Bradley Cooper Talks To Us About Limitless, Paradise Lost And Hyperion

When Bleeding Cool got a chance to sit down for a chat with Bradley Cooper, Bleeding Cool wasn’t actually available, so we spent a special, anonymous envoy to grill him on our behalf. Can’t tell you who. Somebody special. Our little friend.

All the same, even though faced with an unprofessional, Cooper gave great quote. Here he is, then, on the subject of Limitless, his collaboration with Alex Proyas on Paradise Lost, and his ongoing work readying an adaptation of Dan Simmons’ Hyperion novels.

1. On Limitless

I read the script and loved it and tried to get a meeting with Neil Burger [the director]. Leslie Dixon wrote it in 2007 or 8. Heath Ledger was going to do it at one point, then Shia LaBeouf.

I love Phil from The Hangover but [with Limitless] it was nice to be cast in a movie that was a different genre and where the burden of the storytelling was on my shoulders. I loved that challenge. And also to be able to play a guy who goes through such a transformation, physically and emotionally.

I think Eddie is a good guy. I don’t think he’s malicious in any way at all. We don’t know what his objective is on the drug – it’s not just to make money, that’s for sure.

I approached the characterisation of both Eddies at the same time, because they’re the same guy, just at different parts of his life. I didn’t really separate it as two characters, just one character going through two different things – or three different things, because at the end you fast forward twelve months, he’s also a different guy at a different stage of his life.

I preferred the ending that’s in the movie [to the first one shot]. I feel like the ending that we chose was more ambiguous for the viewer – SPOILER ALERT – is he on the drug, is he off the drug, was he lying or not? In fact, I think it could be read as just as dark an ending if he’s lying to Carl, if the whole thing is a ruse, in a way, and he’s not off the drug and he doesn’t know what the hell he’s going to do.

2. On Being A Successful Actor

I think luck plays a huge role. It’s sort of like what Oprah said, echoing somebody else – luck is preparation meets opportunity. I certainly went to Grad school with guys who are tremendously talented as actors, and I remember certain opportunities we all had and how some people would deal with that. They’d sabotage themselves to justify not getting it, a fear of failure. I think it’s difficult to do anything for a long stretch without working hard.

3. On Plans For The Hyperion Movies

We are just finishing the deal to write that so that’s going ahead. If you haven’t read the books then do so because they’re fantastic. Ideally we’d like to do them all but we’re actually combining them because it’s kind of a mammoth undertaking, these four books, to consolidate and turn them into script form. The first one is kind of a combination of Hyperion and the Fall of Hyperion and Endymion, which is three out of the four, and then we’ll have to see where that takes us in terms of the second one. It’s my dream to direct it, but that’s like saying you want your first movie to be Avatar.

I’d love to direct. I hope I do it. I’d retire from acting, absolutely. I think I would love directing so much that I’d then want to give up acting.

4. On Paradise Lost

We’ve been doing motion capture tests all of this week. It’s full on, the deals are done. We’re testing out different rigs. We did this one scene where Lucifer lands and talks to the minions. Alex Proyas is wonderful… it’s exciting. We start shooting in January. I can’t wait. It’s been such a long time… I remember on the A-Team tour we were here and met Ralph Fiennes. We were talking and he said “Want do you want to do?” and I said “There’s this project, Paradise Lost, and all I want to do is play the devil” and he said to me “You’re going to do it.”

5. On Directors He Admires

Jonathan Glazer, Paul Thomas Anderson, Scorsese and Spielberg. And Kathryn Bigelow’s great… there’s so many. Julian Schnabel’s great, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo who is going to do The Crow is incredible, Guillermo Del Toro’s great… Working with directors is the motivation for me… Honestly, I’ve been trying to just sit down with Jonathan Glazer for about 8 years! I’m not kidding, I even went to high school with his agent and I’m like, “Hey man, is there any way I can get a meeting?” and he’s all, “I dunno.” So maybe one day.

And, finally, a little something on The Hangover Part 3

There are no plans, but I think there should be a trilogy, to close it up, done.

Limitless is available on on UK DVD and Blu-ray from today, and has been available in the US for a couple of weeks now. I rather enjoyed it and I think you probably will too.