According to Bradley Cooper, award shows are “interesting and utterly meaningless.” It seems like a long time ago but it was just last year when Bradley Cooper’s take on A Star is Born was a hot topic of the award show season. During which, people felt that the actor turned director was snubbed by the Oscars. He shared his surprise at not being nominated for Best Director with Oprah, saying, “The first thing I felt was embarrassment, actually. I felt embarrassed that I didn’t do my part.”
In a recent interview with Hamilton’s Anthony Ramos – who also worked in A Star Is Born – Cooper discussed the merits and downfalls of awards season in the film industry.
Ramos spoke about a key issue with awards shows in general, “It can be easy for us to make it about individual people. But on set, you have your call sheet, and even though you have your leads, it’s a team effort…Everyone is the star of the movie.” said Ramos to Interview magazine.
Cooper agreed with that thought. He said, “That’s right,” saying that individuals up for awards can often end up feeling that they “must be special.”
Ramos responded, saying, “But what we forget is that we’re a representation of the story that those 150 to 200 people told together. We’re like a walking flag.” Although in the published interview Cooper and Ramos did not bring it up, award shows have a serious issue with representation within the nominees. The last year at the Oscars, for example, there was only one non-white actor who was nominated among Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Leading Role, Actor in a Supporting Role, and Actress in a Supporting Role: Harriet’s Cynthia Erivo.
Vox noted that many people of colour were nominated for other award shows the same year. Speaking about award show season in general, Cooper said, “It’s quite a thing to work through, and it’s completely devoid of artistic creation. 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.'”
He added that there is some value in the experience and that it is “interesting” in the way that it “makes you face ego, vanity, and insecurity,” but it’s also “utterly meaningless.” The case in point is that there could be 100 people in the room who work on a film but only one gets singled out.