Bradley Cooper is coming for the awards circuit.
After most recently landing a Best Actor nomination for his Oscar-winning directorial debut “A Star Is Born,” Cooper is helming Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro,” plus co-writing, producing, and starring in the upcoming feature opposite Carey Mulligan, Maya Hawke, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Silverman, Scott Ellis, and Matt Bomer.
Nine-time Academy Award nominee Cooper revealed that he still isn’t taken seriously in Hollywood while candidly speaking with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes on their “SmartLess” podcast. The “Silver Linings Playbook” alum opened up about an awkward encounter with two stars at an Oscar party thrown by agency CAA four years ago, circa the days of “A Star Is Born,” where Cooper was up for three Oscars, including Best Picture.
Cooper, who at the time had seven Oscar nominations total, added that his accolades are “crazy, it’s nuts.” At the party, he spoke with a famous actress and director; the actress, whom Cooper said is a friend of his, had three Academy Award nominations in her career, and the director according to Cooper said, “‘What world are we living in where you have seven nominations and she’s only got three?’”
Cooper thought, “I’m like, ‘Bro, why are you such an asshole.’ I would never fucking forget that. Go fuck yourself.”
And that wasn’t the first time the “Hangover” star was treated like an impostor among the Hollywood elite. Cooper said that in 2011, after landing his first nomination for “Silver Linings Playbook” and competing against Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix, and Denzel Washington in that year’s Best Actor category, a “hero female actress” whom he didn’t know at all approached him to give her condescending seal of approval.
“She’s like, ‘I saw your movie. You deserve the nom,’” Cooper said. “I was like, ‘What? I’m sorry, what?’ ‘The nom.’ Then like 10 or 20 minutes later — I’m not kidding — I passed her going to the bathroom and she mouths it, ‘The nom.’ I remember [thinking], what the fuck is this town?’ Can you imagine saying that to somebody? You’ve got to be fucked up to do that.”
Cooper also admitted to having “zero self-esteem” starting out in his career, feeling “worthless” as an actor and being “insecure” with his comedy acting ability during “Wedding Crashers” and other early films. His first Oscar nod made him feel like he was “levitating” and now, a decade later, Cooper’s career is hitting a crescendo. “Maestro” has been four and a half years in the making, to which Cooper feels “very grateful” about.
“There’s the movie; a movie about marriage, a movie about family. That’s it,” Cooper summed up. “Why is it nuclear? Because it’s this fucking music. Music is nuclear.”
He added, “I had a secret weapon in ‘A Star is Born.’ It was Lady Gaga. The secret weapon I have in this movie is fucking Leonard Bernstein and Gustav Mahler. The music!”
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