INT: Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper has more and more been the go to guy for comedy, sometimes playing smarmy douches you'd want to punch in the face. But the dude has spread himself out of the comedy genre starring in Clive Barker's MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, the upcoming thriller CASE 39 and TV shows like NIP/TUCK and KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL. With YES MAN, THE ROCKER and now THE HANGOVER, Bradley keeps his comedy streak alive.
Is this considered a dark comedy?
Bradley Cooper: Yes. There is a lot of darkness in this thing. But weve had a blast. No one realizes that we work all the time. I mean, we havent had any real time off at all. Weve been doing a couple of six-day weeks. The great thing about it is that Ive seen quite a few areas of Vegas that I never would have gotten to see. We shot at the Riviera, and downtown. We shot in the old part of Vegas, which you dont really see anymore. You are going to see Vegas in the daytime. As far as I know, you dont really see Vegas in the movies during the daytime. Most of these movie takes place during the day. This takes place during the day after the night.
Do you have any good hangover stories of your own?
None that I can talk about. No. Unfortunately, I cant remember any of them.
What about bachelor party stories?
I think I went to one bachelor party that was very tame. That was the only one. I missed out on the bachelor party aspect of life.
Has this given you a lot of tips on what not to do?
Well, it depends on what kind of night you are looking for. I would certainly challenge anyone to rival the night these guys have had. Even in your wildest imagination, you cant top this. You really cant. Todd Phillips and his writers have written a great script.
Can you tell us how you got involved? And what appealed to you about the script?
Sure. I got involved early on. I think it was back in November. Todd had the script, and it was sort of banging around. I liked Todd. I certainly was a fan of his. I thought the opportunity to play this guy was something I liked. He is an alpha male. It wasnt that I necessarily liked the character. I liked the synergy between the three guys. I liked that each one was so specific. And together, if you cast it properly, I thought it could have a lot of energy. I also liked the script itself. I liked the way it moved. It is fast. It is no joke. Its like getting on a jet plane that just takes off and goes, and it doesnt slow down until it lands. Its rare that you get a comedy that has that type of engine. Each scene propels you to the next one. Its more like Starsky and Hutch than Old School. Even though its a comedy, there is a mystery to it. Its not like Old School, where it was just about the comedy. Here, we have an engine. We have to get this guy back to the wedding. Or else we fail. That engine really drives it. It is so fast.
Can you talk about the synergy you had with the other cast members?
Thats just luck. I will tell you, it is everything. Those guys are hilarious. I am very lucky to have this job. Ive always been a fan of Zach Galifianakis. I have known him for five or six years. I remember seeing his stand-up way back then, and I thought he was the greatest. Of course, I didnt know him at that time. I didnt realize how good of an actor he was until this. And Ed? He is phenomenal. He kills it. I am just trying to keep up and keep my head above water. Its a challenge to run with these guys. I am running with a fast pack in this movie. I am constantly trying to keep up.
Would you say you are the leader of the three?
I wouldnt say he is the leader. He really wants to come along to have his own bachelor night. I dont know if he is more excited than the groom. Because he is married and he has a little kid. He teaches 9th grade in a private school. He is the wild one. He wants to plan everything. And he wants this to be a great night for his friend. He is certainly the engine. He is all about getting that night going. They are all sort of the leader, but he is the one pointing the way in terms of what he wants everybody to do. Maybe its the wrong way.
Would you say that Wedding Crashers was the turning point in your career? That film seemed to turn you into the leading man you are today.
I dont know about that. Those questions are so odd. It certainly opened up a lot of opportunities. David Dobkin was really kind to me in the editing room. He opened up my performance, and let me go off. He allowed me to create this crazy character that was opposite from those two guys. In that sense, it allowed other people to see what I could do. That allowed me to have other opportunities.
How much of that is in this movie, now?
Are you referring to the character I played in Wedding Crashers?
This guy is not evil. He enjoys life. Other than the fact that Im playing him? Well, they are both aggressive males. They are very different. I hope. Some people expect me to be an asshole. Especially when they meet me for the first time. Because that was such a strong character. I gained a lot of weight for Wedding Crashers. People always say, Damn, I thought you were a lot bigger! I weighed two hundred and fifteen pounds for that movie. I am usually a buck eighty-five. But I had to go up against Vince Vaughn. I had to convince the audience that I could destroy this guy on the football field.
What is Todd like to work with?
He is amazing. Like I said, I was a fan of Old School and Road Trip, and Starsky and Hutch. I didnt know him outside of that, though. I only knew the guys that had worked with him. And they always sung his praises. But he has been phenomenal. We are almost a month into shooting. I think he cast this very well. That is a huge part of it. We all get along really well. And it really works. Todd knows what he wants, and you can tell. He is a veteran. This is his fifth film, and he is only thirty-eight. He is very quick, and well equipped to make this movie. He knows what is funny, and he will let you go. He knows when to rein you in. He is everything you could hope for in a comedy director.
And you did Midnight Meat Train recently. How was it working with Vinnie Jones?
Well, it wasnt that recently. But he is amazing. I loved him. I was a fan of his from Lock Stock. When they said he was going to be the villian, I was very excited. I love physical stuff. I knew we had a huge fight scene at the end. It was going to last twenty minutes. I knew it would be with Vinnie Jones, so I knew it was going to be amazing. We fight the hell out of each other. We have the same birthday. We became very good friends.
Has this been a fun film to shoot?
Yes. It has been a very fun film to shot. We get to do crazy things. The dialogue is great, but we are also in these crazy situations where we find ourselves doing stuff you wouldnt normally get to do. And we get to do them in Vegas. Which is great.
What have you been up to in Vegas?
Just work. Weve been working this entire time.
The other guys say theyve been gambling.
Oh, there has been a little bit of gambling. But like I said, I could get in trouble in this town. I try to stay away from those sorts of things.
How did you do in the big poker game?
I did better than I thought I would. I survived through the third table. I am not really a poker player.
Have you been doing a lot of improvising on this?
Yes. I think that is Todds way. Having worked with Owen Wilson in Starsky and Hutch, and Vince Vaughn in Old School, he knows to let the actors go. We use the script as a template. Thats the way it was on Wedding Crashers, too. If you cast it well enough, the situation is going to give itself to improvisation. The action causes dialogue. That said, this script is strong enough on its own. But we have definitely come up with a lot of new stuff.
Has Vegas been the strangest location so far in your career?
Hmm? No. But only because I had the opportunity to host this trek show in college, and it allowed me to go to some pretty crazy places. Yeah. But that wasnt acting. It was hosting, which I was pretty bad at. But I got to do some insane things.
It must be interesting being in Vegas. Its not a studio. When you are done, it doesnt just close down.
That is a great point. You finish work, and you go home. And its tranquil. Here, you finish work and you come back to this casino. And its as if nothing has changed. And no one cares, either. It becomes so inconsequential, the gambling and this town. That is the pulse of this city. Sometimes you go into a town to shoot, and it transforms. But here, they dont even give a shit. We are the background. We shot in a casino the other night, and we definitely were the background.
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