The Hangover III
THIS tells you something about Bradley Cooper. It’s Mother’s Day weekend in a blisteringly hot Las Vegas and Cooper, whose career is equally blistering, has not been out trawling the city’s various clubs ( as Phil, his character from The
Hangover films, would certainly be doing). Instead he’s hanging out with “the women in my life – my mother, and my dog”.
The night before, Cooper had taken his mother, Gloria, and friends ( he won’t say if “friends” included model girlfriend Suki Waterhouse), to see Elton John at Caesars Palace ( the scene of many a crime during The
The Rolling Stones were playing up the road at the MGM Grand – a gig Cooper was desperate to see – but his mum preferred Elton John. So that’s what they did.
“Bradley is a great son, he makes the rest of us look terrible,”
says Cooper’s Hangover costar Zach Galifianakis, “and I’m quoting my mother.”
Cooper, of course, is in Vegas to talk about the final instalment of
Today, he’s sporting long dark hair and a beard ( very Ben Affleck
in Argo) for his latest role in the 1970s cop drama American
Hustle. It’s a different look for him. “This look?” he asks, smiling. “What, the tired look?”
Although Cooper has perfected the art of playing, in his words, “d--- s” and “d----- bags”, there’s something inherently decent about him that, aside from his nottoo shabby looks, makes women swoon and men wish they were a little bit like him. He puts it down to “not being an overnight sensation at 21”.
Cooper is quite clear he had a life before “this”.
“I’ve lived many lives and had many jobs that have had nothing to do with acting.”
He once worked at a hotel where it was his job to keep candles burning. It did not go well.
At 38, he says his career has been a slow build. “There haven’t been amazing highs, but there haven’t been amazing lows, it’s just sort of been steady. People think now, with success, I get every role I want, but I’m still passed over for roles.”
One of those roles was as Tom Buchanan in The Great
Gatsby, which he auditioned for twice before it ultimately went to Aussie Joel Edgerton. “I wanted
it very badly,” he says. “I was disappointed when I didn’t get it.”
Still, though he may downplay it, over the past couple of years Cooper’s career has rocketed into the stratosphere, particularly since he first stepped into the shoes of Phil, alongside Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha in
The first film made them all superstars ( and, most likely, millionaires). Now as the third and final instalment readies for release, Cooper sees it as the end of an era.
“I’ve loved playing Phil,” he says, “but I’m ready to say goodbye to it. I like to embrace change.”
Indeed, The Hangover may have given him stardom, but his Academy Award- nominated turn as the troubled Pat in Silver Linings Playbook has given him credibility.
“It’s harder to put me in a box now,” Cooper says.
“Like, oh, he’s just the guy in The Hangover. I think Place
Beyond The Pines and Silver Linings Playbook both doing as well as they did, and being so different from each other and from
The Hangover, at least allowed me the opportunity to meet with directors that I wouldn’t have met with before because they just thought I was the guy from The
“Maybe those films have allowed people to look at me differently.”
These days, he says he’s very much at peace with where his life’s at.
“It’s easier to be happy when you’re successful.”