Are we going through a Bradley Cooper renaissance? Some internet commentators certainly think so, pointing out that Cooper’s moved away from the goofy comedy movies that made his name to more ‘serious’ work. Just look at his last few films, A Star is Born, Nightmare Alley, Licorice Pizza; they’re certainly more highbrow -and better received critically – than Failure to Launch and All About Steve.
While we here at The Digital Fix don’t really agree with the notion of a ‘Bradaissance’ (Limitless is a great thriller movie, and we won’t hear a word against it), it seems Cooper himself has grappled with a lack of confidence in his work. During his Variety’s Actors on Actors interview with Mahershala Ali, he admitted he considered quitting acting before the Licorice Pizza gig.
“The reason that I didn’t give up acting is Paul Thomas Anderson,” Cooper explained. “When he called me to maybe be in his movie, Mahershala, I mean really, I think I’d open up a door in his movie. I’d do anything.”
During the same interview, Cooper discussed how self-conscious he felt replacing Leonardo DiCaprio in Nightmare Alley. “Nightmare Alley was an interesting example of how insecure I am,” he explained. “Leonardo DiCaprio fell out, and Guillermo del Toro came to me. I still remember thinking, ‘Oh wow, the guys that don’t hire me, they want to hire me?’ And then it was like, ‘Of course, I have to do it just because I’ve never been allowed into that group.'”
“It was insecurity and ego,” he finished. “Thankfully, it wound up being an incredible experience.” It sounds then like Cooper’s decided he’s going to keep acting which is great and not just because we don’t think the MCU could survive a weird sounding Rocket Racoon.