Fresh Air from WHYY (NPR): “Bradley Cooper: A Wild ‘Hangover’ Set In Bangkok”

Bradley Cooper discusses his reunion with most of the original cast for “The Hangover Part II,” his Actors Studio Drama School MFA program pre-requisite audition scene with a Carmelite priest, and his “incredible teacher” Elizabeth Kemp – who taught him to relax.

“The idea of being in front of people terrified me,” Bradley Cooper told FRESH AIR contributor Dave Davies in a recent interview.  “That said, I always knew I wanted to be an actor. ”

DAVIES: … After you had some success in your career, you went back and did a guest appearance with James Lipton and the Actors Studio.

Mr. COOPER: That’s right, yeah.

DAVIES: And I’ve watched that, and you’re – it’s a very emotional reunion for you.

Mr. COOPER: Yeah, it really is.

DAVIES: And what was interesting that you said that your teacher there, Elizabeth Kemp I believe, you could almost – you had trouble getting the words out, but I believe you said that in her class was the first time you ever felt comfortable.

Mr. COOPER: Yes, she taught me how to relax. Yeah, that’s true. She’s incredible. And I was so happy to be able to – for people to even hear that, people in the audience and for you to hear that because she’s really an incredible teacher.

She was my basic technique teacher. It was a three-year program. And that year was all about using what has happened in your life as tools to enter into, do an imaginary circumstance and play an imaginary character.

And I thought: Oh, you mean, like, all these insecurities that I have, all of these things that I thought or things I’d have to hide are actually ammunition? They’re actually, you know, nutrition for this work. It was mind-blowing.