Bradley Cooper is opening up about stripping down.
The Nightmare Alley actor has a full-frontal scene in the new Guillermo del Toro-directed psychological thriller, and recently chatted with The Hollywood Reportereditor-at-large Kim Masters about doing the “big deal” scene on her KCRW podcast The Business.
“I remember reading in the script and thinking, ‘He’s a pickled punk in that bathtub and it’s to story. You have to do it,’ ” Cooper, 47, told Masters of his character, Stanton Carlisle.
The scene went down during Toni Collette‘s “first day” of filming — and Cooper was required to be nude “in front of the crew for six hours.”
“It was just like, ‘Whoa.’ It was pretty heavy,” said the eight-time Academy Awardnominee.
Set in the 1940s, the dark and twisted plot of Nightmare Alley, based on William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, follows the wild ride of Carlisle, an ambitious carny-turned-mentalist who discovers a knack for sleight of hand and showmanship and begins a journey into a bigger city as a master manipulator.
Benefiting from the exploitation of his conned clients, he finds himself desperate to escape his own dark fate as he plots to fool a dangerous tycoon with a mysterious psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) by his side – who might be his most threatening opponent yet.
When he read the script, Cooper told Masters, he wasn’t fazed by the nudity requirement “because there was nothing gratuitous about it. It was to story.”
“The content of what the movie is, what we were exploring, in order to do it in a real way, it demanded that we’d be naked emotionally and soulfully,” he also said.
Cooper previously told Deadline that his Nightmare Alley role (which marks his first completely nude scene) “terrified me, for many reasons.”
“But as we started to delve into it — and we had the real benefit of time and prep to work on this — the idea of inhabiting somebody who doesn’t know who they are, and who’s in search of who they are through the whole film, right up until the last scene,” he explained. “I thought, ‘Maybe that’s where I am in my life as an actor and a human being.’ “
Cooper continued, “It was important to go there, unflinchingly and boldly, which I was able to do with Guillermo hand-in-hand. It cost something for us emotionally, making this movie. It was very risky to go to these places of, ‘Are we this person? Is this a side of ourselves? Is this who we really are?’ “
“I found that to be quite vulnerable as an actor,” he added. “All my characters tend to linger, but this one, I have to say, was an especially hard one.”ORDER A COPY OF ROB’S NEW BEST SELLING BOOK! Called “America’s Number ONE Gossip Columnist” by The National Enquirer. Rob ‘Naughty But Nice’ Shuter breaks celebrity news every day on his website NaughtyGossip.com where he delivers all the dish about the stars we love in his naughty but nice signature style. You can also catch him co-hosting and breaking celebrity news on Good Day New York, The Today Show, The Talk, Wendy Williams Show, CNN, Extra and Z100’s ‘Elvis Duran.’ Previously, Rob was the Huffington Post’s only celebrity columnist and the former executive editor of OK! Magazine. Rob has also hosted his own Saturday night talk show on Mark Cuban’s channel and his own daily morning show, ‘The Gossip Table,’ on VH1! Breaking some of the biggest entertainment stories, including Jamie Lynn Spears’s pregnancy news, Britney’s first post-meltdown interview, Eva Longoria’s wedding, and baby exclusives for Jessica Alba, Tori Spelling and Mathew McConaughey’s tots, Rob always knows where to find the best scoop. Before Rob was one of the world’s most successful entertainment reporters, he was a publicist working for Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, P. Diddy, Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi! Now he is bringing all this experience to his new show on I HEART MEDIA in his unique cheeky way, that is always a pinch and never a punch!