The Hang­over III

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - BY TIFFANY BAKKER

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

Hang­over).

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

The Hang­over.

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 Hang­over.

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

Hang­over.

“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.”

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