Will Smith Almost Nabbed Bradley Cooper’s Oscar-Nominated Role

Will Smith was initially offered to star in A Star is Born with Beyonce, but the role ended up going to Bradley Cooper, who starred alongside Lady Gaga.

By Britta DeVore | Updated

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Two of the best pals in Hollywood, Hitch star Will Smith and Guardians of the Galaxy actor Bradley Cooper have a tight bond that’s carried them through even the toughest of life’s moments. But did you know that there was a time when Will Smith was being considered for what would become Bradley Cooper’s role in A Star is Born? According to the Twitter account Film Updates, a scrapped remake of the classic feature was to be helmed by superstar Clint Eastwood and would have starred the King Richard actor opposite pop legend Beyoncé.

The tweet states that Will Smith and Beyoncé were being eyed up for the leading roles in Clint Eastwood’s project which lost traction after the “Halo” singer got pregnant with her and husband Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue Ivy. With the Will Smith-led version of A Star is Born left high and dry, a gate was opened for Bradley Cooper to step into the role, which would earn him an Oscar nomination. And he wouldn’t stop at just starring in the feature, as Cooper also helmed the tragic drama in which he appeared opposite pop megastar, Lady Gaga.

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The fourth big screen telling of the story of an alcoholic musician (Cooper) who falls in love with an up-and-coming singer (Lady Gaga), A Star is Born also starred Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle, and Andrew Dice Clay. While the script was in part penned by Cooper, it was Lady Gaga’s collaboratively written “Shallow” that would nab the Academy Award for Best Original Song. With Will Smith and Beyoncé intended to play the roles of the leading characters in Eastwood’s version, we’re only left imagining how the duo would have stacked up next to Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s musical dynamic.

While Will Smith and Bradley Cooper have never appeared alongside one another in a feature-length film, the duo have supported each other over their long-running Hollywood careers. Last year, everyone was left in a state of shock after Will Smith gave into a fit of rage and assaulted comedian Chris Rock by slapping the comedian while he was on stage presenting an award at the Oscars. As the evening unfolded with those of us at home wondering what we just witnessed, one of the cameras cut to Bradley Cooper and Denzel Washington comforting Will Smith who was incredibly emotional following his uncalled-for and destructive attack.

Although we’ve never seen what a Will Smith and Beyoncé-led version of A Star is Born would look like, we think that Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga paired together well for the reimagined version of the tragic love story. The good news is that since it’s a tale that audiences love to see told over and over again, there’s always a chance that we’ll see the Emancipation star and Grammy-award-winning performer step into the roles in the future. For now, we’ll just keep an eye on Will Smith’s attempt to rebuild his name with an upcoming next chapter in The Bad Boys franchise and a sequel to Netflix’s fantasy action flick, Bright.