Bradley Cooper says replacing Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Nightmare Alley' exposed his insecurities


Bradley Cooper in a scene from 'Nightmare Alley'. Photo: Handout

Bradley Cooper earned rave reviews for his lead performance in Guillermo Del Toro's Nightmare Alley, but the eight-time Oscar nominee was not necessarily the director's first choice for the job.

It was Leonardo DiCaprio, who Del Toro originally cast in the role of Stanton Carlisle, a drifter and con artist who rises from lowly carnival worker to a renowned mentalist.

Speaking to Mahershala Ali as part of Variety's Actors On Actors series, Cooper opened up about replacing DiCaprio and how not being first choice exposed his own insecurities.

"Nightmare Alley was an interesting example of how insecure I am," Cooper said.

"I was like, 'Oh, I guess I still am the guy that wants to be in the group,' because I had no intention of acting in anything other than what I've been writing. Leonardo DiCaprio fell out, and Guillermo Del Toro came to me.

"I still remember thinking, 'Oh wow, the guys that don't hire me, they want to hire me?' And then it was like, 'Of course, I have to do it just because I've never been allowed into that group.' It was insecurity and ego."

Cooper continued: "Thankfully, it wound up being an incredible experience. And that was very interesting to me to play a character, Stanton Carlisle, who has clearly been traumatised as a kid, has no parental foundation, has no foundation for love, intimacy, real connection, and he just is surviving off of a gratification and a desperate need to find out who he is."

"In this movie, a lot of things happened on the day," Cooper added.

"It felt like Stanton taught Guillermo and I about where this exploration into humanity could go. It was terrifying for both Guillermo and myself because of that; it was really going into the unknowing.

"The whole movie leads towards the end, where finally someone tells him who he is."

Cooper's decision to star in Nightmare Alley paid off in raves for the actor, with Variety's Peter Debruge writing in his review that the actor "delivers another terrific, tragic turn" in the film. – Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Entertainment

Beloved HK actor Kenneth Tsang’s funeral attended by loved ones and celebrities
Jessica Biel recalls Justin Timberlake’s ‘hilarious’ proposal nearly 10 years after tying the knot
'Squid Game' S2 won't release until end of 2023 or 2024, creator predicts
Lucasfilm vows not to recast iconic 'Star Wars' characters after 'Solo' flop
Tom Cruise wouldn't allow 'Top Gun' sequel to debut on streaming: 'I make movies for the big screen'
Johnny Depp not returning to ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ franchise ‘at this point', says producer
Call her Dr Tay Tay: Taylor Swift gets honourary doctorate from NY university
WATCH: 'She-Hulk' trailer features lawyer superhero with Bruce Banner and Wong
Johnny Depp hit Amber Heard in the face repeatedly, her sister testifies
TVB actress Lesley Chiang begs for online bullying to stop: 'I struggle with depression'

Others Also Read