Cheat Sheet: Bradley Cooper
Date of Birth:
5th January 1975
Place of Birth:
The Hangover, The Hangover Part II, Limitless, The A-Team, Brother’s Justice, All About Steve, Wet Hot American Summer
What you probably already know:
Cooper made his small screen debut on Sex and the City in 1998 (where he played love-interest Jake) but it was not until 2001 that he was able to break into film. He achieved this in Wet Hot American Summer which he filmed while still studying in the Actors Studio Drama School at New School University. He ended up having to miss his graduation day because he was filming (good sign for a graduating actor) and his big break came in 2009 with The Hangover , making Cooper a household name overnight. Since then he has been appearing in films left, right and centre, with his back catalogue including Limitless, The A Team and Valentines Day.
On the 7th February 2009 he won hearts all over the world when hosting Saturday Night Live; he impersonated Christian Bale abusing crew members in a comedy tirade. Ironically he then went on to attempt to emulate Bale’s self-abusing role preparation; in the six months leading up to the filming of The A-Team he cut out sugar, salt and flour as well as undergoing a gruelling 2hour workout with a trainer every day. He considered this period to be his apex of physical health – nutter.
He’s been married once; to actress Jennifer Esposito (Crash). The couple married in December 2006 and then filed for divorce in May 2007. He was then involved with Renée Zellweger (Bridget Jones’s Diary) from 2009 but this romance ended in 2011.
What you might not know:
Cooper was born of an American-Italian (Gloria) and an American-Irish (Charles). He received a BA in English from Georgetown University in 1997. During his time here he became fluent in French (check out the video for proof) after he took part in a 6 month long exchange in Ain-en-Provence, France.
While studying at the Actors Studio Drama School he filled his spare time by helping out in LEAP (Learning Through the Expanded Arts Program) a not-for-profit organisation that teaches acting and movement to inner city children. His summers were also far from boring; he hosted Lonely Planet’s Treks in a Wild World for the Discovery Channel in 2000. During this time he did everything from kayaking with Orca whales in British Colombia to ice-climbing in the Peruvian Andes.
At the beginning of his career agents instantly pinned him as a pretty-boy making meaningful roles difficult to come by. He claims that David Lynch’s production of The Elephant Man inspired him to become an actor. For his graduate thesis he played the title character of John Merrick on stage at the Actors Studio. His hero is Daniel Day-Lewis.
He also cuts rather an imposing figure at 6”1’ with size 14 feet. He adores cooking, and is also the proud owner of two pet dogs; Samson a German short hair pointer and Charlotte a chow retriever mix.
Bradley Cooper quotes:
“I think it was awkward more for the crew to watch a naked Asian man’s testicles dangle in front of my neck 40 or 50 times. But for some reason I didn’t realize how sort of ridiculous it all was. I know Ken (Jeong, the owner of the Asian testicles). He’s a really good friend of mine. “
“I was in a coffee shop once and the waitress was like, ‘What do you want, Miss?’ I was 10 or 11 – the worst age to have that happen.”
What to say at a dinner party:
“Bradley has been taking on a lot of pretty boy roles recently but I believe he has the capacity to portray a multi-layered persona. I would encourage him to explore the depths of his psyche by collaborating with David Lynch who was, after all, his original inspiration.”
What not to say at a dinner party:
“That man has ridiculous clown feet. I bet he can kick himself in the forehead without even bending his legs.”
The charmed life seems to be continuing for this pretty boy turned serious actor. He has many projects lined up for the coming months including (but not limited to) Paradise Lost, The Place Beyond the Pines, The Words and The Crow. So if you fancy following Bradley Cooper’s continuing rise to fame (or just sit in the back of the theatre and curse him for being perfect) stay sharp and keep an eye out for these babies!