Why Bradley Cooper's Story Matters
Start writing a post

Why Bradley Cooper's Story Matters

His success is proof of all the career building advice we've ever received.

Why Bradley Cooper's Story Matters

2013 was the year I found one of my biggest role models: successful actor and producer Bradley Cooper. I first noticed him during the 2013 Academy Awards, when he was nominated for his leading role as Pat Solitano in “Silver Linings Playbook.” I recognized him from “The Hangover,” the raunchy comedy hit all my high school friends loved, but was confused over his history in the business. He seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, accompanied by A-list friends, awards, and ecstatic critical acclaim.

I took interest. I researched, watched, and ended up loving his performance in “Silver Linings Playbook,” followed by his work in “American Hustle” and “Elephant Man,” among others. I eventually uncovered a life story that, to this day, is the motivational cure to all my moments of self-doubt. I believe every aspiring professional should take the time to listen and learn from Cooper’s journey, as the steps he took can be applied to any field of work. He embodies every word of career wisdom your parents ever reeled off to you while growing up.

He took the time to study his craft.

Cooper discovered his love for acting from the countless movies he watched with his father while growing up. He knew he wanted to pursue the art form, but not before he went to school. He graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in English and was later accepted into Pace University’s Actor's Studio Drama School, graduating from the three-year program with an MFA.

During his Actors Studio interview with James Lipton, Cooper breaks down into tears while thanking the professors who taught him. Not only did they teach him how to properly break down and analyze a script, but they taught how to relax, be authentic, and stay honest while performing onstage. What he learned in school became the foundation for all his future professional roles. He still falls back on his training to this day.

Cooper is proof that in order to be great, and remain great, we must take time to let ourselves grow and mature. Often we may feel the urge to rush into careers or expect to sail straight into the C-suite. But what happens fast tends to end fast. Successful, long-lasting careers are not built in a day, so don’t be discouraged if your ideal job has yet to arrive. Take the time to learn, study, and grow in preparation for it.

He works with passion and confidence.

Talent alone can only take an individual so far. Dedication and remaining loyal to one’s cause is what transforms hopefuls into professionals. In his interview with Lipton, Cooper recalls working on “The Hangover” and feeling especially intimidated while working with Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms. He feared he would be unable to deliver a worthy performance alongside such comedic veterans. However, when he confided in actor Ken Jeong about his doubts, Jeong simply replied, “Yeah, well, you better fucking bring it.” The response jolted Cooper, but its crass packaging carried within an important message that he never forgets.

Do not belittle or doubt yourself. What you give toward your career path, you will receive back in connections, knowledge, promotion, experience, and more. If Cooper had let intimidation and self-doubt get the better of him, his performance, and possibly the next stage in his career, would have suffered. Be passionate and confident in what you do. Your colleagues in the room with you may be extremely talented, intelligent, or gifted but don't forget, you're in that room for a reason as well.

He continues to remain open-minded and humble.

Cooper explained in an interview that when seeking out new work, he gravitates toward challenging roles. The more he works, the more dogmatic he is about his technique. Cooper finished his answer with

"I just want to get better; that's basically what it is. I really just want to keep getting better and better and better and work harder and learn [. . . ] there's literally no difference in my mindset from when I was a student."

No matter how far we excel in our careers, it is important that we remain flexible and open to growth. Adaptation is the key to professional longevity. Never believe you have found the formula to eternal success, because the formula is ever changing. Happily welcome new challenges and perspectives.

He loves what he does.

Too often we stray from our desired path to pursue careers that aren't personally fulfilling. Obtaining a steady income is essential, but never sacrifice the hobbies or passions that bring you internal wealth as well. Find a way to incorporate what you love into what you do everyday. Cooper ends the interview by explaining his profound love for performing. He states,

"The one thing I've realized in having whatever success I've had [. . .] thinking that that is going to solve my problems [. . .] there's no difference. And the joy that I get from doing it now as opposed to doing "HurlyBurly" in school, no different. So I always try to remind myself, God, make sure that's really what I want to do. [. . .] The money, [. . .] the people who know who I am, it doesn't do anything for you, it doesn't give you anything. Zero. In anything you sort of have to grapple with and come to terms with it. But the only thing that really matters is the joy of picking up a cup in a scene and doing it authentically."

And don't let anyone ever tell you it's impossible. Louis C.K. once made a harsh comment how the aspiring actors in the audience for Actor's Studio interviews have no chance of ever becoming as successful as the famous guests they ask their questions to. Ironically, Cooper sat in on numerous Actor's Studio interviews as a graduate student, asked questions to actors such as Sean Penn and Robert De Niro, and today is one of the most sought-after American actors. In fact, Cooper would go on to act alongside C.K. in "American Hustle."

Cooper's success is proof of all the career building advice we've ever received while growing up. His story will forever remain as a reminder that if you find something you love, pursue it. Pursue it with everything you have and never look back.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Olivia White

"The American flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies from the last breath of each solider who died protecting it."

Keep Reading... Show less

Separation Anxiety in Pets

Separation anxiety in pets is a real thing and recognizing the warning signs is important.


Since March, Covid-19 required most of the world to quarantine in their homes. Majority of people ended up working from home for nearly five months. This meant pet owners were constantly with their pets giving them attention, playing with them, letting them out etc. Therefore, when the world slowly started to open up again and pet owners began returning to normal life work schedules away from the home, pet owners noticed a difference in the way their pet acted. Many pets develop separation anxiety especially during this crazy time when majority people were stuck inside barely leaving the house.

Keep Reading... Show less
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments