While 'insecure' may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about Bradley Cooper, that's apparently how he felt taking over from Leonardo DiCaprio.
The eight-time Oscar nominee spoke about his experience taking a role from DiCaprio on Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley, which sees him play a tormented mentalist in the 1940s, who makes his way through the carnival scene.
Due to a scheduling issue, DiCaprio was forced to pull out of the film, leaving Cooper to fill the role.
During the Variety Actors on Actors series, Cooper spoke about his experience and insecurities.
In conversation with Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, Cooper said the film was an 'interesting example of how insecure I am'.
'Guillermo Del Toro, Leonardo DiCaprio dropped out, and then he came to me and I still remember thinking, like, really like, 'oh wow the guys that don't hire me want to hire me?' like I'm the next guy after Leo, and that cast that was already assembled other than Cate [Blanchett]. And then I was like, of course I had to do it because I was never allowed into that group. It really, it really was ego, it was like insecurity and ego', he explained.
Bradley Cooper says he took on the role of Stanton Carlisle in Guillermo del Toro’s #NightmareAlley out of “insecurity and ego.”— Variety (@Variety) January 25, 2022
“Thankfully, it wound up being an incredible experience.” https://t.co/ZmoKxtE8WV pic.twitter.com/YjSlchtUxF
He finished the anecdote by adding, 'thankfully, it wound up being an incredible experience'.
Cooper also explained that during the filming of Nightmare Alley he was involved with the Paul Thomas Anderson movie Licorice Pizza, which sees him play a deranged version of producer Jon Peters.
'The reason that I didn’t give up acting is Paul Thomas Anderson. 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', he said.
He then went on to explain how he fitted the two film's shooting schedule around each other, explaining, 'we broke from Nightmare Alley, I was able to grow a beard and Searchlight was praying that I didn’t get COVID, because we had to go back and continue Nightmare Alley, but I was like, 'There’s no way I’m not doing it.' That was the first movie back from COVID. And Jon Peters was the beginning of the movie, so I started with everybody else, which was wonderful, rather than coming in when everybody’s already downriver. I spent three and a half weeks with Paul. I watched all the camera tests. He was teaching me all about lenses, things I never knew. He’s incredible.'
Nightmare Alley and Licorice Pizza are currently in cinemas.
Featured image credit: Alamy
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