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Is This the Best Performance of Bradley Cooper's Career?

Photo of Sam Adams By Sam Adams | Criticwire March 20, 2014 at 4:36PM

He may have just been an Actors' Studio student, but you get the feeling Bradley Cooper didn't sit in the middle of Sean Penn's reverse shot by accident.
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Slate's Aisha Harris (via Uproxx, via YouTube user Gabriel Antunes) notes the irony of a Louis C.K. rant on Stephen Merchant's radio program about how the guy asking Sean Penn a question from the audience at the end of "Inside the Actor's Studio" never turns out to be a successful actor, when in fact one of the people who asked Penn a question on his episode was Bradley Cooper. 

But it strikes me these esteemed commentators are missing the point. What we're seeing here is not irony, but early proof of Cooper's acting talent. Sure, he's coming off two consecutive Oscar nominations, but has he ever played anything as fully as he does the rabid interest with which he awaits Sean Penn's answer to his question about reprising his role in "Hurlyburly"? The way his blue shirt pops against his fellow students clad in tech-rehearsal black, you get the feeling Cooper didn't sit right in the middle of Penn's reverse shot by accident.



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