Bradley Cooper doesn’t care for the paparazzi. Few stars do, but the actor seems to have a particular distinct disdain for the photographers that hound him at every turn. His feelings are a little more unique than just being annoyed with unexpected flash photos, however.
Gossip Cop is intimately familiar with Cooper’s issue. We exclusively broke the news of his lawsuit against the French tabloid Oops in 2015 after the outlet published details about his then-burgeoning romance with now ex-wife Irina Shayk. We were also the only outlet to call out the breach of Cooper’s privacy when photographers secretly snapped photos of him and his daughter at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in October. Many outlets declared it a “public appearance” with his child, but he was unaware any photos were being taken. Both of those cases provide direct insight into why the star seems to have it out for certain publications.
During a 2015 appearance on The Graham Norton Show, just a few months after his lawsuit against Oops, Cooper noted he gets particularly frustrated with the paparazzi overseas. The actor got into a conversation about the nature of candid celebrity photography with Norton and fellow guest Sienna Miller. “In this age, you do get bothered [by paparazzi], don’t you?” Norton asked. “Yeah, but not that much,” Cooper answered. “It’s not that bad. It’s more in Europe, if you go on vacation, sometimes you just get murdered.”
While it would be easy to dismiss the Guardian of the Galaxy star’s annoyance as a distaste for celebrity reporting as a whole — his infamously closed-off New York Times profile comes to mind when thinking of his notable interactions with the press — the actor has been completely comfortable and open in plenty of interviews and appearances. Barbara Walters flat-out called him nice in 2015, and he willingly talked to Ellen DeGeneres about his preference of briefs over boxers when he appeared on her show earlier this year. So what is it about these specific incidents that frustrate Cooper?
The recurring theme in each of those pieces is the fact that reporters chose to dig into the A Star Is Born mastermind’s private life when it had no bearing on his career. Who could argue that where an actor goes on vacation or what their child chose to wear is key information about their latest project? Essentially, Cooper doesn’t enjoy having his most personal moments ripped from his life without his consent. There’s a fine line between red carpet walks and picking-your-daughter-up-from-daycare walks, and if Cooper perceives a breach of that line, he’s not happy.
This is exactly the conclusion journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner reached in her attempt to profile Cooper for the New York Times. When she sat down with him to discuss A Star Is Born last year, he told her, “I don’t necessarily see the upside of [opening up about my personal life]. You know? I don’t. I won’t have any control, and it really isn’t a collaboration.” He further explained, “You have all the say. It’s not like you’re going to show it to me and say, ‘Let’s work on this section.’ You know what I mean?”
Cooper seems to be nothing but nice when he’s willingly sharing insight into his personal life. It’s only when he loses his power to decide what is and isn’t important that he closes up. We’ve debunked more baseless rumors about the actor’s personal life than we can count, so we’re impressed he’s still so personable with the press — so long as they don’t abuse their power to create their own narratives.