Close Encounters of the Celebrity Kind...
Bradley Cooper: Putting the Heart in Heartthrob
6-3-09 Windy City Times Interview
by Richard Knight, Jr.
Cooper as the hungover hottie in the dude comedy The Hangover, and toasting his buds before all the hi-jinx, making love in the tool
shed with his onscreen lover Michael Ian Black in his movie debut, Wet Hot American Summer
Talk about being comfortable in your own skin. On first meeting rising Hollywood heartthrob Bradley Cooper, who stars in the wacky
bachelor party gone wrong comedy The Hangover, the straight actor without prompting complimented his gay interviewer (yours truly)
on his looks AND his attire. “This is why you’re gay fan base is going through the roof” I laughed. “I was raised well,” Cooper
responded as we proceeded to have a delightful conversation about The Hangover (which opens this Friday and is hilariously offensive
ala the Jude Apatow comedies), playing gay in his very first movie, and an upcoming gay role, among other things. The dreamy,
scruffy Cooper, dressed in a light blue shirt and jeans was equally nonplussed at the conclusion of the interview as he overhead me
tell the film’s publicist, “I promised I wouldn’t ask him to take his shirt off and I didn’t.” “I would have,” Cooper said with a dazzling
smile as I exited. Sigh. Highlights from our conversation:
BRADLEY COOPER (BC): Did you like the movie?
WINDY CITY TIMES (WCT): I…did.
BC: You’re lying! (laughs)
WCT: I am not! (also laughing) I liked parts of it. I’m a gay man watching a testosterone fuelled, dude comedy. Come on! The
first jokes in the movie are “Don’t text me, it’s so gay” on your character’s answering machine and you yelling out a car window,
“Paging Dr. Faggot” when you go to pick up one of your friends.
BC: And I say both of those things and we filmed that on a beautiful street in West Hollywood at 8:30 am so you can just
imagine…Every time, I was like, “Don’t we have it? We have to go again?”
WCT: (whispering) “Paging Dr. Faggot.”
BC: Yeah – “Bradley louder!”
WCT: So when your character – I can’t even remember his name, I’ve blocked it out—
WCT: So when you see something like that on the page as Bradley Cooper the actor, do you kind of wince? Or do you say, “It’s
great to play another jerk like The Wedding Crashers guy?”
BC: It’s more like, “Oh, he says two things defaming homosexuals, what’s that about?” It’s more that you read what your character
says and learning about him. It’s more about that than having a moral position on what your character is saying.
WCT: I understand you’re doing a sequel to The Hangover already, is that true?
BC: I don’t know what the truth to that is other than I know that Warner Bros. believes in it and is excited about the potential of it
but I think we gotta wait and see.
WCT: Okay, so when they do Hangover 2: Back to Vegas, at that point we have to assume that gay marriage will be legalized, so
does that mean that Phil would go back to Vegas with a group of gay guys?
BC: Let’s pitch that idea to (director) Todd (Phillips).
WCT: What will the bachelor party be like? The same as a straight one?
BC: It wouldn’t matter because they’re not going to film it anyway, right? The stills will be interesting at the end of the night.
WCT: Bette Midler or Siegfried & Roy will be in the bathroom.
BC: Instead of the tiger – essentially the same thing.
WCT: Ever been to a bachelor party with a group of gay men?
BC: I’ve never been to a bachelor party other than with four guys playing golf in Palm Springs for a weekend. Very tame.
WCT: You very sensibly started out your career playing a gay character in Wet Hot American Summer.
BC: The irony of that scene was that you have this sort of raunchy comedy and then this very serious, very passionate love scene
between two men in the middle of the movie. You know, filmed beautifully and that was fantastic.
WCT: Was there any hesitation about that?
BC: Yes. I was still in school when I did the audition. I only had the sides and then when I miraculously got the role they sent me
the script and I was like, “Oh, wow, um, that’s the scene uh?” And I think for like half a day I thought, “Should I do this?” and then
I thought, “What am I crazy? Of course I should do it” and I’m so glad I did. Because, Michael Ian Black, first of all is a fantastic
WCT: And you’re a very cute couple.
BC: I think so. I think so (laughs). Thank you.
WCT: Now I understand that you’re going to play a gay role again in Valentine’s Day with Julia Roberts.
BC: It’s unfortunate that that’s out there because that’s kind of the reveal of the storyline. It’s a shame that that got out there.
It's an ensemble, romantic comedy. I have a very small role – I worked like two days with Julia Roberts. We’re two people sharing
a plane ride together and that’s sort of revealed but…not anymore.
WCT: Didn’t you also go up for the role that James Franco played in Milk?
BC: I did. I auditioned for that role, yeah.
WCT: You’re so cool about all this – this “gay heart throb” stuff.
BC: But I think those lines; those barriers have been hurdled I think.
WCT: “Paging Dr. Faggot.”
BC: I mean in terms of auditioning and I gotta say, the character I played on “Nip/Tuck” I didn’t see him as totally heterosexual.
He was just sexual.
WCT: He seemed like a Bret Easton Ellis character – whoever’s next, just bring ‘em in.
BC: Exactly, yes. Cause Ryan Murphy and I really sort of tried to figure out what would happen if a 15 year-old kid had the kind of
access that this character did and that was sort of the guy that I played.
WCT: Have you seen Outrage?
BC: No, I haven’t.
WCT: It’s all the buzz in the gay community and I’m just wondering, as an actor in Hollywood, there must be a lot – well, maybe not
a lot – you must come into contact with men who have to be in the closet in the business.
BC: I think that’s changed too. I don’t feel that way, actually, do you?
WCT: Yes, definitely.
BC: We don’t live in the era of Rock Hudson anymore. Oh you do think that?
WCT: Oh yeah.
BC: Oh I don’t know. I don’t think so. You’d know better I do. First of all, everybody’s gay—
WCT: No, I think you would know better than I would.
BC: I don’t think so. I mean, I wouldn’t know if they’re closeted or not. But the people that are gay in Hollywood that I know are
out and it hasn’t affected their career at all.
WCT: Well that’s good to know. Now, every gay interviewer probably wants to know about your favorite “bromance” but I want to
know who’s your best gay friend? Who would you nominate for that? It can be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered – you’ve got
a whole smorgasbord to pick from.
BC: I don’t have that many transgendered friends. I never thought of that. I have a lot of gay friends. Tons.
WCT: And a famous one? Like Ellen would be fun to have as your gal pal?
BC: I don’t want to out them (laughs).
WCT: (also laughing) See, here we go! Here we go! That closet door firmly in place!
BC: There you go, boom. You got me (laughs).
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