Bradley Cooper Says Awards Season Is 'Utterly Meaningless': 'It's Devoid of Artistic Creation'

Bradley Cooper has been nominated for eight Academy Awards

Bradley Cooper
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Bradley Cooper is sharing his candid perspective on awards season.

In a recent conversation for Interview Magazine, the American Hustle actor — who has earned eight Oscar nominations for roles both in front of and behind the camera — spoke to Hamilton's Anthony Ramos about why he finds awards season "utterly meaningless."

Ramos, who Cooper directed in A Star Is Born, explained that if you're one of the people "singled out" during the Oscars race, it's easy to make the event all about yourself when you're really a "representation of the story that those 150 to 200 told together."

He made the comparison, "we're like a walking flag."

Cooper, 45, agreed with Ramos, adding, "That awards season stuff is a real test. It's set up to foster that mentality."

"It’s quite a thing to work through, and it’s completely devoid of artistic creation," Cooper said. "It’s not why you sacrifice everything to create art, and yet you spend so much time being a part of it if you’re, in quotes, ‘lucky enough to be a part of it.’"

"It's ultimately a great thing because it really does make you face ego, vanity, and insecurity," he continued. "It’s very interesting and utterly meaningless.”

Bradley Cooper at the 2019 BAFTA Awards. Mike Marsland/WireImage

Cooper echoed similar feelings about award nominations ahead of the 91st Academy Awards, where he received nominations for Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture for A Star Is Born but was ultimately snubbed when it came to a nomination for his directorial debut.

In a talk with Oprah Winfrey during her SuperSoul Conversation, he shared that getting attention for the film was just "icing on the cake," and that Oscar nominations "play into things that have nothing to do with creative art."

“It’s a whole other element of the business,” Cooper said at the time. “So, it’s really reconciling its effect on you. That’s the thing I have to deal with.”

In January, it was announced that Cooper is working on an untitled Leonard Bernstein film that will premiere on Netflix.

The streaming service has officially acquired all the rights to the film that Cooper will direct, star in, and produce from the script he co-wrote with Josh Singer (Spotlight), Deadline reported at the time.

Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Joker director Todd Phillips are also producing the film. The movie will span over 30 years and tell the complex story of Bernstein’s marriage to Felicia Montealegre.

“Bradley’s directorial debut was nothing short of brilliant and he quickly cemented himself as a serious filmmaker,” Netflix Head of Film Scott Stuber said, per Deadline. “His strong passion and clear vision for bringing to life the relationship between the iconic composer Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre promises to do their lives justice as only this renowned filmmaking team can. We are honored to be working with the Bernsteins to share their family’s story with audiences everywhere.”

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