MovieMakers: Bradley Cooper of 'The Hangover'

The Washington Post's Jen Chaney challenges the star of "The Hangover" to a battle of movie knowledge wits. Video by Anna Uhls/The Washington Post
By Ellen McCarthy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 5, 2009

Bradley Cooper has the look of a perfect cad: collared shirt unbuttoned one notch further than the average fellow, dirty blond hair in waves that betray any trace of a comb, lounged oh-so casually with an elbow on the back of his chair at the Ritz-Carlton.

And yet: The man can't stop eating jelly beans. Or giggling.

"I'm soooo sorry. So sorry," he says smiling, with a red one clenched between his teeth. "I haven't eaten jelly beans in soooo long, and I love them so much."

"And they're in these little things, you know what I mean, to make them look appetizing," he continues.

The actor's disarming enthusiasm for candy is almost enough to make you believe him when he says things in his world aren't much different from they way they were 12 years ago when he was a senior at Georgetown University, a few blocks away.

Almost. But let's not forget that this is the guy whose bright blue eyes proved so seductively loathsome in "Wedding Crashers" and "She's Just Not That Into You." Whose acting résumé includes stints on "Alias" and "Nip/Tuck," and juicy roles in Jim Carrey's "Yes Man" and the cult comedy "Wet Hot American Summer."

And he's the guy who leads the ensemble cast of what could be one of the summer's highest-grossing comedies, "The Hangover." He has returned to Georgetown to promote that movie and is ready, now, to tell us what it's about.

"It's about jelly beans," he says, laughing.

"No. It's really simple. It's about these three guys who take their friend on a bachelor party to Vegas for the weekend right before his wedding. They think it's going to be this big party, but they wake up in the morning 10 minutes into the movie. . . . There's a tiger in the bathroom, there's a baby in the closet, they don't know where Doug, their groom, is, and they can't remember what happened."

Cooper, 34, wanted to make the film as soon as he finished reading the script. No, it was more than that: He knew he was going to make it. Which is just the kind of guy he is.

That brings us to a quick diversion and a Casey Kasem-style message Cooper wants to send to one lucky lady out there. Jessica Alexander, are you listening? You're the reason he's here. Er, was originally here -- in the neighborhood, anyway.

You see, Cooper and Jessica attended the same private Philadelphia high school. She was a senior; he was a few years younger. The day the yearbook came out, he saw it: "Jessica Alexander, Georgetown University."

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