Before Bradley Cooper became the sultry heartthrob that he is today, he was auditioning for Spike Lee, and being quickly ushered out of the room like any other aspiring actor.
At a Meet the Nominees Feature Film event on Saturday, Spike Lee discussed his process for sifting through prospective talent while casting for a film. He explained the attentiveness he channels while swiftly moving through the actors auditioning for a role. As Lee recalled his process, Cooper jumped in to reminisce on the first time he ever auditioned for the acclaimed director.
“You get a chance to read for Spike Lee, you’re never going to forget that,” Cooper said. “You said ‘Hello, how are you,’ you asked me about Philly, you did the thing and you got me out quick. You were going hard. You’re a very present human being.” Lee didn't immediately remember the encounter, however, he laughed as Cooper was telling the story. Lee then applauded actors' determination and asked Cooper how many rejections he faced before landing a role. "Thousands," he replied.
The panel included Cooper for A Star is Born, Lee for BlacKkKlansman, Adam McKay for Vice, Peter Farrelly for Green Book and Alfonso Cuaron for Roma.
McKay also provided some behind-the-scenes recaps on the set of Vice. While producing the 2018 film, McKay dealt with stress by smoking cigarettes, resulting in him having a heart attack on set. During the panel, McKay said that Christian Bale's study of Dick Cheney's character extended to his knowledge of heart attack symptoms.