Hollywood star Bradley Cooper, 36, whose film Limitless opens in India on Friday, says he can’t wait for the sequel of his laugh riot, The Hangover, to hit the screen.
"The Hangover Part II is shot in Bangkok. It is darker and grittier, so get ready," says Cooper about the second coming of the most successful comedy in the history of Hollywood. It hits theatres worldwide in May.
The actor also credits the movie for providing an impetus to his career. "Clearly, being a part of a movie that’s so financially lucrative provides opportunities, and that’s what that movie did for everybody," he says.
The actor, who has "not had the chance yet" to catch up on a desi potboiler, says he wouldn’t mind starring in one "if the script is great". "Indian films have a beautiful visual landscape. I have also heard of the variation that the films are offering these days," he says.
Right now, the only thing on his mind is Limitless. A paranoia-action thriller about an unsuccessful writer whose life is transformed by a top-secret ‘smart drug’ that allows him to use 100% of his brain and become a perfect version of himself, the movie has topped the US box office and Cooper hopes it repeats history in India.
"I’m over the moon that it did well in America. It really is a kind of an underdog movie in many ways - it's a drama, a thriller, it cost 27 million; it's taking a chance of putting me in a lead role. I thought it was going to be a festival movie, and when Relativity started to get excited and talk about it in a bigger way, I was nervous - I never saw this as that kind of shot. I’m hoping that India, too, enjoys the film and our efforts," says the actor, who shares the screen with veteran Robert De Niro in the outing.
"He is one of the reasons I became an actor. When you work with someone that good, your job gets very easy. All you have to do is react to what they’re doing," he says.
Throwing light on his character, Cooper says, "I play Eddie Morra in the movie. When we meet him, he's down and out. Living the way he does might have been cool when he was 25, but at 35, it becomes pathetic.
"When Eddie takes the NZT, his problems are solved. He writes his manuscript very fast. Then it's a question of what else is he going to do with his enhanced abilities. What would you do if you became the best version of yourself? First of all, who would that be? And then what price would you have to pay in order to achieve it? It’s quite a question," he adds.
Getting into the skin of his character was not easy for him. "I was really faced with a dilemma, namely, how do I make this real for myself? So that I’m not acting it…So that I’m not effecting it on the day, because that would be brutal to do and very brutal to watch. Because I thought, even if I read up on neurological science for the next four years it wouldn’t give me any kind of meaty material which I could then turn into an organic expression that would make you believe that I’d opened up a new frontier of experience, all the synapses of my brain," he says.
"I just went to a completely different place of something that I thought would move me in a way that by expressing it, you could think that I’d taken that drug. That’s my way in," he adds.
So how was it playing the perfect version of youself? "I just couldn’t wait to get out and play him (Eddie Morra) each day. I couldn’t get enough of it. And I enjoyed the aspect of the drug. I tend to speak very fast and so I liked these paragraphs that I had to memorise and speak, because when he’s on the drug there’s no ‘you know’ or stutter or anything. He thinks in these succinct paragraphs that just come out, and I love doing that," he says.
Mostly been associated with comedies and romcoms, is Limitless a deliberate step towards changing the image?
"Acting’s acting, whether it’s comedy or drama. Elia Kazan said ‘If you’re going to audition to play a cowboy you better show up with the horse.’ It’s beyond my control who’s going to cast me or how you’re going to be pigeonholed. So for me it’s just basic I want to keep doing different things because I want to get better. So hopefully I’ll be hired to do them," says Cooper.
When asked if he wants to go behind the camera, too, he says, “I really want to direct movies, I just haven’t done it yet!”