Bradley Cooper is one of the biggest names in today’s Hollywood, and he currently sits at the height of his fame. This past year, he released his own tour de force in the form of A Star Is Born. The film earned eight Oscar nominations, and is a favorite for Best Picture. Cooper himself is nominated for Best Actor and two Grammys. A Star Is Born showcases Cooper’s versatility as an actor, singer, director, writer, and producer.
Bradley Cooper was born in Philadelphia and attended Villanova before transferring to Georgetown. When asked why he transferred, he said, “it was all because of a girl.” The girl in question had already graduated from Georgetown, but that didn’t stop him from attending. He studied in France for a short time, learning to speak the language fluently. Cooper graduated in 1997 with an English degree, then later earned a Master of Fine Arts degree. While still in college, he emerged onto the small screen, starring in television shows like Sex and the City and J.J. Abrams’s Alias.
Cooper rode the wave of his success from television into film, starring in smaller roles in comedies and rom-coms. Cooper had his biggest break in 2005, starring as Sack Lodge in Wedding Crashers alongside Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Christopher Walken. The film was an immediate box office hit, and gave Cooper an opening into bigger and better films. Cooper even admitted that his role in Wedding Crashers changed his image as a “nice-guy” actor.
At this time, Cooper started taking bigger roles in bigger movies. In 2008, he starred in the horror film Midnight Meat Train, which has now achieved cult status. But it it wasn’t until 2009 that Bradley Cooper became a household name. He acted in the leading role in The Hangover, one of the most successful comedies ever (critically and commercially). In The Hangover, Cooper plays Phil, a role that has become his personal favorite. Since then, he’s reprised Phil in two sequels. The Hangover Trilogy allowed Bradley Cooper to establish himself as a talented and consistent leading man.
Cooper achieved commercial success in other films since then, including Valentine’s Day, The A-Team, and Limitless with Robert De Niro. With a half dozen box office hits in only a few years, Cooper was just getting started, being named People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2011.
In 2012, he received his first Oscar recognition in Silver Linings Playbook, acting alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro. Cooper’s role in Silver Linings was a lot different than roles he was accustomed to, and he was required to do background research to explore the depth of his character. And yes, that included taking dance lessons with Jennifer Lawrence.
Bradley Cooper also received Oscar attention in other career-defining roles like American Sniper and American Hustle (also with Jennifer Lawrence). Roger Ebert has cited Cooper’s performance in American Sniper to be one of his best yet.
Cooper’s first major award did not come from film, but rather from the stage. In 2015, he portrayed Joseph Merrick in Broadway’s revival of The Elephant Man. Cooper had big shoes to fill in this role, following in the footsteps of John Hurt, David Bowie, and Mark Hamill. In fact, in an interview with Deadline, Cooper has stated that his love of acting came from Hurt’s performance in David Lynch’s film. It only seems fitting that he would be cast in the same role that inspired him. Bradley Cooper won a Tony that year, and received rave reviews for acting without prosthetics.
Cooper has a long and impressive resume in filmography. His talents have spread throughout the industry in writing, acting, producing, and now directing. His directorial debut in A Star Is Born has received critical acclaim, and his movie is expected to win big at this year’s Oscars.
Like him or hate him, Bradley Cooper is one of the most talented people in Hollywood, dominating the industry for years. Most actors have their fair share of mediocre or bad performances, but Cooper is pretty solid in all his films. I definitely think he’s one of the best actors of the modern era. He’s just one of those guys who was born to be in movies. He has the talent, looks, passion–everything. Despite his awards, fame, and reputation, Cooper still thinks there’s room to improve. “There’s no top in this profession,” he said. That kind of mentality is what makes the newly awarded Grammy winner one of the best in the business. With the leaps he’s made in the industry in just a few short years, there’s no telling where he’ll be in a few more.
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