Bradley Cooper will once again be going up for gongs at the Oscars this month, perhaps a far cry from what we’d have expected when first seeing him on screen at the turn of the millennium.
Films like Wedding Crashers and Wet Hot American Summer were hardly lining him up for nine Oscar nominations, with 2024 providing him with three more in the form of Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for his role as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro.
Over his 20 year career Cooper has become one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood, seeing his roles change from the rather annoying, stuck-up fiance in Wedding Crashers to the loveable Pat in Silver Linings, and the troubled musician in A Star Is Born.
An Oscar has continued to escape him, however. Will this year be his year?
Regardless of that, we thought it was about time we celebrated the star, and the pivotal moments that got him there…
Sobriety saw lift off
Cooper has spoken candidly about his time in alcohol and drug rehab, going sober at 29 and never looking back. It marked a real turning point in his career, as at that period of time his success in Hollywood had been limited.
20 years ago, Cooper has largely endured bit-part roles in movies, with his role as Will Tippin in Alias his biggest success to date on the small screen. However, acknowledging his drinking and drug habits played a huge part in his physical and mental health from where he was able to really concentrate on his career and see it take off as a result.
Incredibly, The Hangover movie is 15 years old, and it wasn’t until that point really where Cooper really started to be considered a lead in movies. Of course, the film itself took off hugely, enjoying two sequels and being a box office smash.
It’s not considered his best work, nor will he consider it his own, but it was a real turning point in which he was able to get the big gigs that followed.
A big 2012
While films like Limitless came before, it was 2012 that saw him move from comedic actor to serious, with roles in both The Place Beyond the Pines and Silver Linings Playbook, in which he was also an executive producer.
The year really transformed his career and set it on the pathway towards what it is today, with Silver Linings giving him his first of five Academy Award nominations for either Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor.
The directorial debut: A Star Is Born
American Hustle, American Sniper, and Burnt all saw him get much applause for his role as an actor, and in 2018 Cooper made his directorial debut to start a new chapter in his career.
A Star Is Born, in which he also starred alongside Lady Gaga, earned rave reviews, with the movie being nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, while in total it won 111 awards across all ceremonies.
Music continues to be the theme today, in his new film Maestro, which again was directed, written and produced by Cooper and may be his best yet, marking what could be another exciting decade from one of Hollywood’s hottest stars, and undoubtedly someone who will go down as a great of the industry.