Bradley Cooper Says Filming Full Frontal Nude Scenes For Six Hours Was ‘Pretty Heavy’

by : Emily Brown on :
Bradley Cooper Says Filming Full Frontal Nude Scenes For Six Hours Was 'Pretty Heavy’Searchlight Pictures/Alamy

Bradley Cooper has admitted it was tough to spend hours naked while filming as he opened up about his experiences working on Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.

The A Star Is Born actor plays loner Stanton Carlisle in the dark drama, in which he uses knowledge learned from a travelling carnival to masquerade as a mentalist in 1940s New York.


His antics see him get caught up in a tangled web involving a love interest, a psychiatrist, played by Cate Blanchett, and one of her wealthy patients, but the intriguing storyline apparently sometimes proved a struggle for Cooper to bring to life.


In an interview with The Business, the actor likened his commitment to the role to ‘putting on a miner’s kit, hat and flashlight, and looking at each other and then going down in the tunnel, knowing that you may be excavating a route that won’t ever get you to the end that day but you come back up and go down again the next day.’

He continued: ‘Because the content of what the movie is, what we were exploring, in order to do it in a real way, it demanded that we’d be naked emotionally and soulfully.’


While being ‘naked’ did sometimes mean bearing all in terms of emotion and soul, Cooper noted that for him it also meant being ‘physically’ naked, which he described as a ‘big deal’.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the scene that required Cooper to bear all sees his character in a bathtub and engaging in a sexual act.

Reflecting on the shooting process, he said: ‘I remember reading in the script and thinking, he’s a pickled punk in that bathtub and it’s to story. You have to do it. I still remember that day, just to be naked in front of the crew for six hours. … It was pretty heavy.’


Despite the fact it was a challenge, Cooper said he never pushed back on the idea of being naked ‘because there was nothing gratuitous about it. It was to story.’

Speaking to Deadline, the actor described his character as someone who was ‘not loved’, saying: ‘Obviously, the movie belongs to you and all the moviegoers, but my view? He is not a sociopath, at all. There is regret. There is empathy. There is self-loathing, all the traits that are current with all of humanity. That was the goal.’

Based on William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, Nightmare Alley will be released in the UK on 21 January 2022.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

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