22 things you didn’t know about Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper most recently directed and starred in

Bradley Cooper most recently directed and starred in “A Star is Born.”
Getty Images / Jason Merritt
  • Bradley Cooper is an actor and director who has become a household name thanks to his tremendous film success.
  • Cooper was recently nominated for an Oscar for his role in “A Star Is Born.”
  • Cooper didn’t always want to be an actor – he actually wanted to be a ninja at some point.
  • In 2011, Cooper was dubbed People’s Sexiest Man Alive.

Ever since “A Star Is Born” hit theaters this past fall, Bradley Cooper’s media presence has been pretty much nonstop. The triple threat actor, director, and musician has made headlines recently thanks to the avalanche of award nominations he’s receiving for the film.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen him. Bradley Cooper has been navigating Hollywood for the better part of the last twenty years. He is perhaps most known for his roles in “The Hangover” series, “Silver Linings Playbook, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “American Sniper.”

Here is everything you need to know about the A-lister to watch this awards season.

When he was a kid, he dreamed about being a ninja.

Cooper wanted to be sent to Japan to train to be a ninja.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

It seems young Bradley Cooper had other plans for his future.

He told The Philadelphia Inquirer that from an early age, he was obsessed with soldiers and asked his dad if he could go to Valley Forge Military Academy.

His father, Charles Cooper, refused, however, and as a result, young Bradley said he wanted to go to Japan and become a ninja instead.

He was once married.

Bradley Cooper was married to Jennifer Esposito.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Back in 2006, Cooper married “Blue Bloods” actress Jennifer Esposito. The pair divorced after a four-month marriage in 2007.

He is dating Irina Shayk.

Bradley Cooper is currently with Irina Shayk.
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

According to Harpers Bazaar, Cooper and his current girlfriend model and actress, Irina Shayk, started dating in 2015. People magazine reported that they exchanged a kiss outside of a production of Hamilton in 2015.

The pair made their first ever Red Carpet debut at this year’s Golden Globes and currently have a daughter together.

He has a daughter.

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper at the Met Gala 2018.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Cooper and his partner Irina Shayk quietly welcomed a baby girl named Lea De Seine Shayk Cooper back in March of 2017. While the couple has been adamant about protecting their privacy, the actor has recently started to open up about how fatherhood has positively shaped his perspective.He told NPR last September, “So I guess having a child, and having a family of my own – which is a miracle and something I’ve always dreamt of – has opened me up even more, I guess, to the day, and to be present.”

He’s got a lot of hometown pride.

Bradley Cooper is a fan of the Eagles.
The Weinstein Company

It’s no secret that Bradley Cooper is a proud Philly native. And much like his character in “Silver Linings Playbook,” he is also a diehard Eagles fan.

When the NFL team won their first Superbowl championship ever in 2018, Cooper didn’t hold back his excitement one bit.

He has said Robert De Niro is his idol.

Bradley Cooper has repeatedly referred to Robert De Niro as a source of inspiration for his career.

The pair worked together on the 2011 film “Limitless” and the 2012 award-winning drama, “Silver Linings Playbook.” When asked who taught him the most, Cooper told The Hollywood Reporter, it was Robert De Niro.

Little did he know that years later, Mr. Deniro would praise Cooper’s directorial work in “A Star is Born,” calling it a terrific performance and film overall.

He decided to become an actor after college.

Bradley Cooper made his decision to become an actor rather late.
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

During his appearance on James Lipton’s Inside the Actors studio, Cooper dished out the full story on how he started acting. While he always had an interest in pursuing acting, he was uncertain if he could make a legitimate living off of it. It also didn’t help that Georgetown University didn’t offer a theatrical acting major, so he chose to get his degree in English.

He applied for a Master of Fine Arts Graduate program at The New School in New York and said that if he could get in, that would ease his nerves about chasing the dream. If he didn’t get in, his plan was to intern at a theater somewhere in Philadelphia. Thankfully everything worked out for him and James Lipton, who believed back then that Cooper was destined to be successful.

He speaks fluent French.

He studied the language in school.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Bradley Cooper learned to speak French while at Georgetown University and later developed those skills while studying abroad in France.

While it’s common for people to only retain a few phrases from their college language classes, Cooper made sure he didn’t lose those skills. In fact, the actor is so comfortable with the language that he’s effortlessly given interviews in French without using a translator.

And he knows how to cook, too.

Cooper played a chef in “Burnt.”
The Weinstein Company

Cooper has so far taken on two roles where his character is a chef – first in the short-lived television series “Kitchen Confidential,” based on the late Anthony Bourdain’s acclaimed novel, and later in “Burnt”, John Wells’ 2015 directed drama about a troubled chef.

And it turns out he isn’t playing around when it comes to these roles. He reportedly trained for several weeks with a Michelin star chef, Marcus Wareing, to learn some advanced cooking techniques. In an interview with Bon Appetit, Wareing said that Cooper seemed to already know his way around the kitchen.

According to Digital Spy, Cooper told Extra that growing up with an Italian family seriously influenced his love for cooking.

Cooper said, “I seriously love to cook … My grandmother was an amazing cook. As a kid, I used to help her make handmade pasta, Cavatelli, and Ravioli. It was one of my favorite things to do. I love the idea of making whatever is in the fridge into something.”

He’s one of the most successful actors in the world.

He played Rocket Raccoon in “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Getty Images/Jason Merritt/Marvel Studios

In 2015, Forbes reported that his net worth was $41.5 million thanks to his movie roles. But his net worth today is estimated to be upwards $100 million, making him one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood.

Box Office Mojo reports that his highest grossing film he’s been in is “Avengers: Infinity War” where he reprised his role as the voice of the snarky Rocket Raccoon.

His fans have their own nickname.

They call themselves “mini Coopers.”
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

According to Buzzfeed, the actor’s most loyal supporters are now referring to themselves as “Mini Coopers,” a name that’s apparently being credited to “Shallow” song producer Mark Ronson.

In 2011, he was dubbed People’s Sexiest Man Alive.

He called the award “really cool.”
Getty Images

Eight years ago, People magazine crowned Bradley Cooper with the coveted the Sexiest Man Alive title. Prior to receiving the title, the actor jokingly said that it could be a “career-defining” moment for him. He told People, “I think it’s really cool that a guy who doesn’t look like a model can have this.”

He frequently brings his mother as his date to events.

Bradley Cooper has expressed he feels grateful to have such a close relationship with his family, and especially his mother, Gloria Campano.

And as if her son being a super mega Hollywood star isn’t enough to make Ms. Campano a proud mama, Cooper takes it up a notch by frequently bringing her as his date to premiere events and award shows.

He made his directorial debut with 2018’s film “A Star is Born.”

The film was met with praise.
Warner Bros

According to a recent interview with W magazine, when Cooper expressed his desire to be a director, some of his colleagues encouraged him to start small. They suggested he take on projects like television commercials to get his feet wet. Cooper didn’t listen and instead dove right into the building the feature film, “A Star is Born.”

He’s experienced rejection.

He appeared on “Alias.”

Despite his current success, Cooper hasn’t always been the A-list actor/director combo calling the shots when it comes to films.

In 2011, he told US Weekly that back when he was a series regular on “Alias,” he couldn’t get into certain clubs because no one recognized him.

In fact, like many other actors, he initially had a brutal reality check when he first moved to Hollywood to pursue the dream.

He told The Howard Stern Show in 2011 that he auditioned to play the lead role in the “Green Lantern” film but the part ultimately went to Ryan Reynolds.

He’s no stranger to body transformations.

Cooper gained muscle weight for “American Sniper.”
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

It’s pretty common for actors to really commit to a role they love to make some drastic choices to look like a character, and Bradley Cooper is no different. When he performed as navy seal Chris Kyle in the 2014 “American Sniper,” he reportedly packed on an additional 40 pound of muscle for the role. He did this by eating 5,000 calories a day and working with a trainer to develop a massive muscular build.

To make matters more intense, after filming “American Sniper,” Cooper immediately transitioned to the lead role for a Broadway revival production of “The Elephant Man.”The drastic transformation required a strict low-calorie diet, which Cooper maintained by living off pumpkin soup during rehearsals.

He’s a vocal supporter of equal pay for women.

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence appeared in “Silver Linings Playbook” together.

In 2015, Cooper told Reuters that he believed actors (and to that extent, people in Hollywood) should be more transparent about their earnings. He said this in support of his former “Silver Linings Playbook” co-star Jennifer Lawrence, who penned a glaring personal essay about Hollywood’s wage gap.

He doesn’t drink alcohol.

Bradley Cooper had trouble relating to his “Hangover” character.
Warner Bros.

According to a 2015 Vanity Fair profile, he has been sober since 2004.

In 2013, he told GQ that he quit drinking at age 29 because he believed continuing to do so could have negative effects on his career. Cooper himself has said playing Phil (his character in “The Hangover”) was one of his most challenging roles because he was nothing like the character.

His very first professional acting job was a guest spot on “Sex and The City.”

He appeared in “Sex and The City.”

In an interview with Backstage, he said that “Jake the downtown smoker” his first television credit will always remain a memorable career moment for him.

That’s because part of the role required that he drive a car with a stick shift. At the time Cooper didn’t know how. He then took driving school but failed, resulting in them needing a double for the scene.

He prefers to keep his personal life private.

Much to the dismay of many “Mini Coopers,” Bradley Cooper doesn’t have an active social media presence on any platforms.

He confirmed this during an appearance on “The Ellen Show” in 2017, long before the theatrical release of his widely successful film “A Star is Born.”

He also doesn’t really like to talk about himself during interviews about his work.

During an interview last September, he told New York Times reporter Taffy Brodesser-Akner that he doesn’t find talking with the press about his personal life or struggles to be productive.

He told the New York Times, “I don’t necessarily see the upside of it. You know? I don’t.”

He received a history-making number of BAFTA nominations for “A Star is Born.”

Cooper starred in and directed “A Star is Born.”
Warner Bros.

Bradley Cooper was nominated across five different categories for the BAFTAs. He is currently in the running for best actor, best director, best-adapted screenplay, best original music, and best film. He and fellow best director nominee, Alfonso Cuaron are the first to ever receive this many nominations across different disciplines.

He has been nominated for many awards.

He was nominated for “American Sniper,” directed by Clint Eastwood.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Cooper’s accolade list is enviable by any standard. At 44 his nomination list includes four Oscars, seven BAFTAs, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, five Golden Globes, and many others.

Cooper was recently nominated for best actor in a leading role for his part in “A Star is Born.” The film received multiple nominations and Cooper was also included in the nomination for best adapted screenplay.

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