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Bradley Cooper says his 'insecurity and ego' led him to replace Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Nightmare Alley'

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nightmare alley
Bradley Cooper in "Nightmare Alley."Searchlight Pictures
  • Bradley Cooper said his "insecurity" prompted him to replace Leonardo DiCaprio in "Nightmare Alley"

  • The actor was speaking with Mahershala Ali as part of Variety's annual "Actors on Actors" series.

  • "I had no intention of acting in anything other than what I've been writing," he said.

Bradley Cooper said he decided to replace Leonardo DiCaprio in "Nightmare Alley" because of "insecurity and ego."

The actor was speaking with Mahershala Ali in the latest of Variety's "Actors on Actors" series.

"'Nightmare Alley' was an interesting example of how insecure I am," he said. "I was like, 'Oh, I guess I still am the guy that wants to be in the group.' Because I had no intention of acting in anything other than what I've been writing.

"Leonardo DiCaprio fell out, and Guillermo del Toro came to me. I still remember thinking, 'Oh, wow, the guys that don't hire me, they want to hire me?' And then it was like, 'Of course, I have to do it just because I've never been allowed into that group.' It was insecurity and ego," he said.

"Thankfully, it wound up being an incredible experience," Cooper added. "And that was very interesting to me to play a character, Stanton Carlisle, who has clearly been traumatized as a kid, has no parental foundation, has no foundation for love, intimacy, real connection, and he just is surviving off of a gratification and a desperate need to find out who he is."

Bradley Cooper and Guillermo del Toro on the set of "Nightmare Alley"
Cooper in "Nightmare Alley."Searchlight Pictures

In December, del Toro, the "Nightmare Alley" director, said Cooper nailed the film's final scene in one take.

"We're going to shoot this 50, 60 times, whatever we need. And ... take one," he said during a Q&A after the film's New York premiere. "When we finished that day, I was crying and he was crying, and I went, 'One more?'"

Del Toro added that the second take was not as successful as the first.

"This is a moment that, I think, Bradley is playing so many chords — not playing, they're coming out of him," he said.

Read the original article on Insider

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