Everything seems to be going swimmingly for Bradley Cooper at the minute. His career has been on the up for years; from the smash hit comedy The Hangover to the sad romance Silver Linings Playbook, he's quickly become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
He's even in contention for his first Academy Award after he received a third Oscar nomination in as many years for his depiction of solitary sniper, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in American Sniper.
Now though, Cooper has decided to take a short break from Hollywood to star as the lead character in the Broadway adaptation of the David Lynch classic, The Elephant Man. He stars as Joseph Merrick, a man who, as a result of his severe disfigurement, was an object of curiosity and fascination in Victorian London.
But here's the crazy part: Cooper plays Merrick without the use of make-up or special effects!
How does a sexy Hollywood star like Bradley Cooper play Joseph Merrick without make-up?
The real-life Merrick had enlarged feet, hip damage, and a bony lump on his head - so how does a man, who was once named by People magazine "the hottest man on earth," pull this off without the use of complex make-up and special effects? The American Sniper star told CBS's 60 Minutes that,
“[he does it] by believing I’m him. That’s how I do it. If I’m acting like I’m him or I don’t quite make that leap of faith, there’s absolutely no way you’re going to make it. I had to do a tremendous amount of work to get to the place where I do believe I’m him.”
Watch Cooper talk about his inspiration for playing Joseph Merrick in the Broadway adaptation of The Elephant Man.
At the beginning of the play, Cooper stands shirtless while a physician describes the various physical deformities from which Merrick suffers. Cooper begins to imitate each deformity as they are they being announced to the audience. He says,
“If I don’t make that leap in that moment, the rest of the play’s not going to work."
Critics are labeling him "the best Joseph Merrick yet," but this and the Oscar nomination aside, he remains a very normal, down-to-earth guy. Later in the interview he reveals,
"You know I always sort of talk about - to myself at least, or to my friends, about wanting to just keep life very simple. I've found it most simple here in New York. You know, it's basically I have a, in a way, a 9-to-5 job, you know?"
Bradley tells host Steve Kroft.
"I do eight shows a week. I live in New York City. I get to walk everywhere, and you know, just be one of the people of the city. And it's actually wonderful."
What a guy!
Watch the full video of Bradley Cooper performing in The Elephant Man HERE.