BRADLEY COOPER has fond memories of the Daily News, not only as a reader, but as a former contributor.
When we sat down at Positano Coast to interview the Jenkintown native, who now stars in "The Hangover," a hilariously filthy buddy comedy that opens in theaters June 5, he began to reminisce.
"I worked there when I was a senior at Germantown Academy in 1993," Cooper said. "I wrote a piece called 'When Best Friends Cross the Line' about my relationship with my friend Deb [Landes]. I wrote it like a lovesick puppy, and I went to a lacrosse game the day it came out and people were booing me. I went into work the next day and Richard [former editorial-page editor Richard Aregood] grabbed me around the head and said 'You made your first mistake, you never write about that.'
"Signe Wilkinson [Cooper throws out the name of the People Paper's editorial cartoonist], does she still have the short haircut?"
"She was a cutie. . . . Is the sports section still kick-ass?"
Cooper asked whether we were worried about the future of the paper and of newspapers in general, which we discussed until we both remembered that we were there to talk about "The Hangover," from "Old School" and "Road Trip" director Todd Phillips, in which Cooper co-stars with Ed Helms ("The Office") and comedian Zach Galifianakis.
Q: How would you describe your character, Phil, who seems to the be guy who keeps his cool throughout all the craziness?
A: You know guys like that. He's probably a great father and a great husband, but he used to be a wild man, and any chance to let himself go for a weekend he takes it. He just wants his friends to have fun.
Q: You always hear actors saying how great it was to work with so-and-so and how much fun they had and it's usually bull----, but this seems as though it would have been a blast to work on.
A: Oh, it was great, it was fantastic. We worked hard, though, shot 16-hour days in Vegas, living at Caesars Palace.
Q: It seems as though Philly people who move out to Los Angeles have a way of finding one another. Do you have a Philly crew?
A: There's a place called the Shack, a restaurant/bar in Santa Monica, that's a total Philly place. One of my best friends from when I was a kid lives there. Once you hear the accent you know right away. When we watch the movie sometimes my Philly accent comes out. We just recorded the DVD commentary the other day and the other guys would point it out, "Oh, there's your accent."
Q: You've been doing comedies most recently. Is there a genre of film you'd like to do?
A: It's all about the filmmaker and the people you're gonna do the movie with. I love action genre. I'm a little babe, although I've been doing this for a while, so there are a lot of things I want to do.
Q: You've been a working actor for a while, but it seems as though recently you've blown up. Have things changed?
A: I appreciate that, but I don't feel that at all actually. I can go anywhere without anybody knowing who I am, so on that level it hasn't changed. As far as working, it's been a steady progression. I did "Alias," then "Wedding Crashers," then a play, then "All About Steve."
Q: Maybe I'm giving too much weight to hosting "SNL." That seems huge.
A: It does seem huge, but it also seems like "How the f--- did I get that?"
Q: I gotta be honest with you, I wondered that, too.
A: Everybody did. The whole monologue was about that. I was lucky to do it and I had a great time - I had a ball actually.
Q: Any run-ins with Christian Bale? [On "SNL," Cooper did a Bale impression mocking the "Terminator: Salvation" star's on-set profanity-laden rant at a lighting tech]
A: I assume that he had never even heard of it. I saw him at a friend's birthday party and my heart stopped 'cause I was like, "Oh, my God, that's Christian Bale." But I am a massive, massive fan of his.
Q: Do your old friends assume your life is like "Entourage?" Is it? Are you big pimpin'?
A: Am I big pimpin'? Yeah, me and my two dogs. I would say absolutely not, unfortunately. Because I've been doing it for so long, my friends from high school have seen how hard the business is. It's a brutal business, man. It's like anything - there are ups and downs and I think my friends who have gone through this with me have a real perspective. And so do my parents. But, then again, I'm 34, not 24. When I first started to do this it was awkward, but now it's just great. It's f---ing great. The fact that I'm about to go to the Ritz and do a Q&A is crazy. I used to go here and see "Henry V."
Q: How do you think your parents will like "The Hangover?" It's pretty dirty.
A: Their indoctrination into what I do was me getting f---ed in the a-- by Michael Ian Black in "Wet Hot American Summer," so I don't think there's anything that could be more out there than that.
Q: Good point. You have top billing in this film. Do you feel more pressure as though you have to carry the film and are responsible for its success?
A: It's certainly a three-hander. It's a Todd Phillips movie. It's all of our movies. I feel excitement not pressure. It's a great position having a lot to do with a movie that you loved working on.
Q: What are you doing next?
A: I'm going to look for a job. I'm going to do two days on a movie with Julia Roberts with [director] Garry Marshall called "Valentine's Day." Julia and I are on a plane together in the scene, but after that I'm looking for a job. *