BRADLEY COOPER TOO
Cooper’s stock has never been higher; never before has he been so in demand. He recognises just how important The Hangover trilogy was in not only raising his profile but allowing him to showcase enough of his versatile talent to make the most of his mainstream breakthrough.
“You know, we’ve all just been very lucky with that film, we really have. It’s afforded us the ability to do movies in between these movies that we really want to do because of the economic stability that they have provided, and all three of us had never gone into this business going like, ‘Okay, let’s make some money!’ It’s not ever what you think. You sort of go in going, ‘Okay, it’s going to be a struggle my whole life, but it’s worth it.’ And so that sort of comfort is just insane and never did I think that would happen. But it affords the ability to do these other things.”
He has been so busy over the last few years – does he have a hard time turning down films?
“That is a good question: if I am having a hard time saying no. I did four movies in a row, and two of which were movies that my best friends were trying to have get made and I was happy to do them, and I wouldn’t have just planned to go right from Place Beyond The Pines to this, but American Hustle was an opportunity and I thought, ‘How can I say no to David O. Russell?’ I think he’s one of the best filmmakers around. So it just sort of happened.”
Leaving his wild lifestyle and bad habits behind him has helped with his productivity.
“I may still have a wild side but I keep it quiet!” he laughs. “I stopped drinking about 10 years ago when I realised it was getting out of control, and it wasn’t the kind of life I wanted to lead. It was a time in my life where I felt very isolated and was wandering around not very self-confident. I saw that I was going to ruin my life if I kept heading in that direction and so I just decided I had to sober up.”
And despite the red carpets, flashbulbs and parade of autograph hunters that follow him around, Cooper is modestly aware that standing in front of a camera for months on end is not the be all and end all. “I have a lot of curiosity about life,” he says. “I haven’t stopped reading literature and philosophy just because I’ve become an actor. I also love travelling and studying other cultures because that’s the kind of experience that gives me a more interesting perspective on the world”.
Still, Cooper hopes that his good fortune continues, and all the while he can maintain what is now a notable portfolio of mainstream success. Certainly, he is one of the few actors who you would believe truly merits the acclaim that has come his way. Although coming from such a strong Celtic background, surely no-one ever doubted how that particular storyline would play out.
“I think you get to a point in life where everything just seems to click into place – it’s your upbringing, your good experiences, your bad ones too. Getting to this point has been a fairly long process, and I know how fortunate I’ve been. I just had to keep working and believing in myself. I’m still driven mainly by the desire to grow as an actor and continue to work with great actors and tell great stories, and that will never change.”