Bradley Cooper ‘must win’ Golden Globe for ‘Maestro’: Netflix spends millions to end Oscar curse

Nine-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper admits that he has been mocked for never winning a little gold man.

A “hero female” actress insulted his first Oscar nomination for “Silver Linings Playbook” at a swanky Hollywood party, he has said — and an unnamed director later implied he wasn’t deserving of all his subsequent nominations.

Even his mom Gloria Campano poked fun in a T-Mobile Super Bowl commercial last year. After telling the star to smile, he replied: “I think I know what I’m doing. I’ve been nominated nine times.” And she retorted: “Yeah, but you never won any.”

He once joked, “I never forget anything anybody mean has ever said.”

There is a more famous Hollywood curse, on “All My Children” legend Susan Lucci, who was nominated 21 times for a Daytime Emmy and won only once, back in 1999.

One insider told Page Six: “Bradley is a Susan Lucci story and he clearly wants the Oscar. Is this his year?”

Cooper and Carey Mulligan as Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre. Mulligan is up for best actress, drama, at the Globes. AP

It might be. He is is narrowly in the lead to win a best actor Golden Globe Sunday night for “Maestro,” where he plays American icon, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein.

A victory would be a crucial first step in a multi-million dollar million campaign by Netflix to give Cooper — whose career soared aged 36 after starring in “The Hangover” — the Oscar both he and the streamer would love to possess.

One source told Page Six the movie is a “passion project”; Cooper co-wrote the script, directed and stars as Bernstein.

Cooper’s directorial debut “A Star is Born”, starring Lady Gaga, garnered eight Oscar nominations – winning one in 2019. He gave a steamy performance with Gaga at the Oscars. Getty Images
Gaga supported her pal Cooper and his co-star Carey Mulligan at the LA premiere of “Maestro” last month FilmMagic

He even spent 6 years learning how to conduct, for a scene of just 6 minutes, recreating Bernstein’s 1976 tour de force with the London Symphony Orchestra at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, England.

“Bradley takes himself very seriously,” said one Hollywood insider who has worked closely with him for more than a decade. “Everything is so perfectly orchestrated; his image is perfect.”

Some turn around for Cooper, who has said that until he was 29 was “lost and addicted to cocaine.” He got sober with the help of pal, comic Will Arnett and said, “I had zero self esteem.”

Cooper’s adorable daughter Lea De Seine Shayk Cooper made a rare appearance at the LA premiere of “Maestro” last month. She plays Jamie Bernstein in the movie. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Cooper’s daughter Lea takes a break and does some coloring with a friend at the “Maestro” premiere. affinitypicture / BACKGRID

He added that not getting a box office hit until he was in his 30s meant that he could truly appreciate his success.

Now he hopes for more with “Maestro.” It is nominated for four Globes Sunday: best actor in a drama and best director for Cooper; best motion picture; and best actress in a drama for Carey Mulligan, who gives a spellbinding performance as Bernstein’s wife, actress Felicia Montealegre.

Cooper is up against Cillian Murphy for “Oppenheimer”; Leonardo DiCaprio for “Killers of the Flower Moon”; Colman Domingo for “Rustin”; Andrew Scott for “All of Us Strangers”; and Barry Keoghan for “Saltburn”.

Cooper always takes his mom Gloria Campano as his date to awards ceremonies. She joined her son and his ex, Irina Shayk, at the 2019 Oscars. Getty Images
Shayk and Cooper are friendly exes and co-parent their daughter Lea. They’re seen at the 2018 Venice Film Festival. GC Images

“Maestro” tells the story of Bernstein and Montealegre’s fierce love story and their marriage which faced the turbulence of the “West Side Story” composer’s bisexuality, before Felicia’s death from cancer aged 56 in 1978.

It is written for the Oscars. The Post’s film critic Johnny Oleksinski pointed out: “Cooper will surely be the recipient of the many accolades that automatically accompany what constitutes good, prestigious acting today: hoary impressions that are proven right by archival footage we’re shown during the end credits. The typical Oscars rubric.”

The movie premiered, courtesy of Netflix, at the prestigious Venice Film Festival in September, where it earned a 7-minute standing ovation.

Cooper is getting hot and heavy with supermodel Gigi Hadid. TheImageDirect.com

Netflix has made little secret of its ambition to secure the biggest Oscars — best movie, best actor and actress, best director — as part of its goal of dominating film as well as television production.

And it sees Cooper as its best chance this year — and is willing to spend big to deliver an Oscar, making the Golden Globe a must-win.

One source who has worked on a string of high-profile awards campaigns said the lavish campaign has run until the tens of millions of dollars, telling Page Six, “They are spending a ton of money to position ‘Maestro’ as a best picture contender at the Oscars.”

Cooper made his directorial debut with “A Star is Born”, starring Lady Gaga. It garnered eight Oscars nominations. ©Warner Bros/courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection

The case goes on advertising online, on television — which Netflix rarely does — and in the Hollywood trade press.

Then there are private parties, private jets and screenings. Far from renting a screen at a multiplex, Netflix hosted potential Oscar voters at both Hollywood’s The Egyptian Theatre, which it bought and spent three years renovating, and NYC’s Paris Theater, which it saved from closing.

The awards source pointed out that Netflix even paid to outfit David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center with a wildly expensive Dolby Atmos sound system to premiere “Maestro” at the New York Film Festival in October.

Cooper said he spent six years preparing to play Bernstein. AP
Mulligan gives an astonishing performance as Felicia Montealegre. AP

The Netflix team is also spending on its other two awards contenders, “May December”, starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton, and “Nyad” starring Annette Bening and Jodie Foster.

Cooper has enthusiastically promoted the movie, which was made with the assistance of the Bernsteins’ children, Jamie, Alexander and Nina, who opened the doors of the family home in Fairfield, Con. for filming.

He was banned by the actors’ strike from doing any promotion until November 9; three days later he “surprised” the Bernstein siblings on CBS Sunday Morning. They dismissed debate over whether his fake nose was anti-semitic as a “non issue.”

Cooper joined the three Bernstein children, from left, Nina, Alexander and Jamie, on CBS Sunday Morning in November at the family home. CBS Sunday Morning

Since then he has spoken to NPR, Variety, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and many, many more to make his case for “Maestro.”

The promotion has been assisted by a cute assistant: his daughter Lea, 6, whom he co-parents with model ex Irina Shayk and who is in the movie as Jamie Bernstein.

Lea has been on the red carpet for the movie, which is made by Cooper’s Lea Productions, and could appear at the Globes. If not, don’t expect to see girlfriend, supermodel Gigi Hadid, on Cooper’s arm Sunday, a friend said; he often brings his mom Gloria.

Cooper got his very first Oscar nomination for “Silver Linings Playbook” in 2013. His co-star Jennifer Lawrence won best actress. AP

The Golden Globes will be the first sign of whether his Oscar curse can be lifted.

He was first nominated for a best actor Oscar in 2013 for “Silver Linings Playbook,” losing to Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln.”

But speaking on the podcast “SmartLess,” in June 2022, Cooper told hosts Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes that soon afterwards he was at a CAA party when: “This hero female actress that I didn’t know at all comes up to me, she goes … ‘I saw your movie. You deserve the nom,’” emphasizing the word “nom.”

Cooper was nominated again for “American Sniper” in 2015. AP
The actor was reunited with Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle” and was nominated for best supporting actor in 2014. He’s seen with from left, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Lawrence. AP

It was, he felt, making the point that he did not deserve to win.

Cooper said that at the same CAA party a few years later, a director, whom he didn’t name, suggested he didn’t even deserve his Academy Award nominations — at the time, he had seven nominations.

He said he was standing next to an actress friend with three nominations when the director said: “What world are we living in where you have seven nominations? What? She’s only got three.’

Cooper – seen with Rooney Mara – starred in Best Picture nominee “Nightmare Alley” in 2021. AP

“And I’m looking, and I’m like, ‘Bro, why are you such an a–hole? Go f–k yourself.’ I never forget anything anybody mean has ever said,” Cooper laughed.

In 2019, he was cursed again: “A Star is Born,” which he directed and starred in alongside Lady Gaga won just one Oscar, for best original song, despite eight nominations.

Even if Cooper doesn’t win, there is always hope for the future: last month the famously cursed Susan Lucci, now 77, accepted a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy.