Bradley Cooper Was 'Insecure' About Taking Role From Leonardo DiCaprio

by : Shola Lee on :
Bradley Cooper Was 'Insecure' About Taking Role From Leonardo DiCaprio
Bradley Cooper Was 'Insecure' About Taking Role From Leonardo DiCaprio (Alamy)

While 'insecure' may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about Bradley Cooper, that's apparently how he felt taking over from Leonardo DiCaprio.

The eight-time Oscar nominee spoke about his experience taking a role from DiCaprio on Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley, which sees him play a tormented mentalist in the 1940s, who makes his way through the carnival scene.

Due to a scheduling issue, DiCaprio was forced to pull out of the film, leaving Cooper to fill the role.

Bradley Cooper in Nightmare Alley (Alamy)
Bradley Cooper in Nightmare Alley (Alamy)

During the Variety Actors on Actors series, Cooper spoke about his experience and insecurities.

In conversation with Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, Cooper said the film was an 'interesting example of how insecure I am'.

'Guillermo Del Toro, Leonardo DiCaprio dropped out, and then he came to me and I still remember thinking, like, really like, 'oh wow the guys that don't hire me want to hire me?' like I'm the next guy after Leo, and that cast that was already assembled other than Cate [Blanchett]. And then I was like, of course I had to do it because I was never allowed into that group. It really, it really was ego, it was like insecurity and ego', he explained.


He finished the anecdote by adding, 'thankfully, it wound up being an incredible experience'.

Cooper also explained that during the filming of Nightmare Alley he was involved with the Paul Thomas Anderson movie Licorice Pizza, which sees him play a deranged version of producer Jon Peters.

'The reason that I didn’t give up acting is Paul Thomas Anderson. 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 said.

Bradley Cooper in Nightmare Alley (Alamy)
Bradley Cooper in Nightmare Alley (Alamy)
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He then went on to explain how he fitted the two film's shooting schedule around each other, explaining, 'we broke from Nightmare Alley, I was able to grow a beard and Searchlight was praying that I didn’t get COVID, because we had to go back and continue Nightmare Alley, but I was like, 'There’s no way I’m not doing it.' That was the first movie back from COVID. And Jon Peters was the beginning of the movie, so I started with everybody else, which was wonderful, rather than coming in when everybody’s already downriver. I spent three and a half weeks with Paul. I watched all the camera tests. He was teaching me all about lenses, things I never knew. He’s incredible.'

Nightmare Alley and Licorice Pizza are currently in cinemas.

Featured image credit: Alamy


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Shola Lee

Shola Lee began her journalism career while studying for her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London and Columbia University in New York. She has written for the Columbia Spectator, QM Global Bloggers, CUB Magazine, UniDays, and Warner Brothers' Wizarding World Digital. Recently, Shola took part in the 2021 BAFTA Crew and BBC New Creatives programme before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories, and features.

Topics: Film & TV, Celebrity, Film and TV, Leonardo DiCaprio