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Bradley Cooper reveals he was ready to give up on acting before Licorice Pizza

Bradley Cooper was seemingly ready to walk away from acting for good, before being offered his critically-acclaimed role in Licorice Pizza.

The 47-year-old actor was coming off of critical acclaim for his directorial debut, 2018’s A Star Is Born, with a Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro up next.

During a new interview with Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali for Variety, Cooper revealed that he would have done anything to star in a Paul Thomas Anderson film.

Ready: Bradley Cooper was seemingly ready to walk away from acting for good, before being offered his critically-acclaimed role in Licorice Pizza

Anything: During a new interview with Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali for Variety , Cooper revealed that he would have done anything to star in a Paul Thomas Anderson film

Anything: During a new interview with Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali for Variety , Cooper revealed that he would have done anything to star in a Paul Thomas Anderson film

When the conversation turned to Cooper’s performance as volatile movie producer Jon Peters in Licorice Pizza, Cooper said he thought Anderson was, ‘an absolute master.’

Ali agreed that Anderson is a, ‘brilliant filmmaker,’ with Cooper revealing that he was just about to give up acting before PTA called.

‘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,’ Cooper said.

He filmed Licorice Pizza during a break from his other critically-acclaimed film this year, Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, which brought its own complications. 

Master: When the conversation turned to Cooper's performance as volatile movie producer Jon Peters in Licorice Pizza, Cooper said he thought Anderson was, 'an absolute master'

Master: When the conversation turned to Cooper’s performance as volatile movie producer Jon Peters in Licorice Pizza, Cooper said he thought Anderson was, ‘an absolute master’

‘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,”‘ Cooper said.

He added that the scenes with his character Jon Peters were at, ‘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,’ Cooper said of the filmmaker.

Beginning: He added that the scenes with his character Jon Peters were at, 'the beginning of the movie, so I started with everybody else, which was wonderful, rather than coming in when everybody’s already downriver'

Beginning: He added that the scenes with his character Jon Peters were at, ‘the beginning of the movie, so I started with everybody else, which was wonderful, rather than coming in when everybody’s already downriver’

Teach: '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,' Cooper said of the filmmaker

Teach: ‘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,’ Cooper said of the filmmaker

Cooper also spoke about how his next directorial effort, Maestro, was originally a Steven Spielberg project. 

‘I always knew that Steven Spielberg knew that I had this obsession with conducting. He had this biopic idea and was talking to me about potentially acting in it. But I had just been working on A Star Is Born. And I said, “Listen, all I want to do is write and direct movies. I always felt like I could play a conductor, but may I research the material and see if I can write it and direct it? Would you let me do that?”‘ Cooper said.

He added that, ‘Steven has a lot of interests — he’ll just choose one thing and all of the other things will be on hold. I think he knew he wasn’t going to make that movie for a while.’

Hold: He added that, 'Steven has a lot of interests — he’ll just choose one thing and all of the other things will be on hold. I think he knew he wasn’t going to make that movie for a while'

Hold: He added that, ‘Steven has a lot of interests — he’ll just choose one thing and all of the other things will be on hold. I think he knew he wasn’t going to make that movie for a while’

Next project: Cooper also spoke about how his next directorial effort, Maestro, was originally a Steven Spielberg project

Next project: Cooper also spoke about how his next directorial effort, Maestro, was originally a Steven Spielberg project

‘He was kind enough to hand it off to me, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last four and a half years, and we start shooting in May,’ Cooper concluded.

Cooper will also return to voice Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

He’s also attached to star in a new film dubbed Atlantic Wall. 

May: 'He was kind enough to hand it off to me, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last four and a half years, and we start shooting in May,' Cooper concluded

May: ‘He was kind enough to hand it off to me, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last four and a half years, and we start shooting in May,’ Cooper concluded

Coming soon: Cooper will also return to voice Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Coming soon: Cooper will also return to voice Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special


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