'" Cooper revealed. "It was the best direction. Like acting, I'm actually talking. You're telling a story when you sing. And then all of a sudden, all the work just comes through when you're not trying to force it."

Cooper also opened up about his personal life, telling Winfrey he grew up watching her show and that his family members are big fans of hers. He spoke about the emotional moment when his father died in his arms in 2011. "When he took the last breath, I honestly felt like it went into me, and I've never seen anything the same since."

"It changed the way I was as an actor by the next day, and I just started to live my life in a different way," Cooper said. 

He may not have gotten that best director nomination, but the success of "A Star Is Born" is unquestioned — it was one of the highest-grossing movies of 2018

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