Han­gover Peter Mitchell

movies: The Han­gover III – Cooper’s had his Phil ...........

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CON­TENTS -

BRADLEY Cooper has been por­trayed as a play­boy in the me­dia, ap­par­ently mak­ing the most of his for­mer ti­tle of Sex­i­est Man Alive by dat­ing a swathe of Hol­ly­wood star­lets.

If you just counted the Jen­nifers: Anis­ton, Lopez, Lawrence and Jennifer Es­pos­ito (who was his wife for just four months), the list is im­pres­sive. But then tack on the likes of Cameron Diaz, Zoe Sal­dana, Re­nee Zell­weger, Olivia Wilde, Tay­lor Swift, Denise Richards and lat­est love, model Suki Water­house, 20, it seems the only ac­tress he hasn’t dated is Betty White.

But, there’s more to this 38-year-old, blue-eyed, 1.85cm tall ac­tor than his pretty face and sup­posed con­quests.

Speak to Todd Phillips, writer-di­rec­tor of the bil­lion-dol­lar Han­gover film fran­chise, or the di­rec­tors of Cooper’s last two crit­i­cal hits, David O. Rus­sell ( Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book) and Derek Cian­france ( The Place Beyond The Pines), and they de­scribe a dif­fer­ent guy.

Cooper isn’t the slick Phil from The Han­gover movies, who leads The Wolf Pack through rib­ald dis­as­ters in Las Ve­gas, Bangkok or Ti­juana, but he has more in com­mon with Pat Soli­tano, the bipo­lar pro­tag­o­nist hun­gry to prove him­self in Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book, or Avery Cross, the ca­reer-driven po­lice­man in The Place Beyond the Pines.

‘‘You see it when you talk to him,’’ Phillips says on the pro­mo­tional trail for The Han­gover III, the fi­nal chap­ter of the com­edy films that shook up the genre when the first movie de­buted in 2009. ‘‘He re­ally is a lay­ered guy. He has his in­se­cu­ri­ties.’’ It’s been a long trip to the top for Cooper whose first act­ing jobs were in 1999 on TV se­ries such as Sex and the City. He went on to host an out­door TV show and Ed Helms (as Stu), Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis (Alan) and Bradley Cooper (Phil) in a scene from The Han­gover III. made his big-screen de­but in the flop, Wet Hot Amer­i­can Sum­mer. In 2001 he was in the hit TV se­ries Alias and played the bad guy in the film com­edy Wed­ding Crash­ers but had short stints in failed se­ries Jack & Bobby and Kitchen Con­fi­den­tial.

It was The Han­gover, with a bud­get of just $35 mil­lion, that el­e­vated him to a new level.

His big­gest hit, how­ever, pre­sented some prob­lems. The Han­gover gave Cooper name recog­ni­tion in Hol­ly­wood, but it was as a com­edy ac­tor.

Cian­france ad­mits when he read the list of po­ten­tial ac­tors to play Avery Cross in The Place Beyond the Pines, he baulked when he saw Cooper’s name.

‘‘I was like, ‘Who? That dude from The Han­gover?’,’’ he says. ‘‘As I started to talk to him I re­alised this guy was wrestling with some stuff. There was some­thing

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