From an Alias ally to inebriated shenanigans in The Hangover trilogy, Bradley Cooper’s strong start proved that his star was destined to rise. And it’s only continued to rise as he goes from strength to strength in his career. Last year, he proved he’s just as adept behind the camera, when he made his stunning directorial debut with A Star is Born.
It’s this film, with incredible performances from the whole cast, that lands on M-Net as your Sunday night movie this weekend. Now that we’ve gushed about its multitalented star and director, let’s gush some more by looking at his top five roles in an impressive and illustrious career.
Jack Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential (2005 – 2006)
This short-lived dramedy series is based on the autobiography of the late, great chef Anthony Bourdain. In the fast-paced restaurant world of sex, drugs, and food, Cooper embodies all the manic energy, madcap talent, and flaming passion that made Bourdain so brilliant.
Patrizio "Pat" Solitano Jr., Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Cooper landed his first Oscar nomination for his moving, sensitive performance as Pat in this sweet romance directed by David O. Russell. He worked with Russell again the following year, as Richie DiMaso in American Hustle, landing his second Oscar nomination.
Chris Kyle, American Sniper (2014)
Massive physical preparation and training went into Cooper’s role in this biopic about U.S. marksman Chris Kyle. But it’s not just the physicality of the performance, but the character’s harrowing emotional struggle that makes this some of Cooper’s most memorable work. He was deservedly nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, also landing a nomination for Best Picture alongside director Clint Eastwood.
Rocket Racoon, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 1, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 (2014 – 2021)
It’s nigh improbable to find an actor in Hollywood who hasn’t left a mark on the superhero universe in some way or another. But Cooper’s mark is one of our favourites. In his excellent voice performance as Rocket in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can’t even recognise the actor, that is how wholly he embodies the energetic savvy and sarcasm of this fantastic character.
A Star is Born (2018)
Everyone raved about Lady Gaga’s performance as the title character in the third remake of the original film. And rightly so. Gaga was amazing as the vulnerable Ally; but Cooper deserves as much praise for his heartrending performance as the fading country music singer Jackson Maine. Added to that, Cooper also sings, directs, and helped write the screenplay. We love watching Cooper in front of the camera, but his star shines just as brightly behind the scenes, and we can’t wait for his next directorial project.