Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bradley Cooper for Details Magazine May 2013

On being fascinated with soldiers when he was a kid: I was obsessed with soldiers, wanting to be a soldier. Being a kid, I was scared of dying. Didn't feel like anxiety, I just wanted to get to a state of comprehension about death. I wanted, in a visceral way, to comprehend mortality. I was young, maybe 7 or 8. I would constantly ask my father about God and existence. And then he was simultaneously showing me these movies. Movies like Apocalypse Now and then Platoon. For some reason, those stuck with me. All those characters seemed to know something. And I wanted to know that. I figured the only way to understand life was to have been through something like these soldiers had been through. I became obsessed and started to read all these books about Vietnam. I remember this one book called Guns Up! that blew me away.
On wanting to be a dad: “Of course I have (thought about it). I really hope I have that experience in my life. I saw how much joy fatherhood gave my own dad. So I hope it’s part of my journey. You go through stages in your life, and fatherhood seems like a natural stage.”

On living with his mom again: “The best way I can answer that is to say we’re surviving. Both of us. Let’s face it: It’s probably not easy for her, by the way, to be living with her son. It’s life. And right now, two years after my father’s death, this is where we are. My family is very close, and my dad dying was brutal for all of us. It was a schism, and its aftershock has not stopped. And we need each other. So here we are. But don’t get me wrong. It’s not without complications. It’s not like I live in a compound and she’s in the guesthouse. No. She’s in the next room. But here’s the thing: She’s a cool chick. We can hang, and she can roll with the punches. If that wasn’t the case, there’s no way.”

On being nominated for an Oscar: “That whole experience was fun and amazing, but I try not to get too carried away with that stuff. And maybe if you start feeling a little too big for your britches, hop on the Internet and take a look at some message boards for five seconds. It's not something I do often, but if you do, it'll take you right back down. Oh, my God. First of all, let's be honest: It's incredibly narcissistic to do that. And masochistic. You want to feel sh*tty about yourself? Boom—it's easy. To me, this business is the ultimate humbling experience. You're constantly dealing with rejection. My journey has not been people kissing my ass.

I knew I wasn’t going to win. But something pretty funny happens on the actual night. Even though I knew there was no chance I’d win, the millisecond in between when they open the envelope and they say the name, your brain goes, ‘Wait a minute. It could happen. It’s possible. A one-in-five chance, right?’ And that’s the moment when they have your face on camera. And all of a sudden, you’re dealing with the fact that you didn’t get something that you knew you weren’t going to get in the first place. And that reaction shot—I mean, that camera is right there in your face.”

On finding a sense of calm during one of the busiest years of his life: "I exhale a lot. I was thinking about this yesterday. My mind is pretty clear. My mind has been pretty clear for a long time. My father's death had this impact on me. It's like I was saying about when I wanted to be a soldier. I think my father's death addressed some of the fears or quandaries I had as a child about mortality. It was his parting gift to me. Watching this man—my father—leave his body and go. Watching him die. All of a sudden I was like, "Oh, right, I'm going to die too." Here it is. It's not in a book. It's not in a movie. It's not in a story that was told to me. It's not driving by an accident or watching it on TV. It's someone you love dying in front of you. I was like, "Okay. This is death. And this is going to happen to me one day." There was a huge freedom that came with that. So now I just don't sweat the sh*t. The small stuff. My mind is just less busy now. There were so many times when I would sweat the small stuff. All through my life. High school. College. As an actor. My dad's death allowed me to be more at ease with being myself. And if someone's not going to like me, that's just the way it is. I used to think, "Oh, my God. I don't want to make anyone not like me. I don't want to ruffle any feathers." Now it's like, "I'm just going to be myself and trust that." And I'm enjoying life more."

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