A few weeks go, Bradley Cooper told me that seeing John Hurt‘s Oscar-nominated performance in the film The Elephant Man inspired him to become an actor. And so the back end of 2014 finds Cooper, a top Hollywood star, with the title role in Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper, which slated to open Christmas Day. That high-profile role follows Cooper’s celebrated recent film roles, including American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook and The Hangover franchise. So what’s he doing now?
Cooper headed to Broadway, where he’s playing John Merrick, AKA, the Elephant Man, on stage in Broadway’s most intimate theater. How did he do? Well, watch my video review above of his work to see what I think.
This is a revival of Bernard Pomerance’s 1979 Tony-winning drama about a hideously deformed man in late 19th-century London who is rescued from freak-show gawkers by a doctor who introduces him to high society. In a role that’s catnip to actors and edifying for audiences — Billy Crudup last played Merrick on Broadway — Cooper stakes a solid claim to being the best yet.
And if you’re going to see American Sniper, where Cooper stars in a very different biopic, about a man who was the U.S. military’s most lethal sniper, plan to be amazed at how one actor commanded two such wildly disparate roles with such easy accessibility and humbling grace.
Have you seen the play, American Sniper or David Lynch‘s movie about Merrick? Will you go see Cooper in the role? Let us know.