03 Oct Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper: Celebrities modeling relationships of respect and integrity
In this article for Prevention Magazine by Leah Goth, Dr. Paul Hokemeyer one of the world’s leading experts on the relational health of celebrity patients, discusses the intimate relationship that arose on the set of the film, A Star is Born, between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
Why Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Platonic Friendship Is 100% Normal
In ‘A Star Is Born,” the actors have undeniable chemistry—but that doesn’t mean their relationship is romantic.
By Leah Groth
Oct 3, 2018
The Hollywood on-set to real-life romance is a tale as old as time: Boy and girl get cast. As their romance plays out on the screen, it also perpetuates in real life. They fall in love and live happily ever after, right?
But when Bradley Cooper first met Lady Gaga, who he hoped to cast in his movie remake A Star Is Born, things were a little bit different—neither was on the market for romance. Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, is engaged to Hollywood agent Christian Carino, while Cooper is in a serious relationship with the mother of his child, model Irina Shayk.
But that didn’t stop them from falling in a different kind of love. The Gaga-Cooper friendmance has become a somewhat epic phenomenon in the press, and certainly hasn’t hurt the film’s Oscar campaign.
The platonic relationship that has formed between the two stars is simply enchanting. In one interview, Cooper confessed that he immediately “fell in love” with Gaga’s “face and eyes” the first time they met. During a screen test in her home, Cooper used a wipe to get rid of all of Gaga’s makeup, because he wanted to see her “completely open.” Let’s not forget, they also dined on her “insane” leftover pasta and shared “a real synchronicity” due to their similar upbringing, Cooper revealed during an interview with Conan O’Brien.
At the movie’s Venice Film Festival premiere, Cooper lifted the veil Gaga wore with her dress—and they even held hands. Note: both their significant others were there and not even the lowest-of-the-low tabloids insinuated any cheating scandal.
“I love her so deeply,” Cooper said about Gaga to Time. “It’s because we were at our most vulnerable together.” The feeling is mutual. “From the moment we met, I felt a kindred spirit in him,” Gaga told the magazine.
But can men and women be just friends?
The infatuation with the Gaga-met-Bradley storyline is a totally healthy thing, according to relationship and family psychotherapist Paul Hokemeyer, PhD. In fact, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, he believes it couldn’t come at a better time
“In a world that’s become mired by sexual aggression, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s deep respect and admiration for one another is refreshing and inspirational,” he tells Prevention. “It proves that men and women can relate to each other as equals, vulnerable human beings who rely on one another for support as they grow into better, more evolved versions of their selves.”
“Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s deep respect and admiration for one another is refreshing.”
Furthermore, he explains that one of the main lessons we can learn from them is that heterosexual men and woman can benefit from being in intimate friendships with members of the opposite sex for a variety of reasons.
“These friendships, when based on a common goal—say, enhancing one’s career—provide an element of resiliency that enable the friends to transcend challenges that are inherent in any professional endeavor,” he says. For Gaga, this meant acting in her first feature film, and for Cooper, directing one. Both have confessed in interviews that they couldn’t have done it without the other.
Second, it proves that both men and women can simply value one another as individuals rather than sex objects, says Hokemeyer. He explains that these sort of friendships can actually benefit primary romantic relationships, as “they take some of the burden off.” How? A good friend may be helpful in processing certain challenges in life that a romantic partner may not be able to completely empathize with.
But what if your partner does get jealous?
Of course, while this all sounds good and rational coming from a therapist, platonic friendships among members of the opposite sex can inspire jealousy from each respective romantic partner. While we have no idea how Carino and Shayk truly feel about Cooper and Gaga’s friendmance, it would be totally natural for them to feel uncomfortable with it.
However, being open and honest about the relationship should help quell any jealousy. “The key to managing the insecurities that will arise is keeping an open dialogue with your partner about what’s going on in the friendship and what they are getting out of it that they cant find in their relationship with you,” Hokemeyer explains. “Like any other relationship issue, keeping these matters out in the light instead of allowing them to flourish in the dark is an integral part of your relational success.”
He also emphasizes that it’s important to approach your relationship from a position of strength rather than weakness. “To be the best couple you can be, you need to maximize your potential as individuals,” he says. “No one person can be the be all and end all to another. Success in life and relationships requires an expansive and inclusive lens.”
Clearly, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper have already learned this.