Interview By: J.P. Mangalindan
Acting alongside People’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” could make even the most confident actor just a wee insecure about his masculinity. Just ask Bradley Cooper, probably best known for his role as boy-next-door Will Tippin in ABC’s television show, Alias. As the 31-year-old actor will tell you, Matthew McConaughey remains a physical force to be reckoned with.
“I had sort of a tough time,” Cooper says jokingly. “The fact that I’m not the same sort of specimen as McConaughey; I’ll never be as tan or as built. I just sort of looked like a potato next to him: a baked potato! We’d be playing basketball next to him, he’d take his shirt off, and then we’d start taking our shirts off while playing and just get really depressed.”
Still, let it not be said that as Demo in Tom Dey‘s Failure to Launch, Cooper does have a certain charm of his own as McConaughey’s similarly domesticated best bud. Indeed, the charm and humor of the project is what originally drew him to sign on.
“It marries this slap-sticky old school comedy to the romantic structure, which I think is a hard to thing to try to accomplish,” he explains. “That’s what I like about it: the fact that you can have a dolphin taking down the main character and also have him be in a sort of romantic place. I also like the parents: the characters of Terry and Kathy in the script when I read it. I thought they were well thought out.”
Coined by the media, Failure To Launch highlights a growing phenomenon of middle-aged Americans who â€” unlike millions of “normal” adults â€” never move out from under their parents’ roofs. Tripp’s (McConaughey) parents contract Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) to help their son move out of the house by romancing him. With all the foofaraw, you wonder if the phenomenon is really as common as its portrayed.
Next up for Cooper is an appearance on the 100th episode of Alias, a series which brought the actor into mainstream consciousness as Jennifer Garner‘s loveable guy pal.
“It was the best-case scenario: five years. I think everyone’s ready for it to end, but we’re sad the family’s going to dissipate. Still, I’m excited to go back and see everybody. It’ll be fun.”
Cooper seems most excited however by his Broadway theater debut. You may have heard of it: Three Days of Rain, starring Julia Roberts. With critics salivating over the idea of the superstar’s theatrical debut and tickets nearly sold out for the entire theatrical run, the actor’s excitement, not to mention anxiety, is nothing short of justified.
“I’m excited, but it changes hourly,” he admits. “I’ll get pangs of anxiety, like what was I thinking? Paul Rudd, who is phenomenal actor, is in it; Joe Mantello, the guy who did Wicked and Glen Garry Ross and Take Me Out is directing. There’s also the prospect of working with Julia Roberts, who I’ve always been a fan of. The pedigree that I have the privilege to work with is
Lucky, sure. But as Cooper has proved, whether as second-fiddle to the Sexiest Man Alive or a lovable chef in the short-lived Kitchen Confidential, talent plays a factor too in in the recognition he’s finally receiving.
Whether or not he’s a baked potato, that’s a different matter altogether.