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