If you’re a big Bradley Cooper fan and love seeing him act, you might have to write Paul Thomas Anderson a thank-you card. During Variety’s “Actors on Actors,” Cooper said that he almost gave up on acting until PTA invited him to work on Licorice Pizza. “The reason that I didn’t give up acting is Paul Thomas Anderson,” said Cooper. “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 explained that Licorice Pizza was his first film during the COVID pandemic and he was able to study under PTA when working on the film. “I watched all the camera tests. He was teaching me all about lenses, things I never knew,” continued Cooper.
Once Cooper finished with Licorice Pizza, he returned to Nightmare Alley, citing that he “banked” his character early on and could easily return to Stanton Carlisle’s mindset. “I kept the little pilot light on,” recalled Cooper on tapping back into character. He developed that skill working on A Star Is Born, as he had to juggle starring in and directing the film. Cooper will be wearing multiple hats once again (berets, probably, as directors do) in his upcoming film, Maestro, starring and directing in the Leonard Bernstein biopic.