Bradley Cooper has been one of Hollywood's biggest stars after breaking out in The Hangover (though many people first admired/hated him in The Wedding Crashers), but the superstar stud hasn't been satisfied with just movies. His role as John Merrick in The Elephant Man on Broadway landed him a Tony nomination, but Bradley Cooper lost at the 2015 Tony Awards. In the category of Best Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role In A Play, Cooper was up against fellow thespians Steven Boyer (Hand to God), Ben Miles (Wolf Hall), Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), and other movie star Bill Nighy (Skylight). And the recent Julliard graduation Sharp won for his role, leaving Cooper's performance as man with physical deformities in 19th century England to lose during the June 7 awards show.
Although true stage lovers may have scoffed at the idea of Cooper being nominated for Broadway's biggest award years ago, the three-time Oscar nominee has proven that he has legitimate talent. He undertook the role of Merrick with no makeup or prostheses (items that were used in the 1980 film version of The Elephant Man, starring John Hurt) by morphing his own body. And though that seems like a stretch for the 2011 recipient of People's Sexiest Man Alive title, he told 60 Minutes he succeeded in transforming into Merrick by "believing I'm him. That's how I do it. If I'm acting like I'm him or I don't quite make that leap of faith, there's absolutely no way you're gonna believe it." And though he convinced people enough to be nominated for the Tony Awards, he didn't win the award that Bryan Cranston took home last year.
The star of American Sniper was no stranger to his role in The Elephant Man as he had performed as Merrick in 2012 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival (alongside Patricia Clarkson, who was also in the Broadway play with him). He not only arranged the play coming to Broadway, but he's also currently recreating the role in England. So although the New York City production ended in Feb., you can always travel to the U.K. to see Cooper in action onstage.
While movie stars infiltrating the stage can be controversial (hey! you're already a movie star... do you really need to take over the Great White Way too?), the lead actor in a play category at the Tonys wasn't the only one with Hollywood A-listers nominated. The Best Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role In A Play nominees included Elisabeth Moss, Carey Mulligan, and winner Dame Helen Mirren. And although he wasn't a winner, Cooper has ascended to Broadway royalty, as well as Hollywood royalty — even with the critically-panned Aloha being his current film in theaters — with these women. The Tonys didn't fully recognize the massive star power of Cooper and he isn't any closer to an EGOT (winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) than he was before, but I'm OK with this Tony loss as long as Cooper can land that damn elusive Academy Award one of these days.
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