Bradley Cooper doesn’t want a stinking Oscar: ‘I don’t want to win. I don’t’

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper covers the April issue of GQ magazine to promote his role in The Place Beyond The Pines. On this cover, he looks slightly less serial killer-esque than usual, but there’s no masquerading those piercing blue eyes that can see into your soul and dismantle it at the very same time. Speaking of soul-crushing entities, Bradley shows himself to be surprisingly revealing in this interview — moreso than I’ve ever witnessed in any of his interviews. He discusses many topics including his fellow actors, his sober status, and his feelings about his father’s death (from cancer two years ago). On that last topic, he talks a lot, and it’s very sad.

Oh, and Bradley’s also using this interview to try and convince us that he never wanted to win that stinking Oscar in the first place. Kaiser is calling bullsh-t on that one, and I agree that Bradley probably wanted that Oscar very badly, which is probably why he chose to play a lead character in an Oscar-bait, Weinstein Co. film in the first place. However, I can say that Bradley probably knew with all certainty that it truly was an honor for him to be nominated because he had no chance in hell of winning against Daniel Day Lewis, et al. Oh, and I’m issuing a SPOILER ALERT for the third excerpt below, in which Bradley reveals a bit too much about his TPBTB character’s actions, but he does appear to have a bit of a mancrush on Ryan Gosling. Here are some excerpts:

Bradley Cooper

On actors & egos: “[L]et me tell you about actors. Back then, I had a couple of high-profile actor friends who were pretty successful and they were saying, ‘Why are you doing that movie called The Hangover? I read the script and I passed.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, OK. Well, I’m doing it.’ Something I’ve learned: other successful actors love telling one another they’ve passed on a script. And then it turns out the script was sent to them but wasn’t offered to them. Actors are a crazy breed. I feel honoured to be a part of this profession, but I also feel a lot of gratitude that I am not a typical actor. Not at all.”

Why he quit alcohol: “I had my reasons and I don’t like getting into it too much. I’m not going to say I’ll never drink ever again. I mean, who knows what will happen in the future? I just consider… What I will say is that my life was going in one direction and that terrified me. It scared the sh-t out of me. I knew I had to make some changes if I ever wanted to fulfill whatever potential I had as a human being. I felt a huge sense of responsibility to my parents, especially to my father. When I took out a loan to go to grad school to act I could see that deep down he was f—ing terrified.”

On The Place Beyond The Pines: “Who would ever want to be in a movie where you’re the guy that kills Ryan Gosling? Ryan Gosling looks sexy as hell in this movie, too. He’s all muscled out, tattooed up; a super-cool outlaw bank robber who gets to hold a baby for most of the movie. And me — my character, this cop who lies and rats on his buddies — is supposed to turn up 45 minutes into the movie and kill Ryan Gosling? I love Ryan.”

On his father’s death: “Death became very real. And very tangible. Because my father — someone who had been in my life for 36 years is just f—ing gone. I watched him dying and I was there by his bed watching him, breathing with him, and then I saw his last breath and he was gone. I experienced the whole thing. And that was a watershed moment that I was privileged to experience. And it changed everything.”

On how he’s changed since then: “Nothing has ever been the same since. You know William Blake’s Songs Of Innocence? Well, right there, in that moment, the innocence was gone. Done. Never to return. The beauty is that I just don’t sweat sh-t any more. My father gave me two gifts — having me and dying with me. I used to be the kid that got the shakes if I had to talk in public; now, I just don’t get nervous about stuff. I can’t control everything. I watched my father die and I realised that is the way we are all going to die. For me, it was a switch from knowing something intellectually to knowing it by tangibly experiencing it. It rewired my neurological system. It almost did the opposite of motivating me. It was about keeping the main thing the main thing.”

He doesn’t want to win an Oscar: “It would change nothing. Nothing. The things in my life that aren’t fulfilled would not be fulfilled. Career-wise, right now, it’s better that I don’t win one. I don’t want to win. I don’t.”

[From GQ]

Aww, poor Bradley. He’s been hit really hard by his father’s passing, and by all accounts, he’s been taking care of his mom (even asking her to move in with him) quite well in the aftermath. I know he looks like a serial killer, but he does seem like a really nice guy. A really nice guy who still wants an Oscar.

Bradley Cooper

Photos courtesy of GQ

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60 Responses to “Bradley Cooper doesn’t want a stinking Oscar: ‘I don’t want to win. I don’t’”

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  1. Aww I love him even more after this interview! And I saw TPBTP a week ago and he was REALLY good in it, maybe even better than Ryan Gosling (who I usually think is the better actor even though I think Bradley is hotter) so obvioulsy he’s becoming a better actor with every movie. Maybe he’ll get an Oscar some day in the future?

  2. Ranunculus says:

    He probably has a good insight as to how much it takes to run an Oscar campaign and how much it can go horribly wrong in terms of people getting really tired and sick of you.

    He made enough money with the Hangover movies and can afford to start his career as a more respected actor. He was surprisingly good in SLP (better than J Lawrence IMHO) and if he is as good in that Pines movie he might be around for some time and catch some more interesting roles.

    An Oscar win is no guarantee for further employment or even good roles. I can understand his opinion.

    • Migdalia says:

      I agree and I truly believe that he means that he doesn’t want to win…at least not right now. For one you risk the Oscar curse and secondly IMO he wasn’t campaigning as hard as Jennifer Lawrence or the actual movie itself. He’s been as low key as Denzel during the awards season.

      I too thought he was better than Jennifer Lawrence especially coming off a mainly comedic background.

      What he said about his dad’s death changing him and his outlook totally made sense with the Oscar statement.

      • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

        Getting the Oscar statue is relative to who is in your category the year that person is nominated…He was up against MAJOR acting chops, where JLaw got really lucky in that there weren’t any definite standouts in her category. He must have realized early on he didnt stand a chance against DDL as Lincoln (who could?) and humbled himself not to do a whole campaign. That being said, I agree he may have been the better actor in SLP.

        But yeah, all that about his dad…death/close death situations tend to put things in perspective.

  3. Amanda says:

    His performance in slp was all around better than jennifer’s, so you figure. He’s becoming better at this.

  4. lady mary. says:

    aww ,bradley ,we all know you dont ,it was Uncle Harvey’s idea
    ps : nice to know he has his feet firmly planted to the ground ,soo true abt what he said abt someone passing away its hard t blieve that someone you are so used to having around everyday ,year after year ,might one day just vanish frm ur life ,like they nvr ever were really there

  5. Mom2two says:

    Not a big fan of Bradley and I am sure he would not have minded winning but I totally understand where he is coming from about the Oscar…he’s right. Hollywood is littered with Oscar winners whose careers have gone nowhere.
    I am sorry to read about him losing his father. I lost mine 3 years ago and I miss him everyday.

  6. Esmom says:

    I liked reading the interview. Interesting how people deal with the passing of a loved one in such different ways. I like his strength and his attitude and the fact that he seems to have real perspective.

    Although I still don’t find him hot at all.

  7. CF says:

    I think there is a difference between not wanting an oscar and what he said, which is that he doesn’t want to win right now. I think you can still want one, but kind of hope it doesn’t happen until later in your career, when you feel more established and it doesn’t feel like your star is shining so bright that it could burn out really quick.

    Its like if you meet the person of your dreams when you are 18. Obviously, you are really grateful. But if someone was like would you rather when you are 18, or would you rather meet the same awesome person when you are 25 and more mature and more ready for marriage, some people would rather that.

  8. Ms Kay says:

    Well I’m going to be an insensitive b*tch here… he did that interview in the context of an Oscar campaign (that interview was done during the Oscar campaign) so sharing/”pimping” a bit of his private life was part of the deal so… I don’t know if I should like him more because he talks about his father, as much as I am sorry for his loss?

    That said I understand his view on the Oscar, he is right.

    • French Reader says:

      I know right? This inteview must indeed have been done before the Oscars, but is only coming out now to promote The Place Beyond The Pines I guess. Still he probably already knew he wasn’t going to win considering who he was up against (but of course he wants one, he’s a young actor), so his team told him to be humble about the whole Academy Award thing and talk about his dead father. Not being insensitive either (my parents died at the same time as his father so I understand what he means), but I have to admit it’s a good PR move. It doesn’t make me like him less, but it doesn’t make me like him more either. Using his father’s death wasn’t necessary.

  9. Shira says:

    I think he’s genuinely nice, I do think he wants to win an Oscar but that he knew this wasn’t going to be his year. I disagree with you claiming he signed on to do this roll just because it was Oscar bait. He always goes on and on about what a huge David O. Russell fan he is and how this was his main reason doing it, how he wasn’t sure he would even be able to pull it off but the fact that De Niro was also doing it made him feel at ease.

  10. MsAubra says:

    Maybe he really doesn’t! He’s said time and time again what would be really great is if he could finally direct really good films and he’s well on his way. His performance in SLPB saw to that, he’s elevated past the cheesiness (Hangover, Valentine’s Day, Hit and Run)and will pretty much be doing better quality work from now on. He may be doing the cheesy stuff every now and then as some do. There are people who do really good work and winning an Oscar won’t ever make or break their career.

  11. Sisi says:

    I want to believe his claims about not wanting an oscar… But it seems suspicious that he only says this after award season is finished. Why not during huh…?

    • Shira says:

      He may have done this interview before awards season was over, and even if he didn’t – do you honestly think he felt like he would win this year???

    • V4Real says:

      I loved BC in Silver Linning and I think he’s a good actor. But this interview doesn’t sway me to believe that he didn’t want an Oscar.
      Listen to what he said about his actor friends who pass on scripts but they just pretended to pass on them because they weren’t offered the role.

      Here’s the quote from the interview “I read the script and I passed.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, OK. Well, I’m doing it.’ Something I’ve learned: other successful actors love telling one another they’ve passed on a script. And then it turns out the script was sent to them but wasn’t offered to them.”

      Bradley is doing the same thing he is accusing his actor friends of doing. He’s pretending as if he doesn’t want an Oscar yet he was nominated for one but unfortunately he didn’t win. Even if this interview was conducted before the Oscars aired, he knew he was nominated and probably knew he wasn’t going to win. But here’s the thing, if you don’t want an Oscar then go appeal to The Academy to remove your name from the list of nominees. What would have happened if he had actually won; was he going to stand on that stage and say thanks, but no thanks. I highly doubt it.

  12. Hannah says:

    I agreed with you that he probably really wanted the Oscar until I read this bit: “Career-wise, right now, it’s better that I don’t win one.”

    That really is never a truer word said. There aren’t many Daniel Day Lewis’ or Meryl Streeps who can win Oscars and still only get better. That statue really can be a curse.

    There was a pic of Anne with Reese and Halle and I just thought “ah Anne…sin é” Although I do think Jennifer Lawrence will be the first female winner in a long time to go on and do good work and have further nominations and wins. She just seems young and feisty and carefree enough to pull it off.

    So from that point of view I think that he may be telling the truth.

  13. AintMisbehavin says:

    I like ol Bradley and as thirsty as he could be for an Oscar (He was quickly reaching ANNE Hath thirst) there seems to be something quite sincere in this interview..I guess when it come to his dad he doesn’t play that. Hope his career continues to flourish…

  14. Erin says:

    I never really liked him until I heard him on Fresh Air with Terri Gross a couple weeks ago. What a down to earth, sweet soul. He was so normal sounding and nice, and he was SO excited to be talking to Terri. I highly suggest checking it out, it’s a great interview and totally changed my perception of him.

  15. Lamont says:

    I will say he’s ABSOLUTLEY right about Oscar winners.
    It is littered with former winners who have to ply commercial trade in foreign markets or people lost in supporting role forever playbook.
    Its no guarantee of success or career longevity

  16. normades says:

    Very profound what he says about his father’s death. New respect.

  17. vvvoid says:

    I respect him a lot for being sober for so long, in Hollywood of all places.
    He does look like a serial killer but in a good way [lol].
    He’s humble and a great actor. His character in SLP was so vastly different than the other characters he’s played. He’s…dare I say…potentially capable of character acting.

  18. GoodCapon says:

    Aww he looks better without the beard!

  19. Jen34 says:

    I think Bradley is an over achieving, eager-to-please type. And I don’t mean that in a bad way.

    I can hear him thanking his mom and late dad in his Oscar speech. He was born for that moment.

  20. Lexie says:

    i didn’t get the impression he wanted to win the oscar this year? and he’s right about what it would do to his career, too. he seems like a cool guy.

  21. Bijlee says:

    Saw him on Craig ferguson weeks ago and he seemed genuinely pleased and happy to be there. He was funny and had a great rapport with Craig.

    But can I just say the best actor nominations tend to be much stronger than best actress ones. And it’s much harder to get a best actor for a man, probably because they can’t be in your face about the campaign and stuff.

    Plus very few people think oh my god this best actor went to absolutley the wrong person compared to best actress winners. There is so much controversy around best actress. There needs to be better writers for female roles.

  22. I Choose Me says:

    I like him more with each interview.

  23. FassDaActor says:

    He’s right about the Oscars. I’m glad he didn’t win for THAT movie. I wish him luck on his career. I really wish someone like Denzel, Cooper or Fass would win an Oscar and say something like, “I would like to say F U to the Academy for not watching all of the movies sent to you!…for not caring about art. This means nothing. Kiss my ass. To the public, if you like this speech, don’t allow yourselves to be sucked in to the hype. Do the work and find art that speaks to you.”

    This would only work if thay racked up a bunch of dough because they may never see a huge pay check again.

  24. serena says:

    I liked this interview and I’m sad about his must have been terrible..
    About the Ryan Gosling thing, I know he was joking, but I can’t shake off this picture in my head (LOL). I feel strong gay vibes from him -waaaaay before this piece btw-

  25. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    This is really OT, but…One of the cover stories is about Tiny Tom ranting on about his role in ‘Rainman.’ Like..why? That movie is over 20 yrs old…like stop trying to play up one of your biggest roles that of course was from the 80s…I swear, if you subtract Rainman, Jerry MaGuire, Risky Business and Top Gun, he has nothing to talk about..those pretty much sum up his career and all of them are 20-30 yrs old. Go away tiny ‘tologist. /rant

  26. lola says:

    I really love him. And he was fantastic in the Place Beyond the pines.

  27. Pop Will Eat Itself says:

    I like the continuing backlash against the Oscars. Given how political and business driven the Oscars have become it’s not surprising there’s a growing cynicism of them. Also, it’s not just over exposure that’s causing fans to resent Oscar hungry celebrities. It’s also the fact that said celebrities are acting like two faced, manipulative politicians during their campaigns.

  28. valleymiss says:

    I think Bradley is overdoing it a bit here. First he says he doesn’t want it. Then he says, “Not now at this point in my career.” Well which is it? Because those 2 things mean very different things.

    I would buy Bradley’s stance a little more if he said, “I don’t NEED an Oscar.” I mean, you mean to tell me that if he had somehow beaten Daniel Day-Lewis, he would have gotten up there, thanked the Academy, and respectfully declined the Oscar?

    Theone thing I can guess for sure is that he knew he didn’t have a shot in hell. Someone on the red carpet asked him (or maybe it was on a tv show) if he had a speech prepared, and he gave a funny, almost condescending (but he reeled it back in) look and said, “Really? You think I need one?” He knew it wasn’t gonna happen.

    For an actor like him, the nomination WAS the win. His performance was a revelation. As I said upthread, it’s a pity he was overshadowed by JLaw. Btw, not for nothing but, I really prefer the short hair he had in SLP to the greasy thick hair he has all the rest of the time. The buzzcut is much more becoming, IMO. But then again, I also prefer JLaw as a brunette. I think she’s infinitely more striking and mysterious that way.

    • Bijlee says:

      JLaw is sooooooo much prettier as a brunette. Her blonde just looks so dull and lifeless

    • Shira says:

      I agree with you on both Bradley and Jennifer’s hair styles but I completely disagree about her overshadowing him. I think it just happened during awards season because the majority of comments I’ve read and heard about this film was about how amazing he was. I was baffled that she was the one getting nominated for like 3 times the awards he was and winning all the major ones.

  29. Miss M says:

    I like B. Cooper, I do. But I think I am the only one who doesn’t understand why he gets all this attention and main roles now. It’s like Hollywood is really trying to make him this amazing leading man like they tried with Ryan Reynolds… I just see him as the actor who plays the best friend of the main character.

    @Bedhead: “… but he does appear to have a bit of a mancrush on Ryan Gosling.”
    He mentioned George Clooney last year. So, I guess he has a mancrush on any Hollywood A-list actor.

  30. ??? says:

    From what I’ve seen in interviews, I kind of like Bradley. He carries his insecurities on his sleeve a bit too much sometimes, but there is a genuine quality to him as well.

    I don’t for a second believe he didn’t want that Oscar, though. During every awards show I caught, there always seemed to be a fleeting moment when disappointment clouded his face as DDL’s name was announced as the winner’s. Bradley surely knew whom he was up against, but I’m certain there was a big part of him that pined to win, too.