Bradley Cooper is earning acclaim with A Star Is Born — and he’s already made an incredible friend in his leading lady.
The actor and first-time director, 43, spoke to PEOPLE’s JD Heyman and Melody Chiu at the Los Angeles premiere of his film about the strong friendship he developed with Lady Gaga on Monday night.
“I made a friend for life. As great as this movie was the thing that I think I’ll take away forever is the relationship I have with her because she is an incredible person. I’m very lucky to have worked with her,” Cooper said while at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall.
When it came to meeting her for the film, Cooper visited the pop star at her home and bonded over a meal.
“That was absolutely insane. When you’re telling it, I can’t believe that happened,” Cooper said, adding he felt nervous singing for her. “The only reason I had the courage is because she made me feel so comfortable.”
The actor, who also directed the film, said he used a video of their first duet for a pitch meeting, adding it “just sort of happened.”
“I didn’t know we were going to record it. She stopped after the first verse and said has anyone heard you sing? I said not really. She said, ‘Well, let’s record.’ The chemistry felt so good and so easy that I went to Warner Bros. the next day and played it for them,” he explained.
As for Cooper’s interest in pursuing a musical career, the actor said, “The answer, shooting from the hip answer is no, it’s not me, it’s the character.”
“I don’t even know how I would sing because I’m singing through him. He was a complete character. That said, there was one song that I wrote, called “Too Far Gone” that I had the idea for a verse and a bridge, so I’m going to go to the recording studio and finish it,” he said. “So I don’t know what the answer is.”
A Star Is Born centers around Ally (Gaga), a struggling singer-songwriter who finds success amid a romance with Cooper’s country-rocker Jackson Maine.
Earlier this month, Cooper, Gaga and Sam Elliott appeared on Good Morning America in which they praised each other’s work on the film and the growing Oscar buzz they were receiving.
“I’m just so glad God gave her the talent that she has and he chose her because that’s quite a vessel to go through,” Cooper said of Gaga. “Because it’s really what you do with it, and she’s such a beautiful human being.”
Gaga returned the compliment to the star and opened up about their immediate connection.
“We had instant chemistry when I met him,” Gaga said. “As soon as I opened the door to my house and saw him, it was like, ‘You hungry?’ We’re both Italian and from the East Coast and before I knew it, I was heating up some leftovers for him and we were eating together.”
A Star Is Born is in theaters Oct. 5.