American writer Bernard Pomerance told his version in a 1977 play. And so me and my friends would pretend we were in 'Stand By Me.'". What psychological insight “The Elephant Man” provides is generated less by Merrick than by the response to him of others — or to be exact, one other. "She's in seventh heaven, she's loving it," Cooper said on Oscar Night. Bradley Cooper is surprising. Charlie Heaton, who plays troubled teen Jonathan Byers in the Netflix sci-fi hit Stranger Things, is set to star in a BBC1 biopic about Joseph Merrick — better known as The Elephant Man. Why don't I get a round-trip ticket?'". ", "Oh, 100 percent, yeah. Photo: Joan Marcus. Symbolic heft, worn with anonymous grace under considerable physical stress, is what’s required of anyone playing the title character in Mr. Pomerance’s carefully arranged, instructive drama, which has been directed by Scott Ellis and also stars Patricia Clarkson and an excellent Alessandro Nivola. He took his mom to both ceremonies. Bradley Cooper will be heading to London to perform a 12-week run of The Elephant Man, following its run in New York Critics are calling Bradley Cooper … Bradley Cooper steps out in London in casual T-shirt and shorts ahead of Elephant Man performance By Kate Thomas And Joanna Crawley For Mailonline. But once that pose is struck, much of the actor’s work is done. This thesis was delivered most baldly in Sean Mathias’s 2002 production with Mr. Crudup, which used Brechtian supertitles. Bradley Cooper—in the role that inspired him to become an actor—leads an ensemble production of The Elephant Man on Broadway. His research led him to England. The Elephant Man: In brief. Previews for The Elephant Man … In the show’s elegant centerpiece scene, a succession of people — including Treves, the celebrated actress Mrs. Kendal (Ms. Clarkson), a hospital head (Henry Stram) and a stately bishop (Anthony Heald) — all speak of how much Merrick is “like me.”. "I was young, like, 11 or 12. "The Elephant Man" Director Scott Ellis and Bradley Cooper rehearse a scene from the Broadway revival of "The Elephant Man." He earned a second nomination earlier this year for "American Hustle. And movies like 'Platoon' or especially 'Stand By Me,' cause 'Stand By Me' was all about train tracks with these kids. When Bradley Cooper visited Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show" Friday, the two attempted to talk about Cooper’s turn in the title role of a Broadway production of “The Elephant Man.” The story left such an impression on Cooper that he performed the role of Merrick for his master's thesis in drama school in New York. It was a joke for people around me that this little kid was saying he's going to be an actor. I was mainly excited, because I saw how much he was excited, and I idolized him.". The play closed in 1981 after eight previews and 916 regular performances. The play retells the real-life story of Merrick’s “rehabilitation” under the tutelage of the rising young surgeon Frederick Treves (Mr. Nivola), who transports his unlikely protégé from sideshow squalor to upper-class gentility. “Before I spoke with people,” he says, “I did not think of all these things, because there was no one to bother to think them for. It crystallized, and I said, 'This is what I want to do with my life.'". Even if you can’t identify the man onstage as the one who starred in the blockbuster “Hangover” film franchise, you’re always aware of the sheer, looming presence of him. I have money saved. It later played in repertory at the National Theatre in London. Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola, and Patricia Clarkson in The Elephant Man. But it is Mr. Cooper whom most ticket buyers have come to see. ", "Yeah, it's true. The staging doesn’t hit you over the head with implicit metaphors or sermonizing, which is just as well, since the script sometimes does. A carnival barker type assures us that this exotic creature — who “exposes himself to crowds who gape and yawp” — looks like nobody else on the planet. Now, things just come out of my mouth which are true.” These include implicit, gentle rebukes of the moralistic and hypocritical code that governs imperial Britain. Published: 10:03 EDT, 28 May 2015 | … ", His father, Charles, who passed away three years ago, would show him classic films like "Apocalypse Now, " "The Deer Hunter," "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull." It premiered at the Hampstead Theatre in London on 7 November 1977. That’s because the only glimpse we’ve been allowed so far of the title character — and more important, of the man playing him — has been as a shadow behind a thin but view-obstructing curtain. The 1980 film stars John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft. But what he brings to this production is the weight of years of being stared at as an adult, and he is the first star of his stature to take on the part in our post-Warhol world of celebrity obsession. One imagines that someone as famous as Mr. Cooper has ample experience of what this feels like. Crudup.) Bradley Cooper as John Merrick in the play "The Elephant Man" at the Booth Theater. He has a great deal more depth and ability than those Hangover films allow him to show. Review: Bradley Cooper is The Elephant Man in Broadway Revival And now I am emotionally compromised. Instead, what this actor has become is a big blank slate onto which others may project whatever they choose. Serena Altschul catches up with Cooper and fi... California Privacy/Information We Collect. The production's Broadway debut in 1979 at the Booth Theatre was produced by Richmond Crinkley and Nelle Nugent, and directed by Jack Hofsiss. "the elephant man" bradley cooper 2015 tony award voters original press booklet. A current of electric impatience runs through the audience during the opening scenes of the sturdy revival of Bernard Pomerance’s “The Elephant Man,” which opened on Sunday night at the Booth Theater. Bradley Cooper as transformed into the Elephant Man. Without help from makeup, prosthetics, or costumes, Cooper … Technically, the carny is describing the grotesquely deformed John Merrick, who makes his living as a sideshow attraction in Victorian England. But as … Clarkson has only done a few nude scenes, although one of them was live on stage during the run of The Elephant Man with Bradley Cooper. Cooper's interest in "The Elephant Man" continued to grow. His movies have made more than $2 billion worldwide and earned him two Oscar nominations, but for Bradley Cooper, this may be the most personal role yet ... and, as he explains to Serena Altschul, the realization of a long-standing dream: When Bradley Cooper was a kid in the Philadelphia suburbs, he'd sit for hours in his local theater watching movies with his dad: "Oh yeah, and there used to be an organ down there on the bottom right that they would play when you were coming in-between shows. It is Mr. Pomerance’s firmly underlined point that, whether he is the object of ridicule among street mobs or of fawning praise among aristocrats, Merrick is always a mirror to a flawed and frightened society. He is, as he should be, the elephant in the room. I thought I was going to do the thesis, I was doing research. please view images of actual item with magnifier and ask questions. "It wasn't a big planned thing. That was interesting!" In interviews, he has said that he has been fascinated by Merrick’s story since he was a boy. It seems fitting that Mr. Cooper is broader and more conspicuously muscular than his best-known, relatively lithe-bodied predecessors in the role. "Honestly, it was something that sort of overtook me," he said. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times The production, which has had huge success at the box office on Broadway, will run at the Theater Royal Haymarket in the West End of the city from May 19 to Aug. 8. "Was this dream [to do the show on Broadway] born in Williamstown, or was this a dream that was hatched a long time ago?" From then on, he is not Bradley Cooper, or even someone in the mold of one of the finely detailed neurotics he has portrayed so compellingly in films like “Silver Linings Playbook” or “American Hustle.”. Bradley Cooper deservedly won a Tony nomination for his performance as John Merrick, the Victorian "freak" for whom the surgeon Frederick Treves at the London Hospital became physician and benefactor, and it's a pleasure to welcome him to London in this expert revival of a beautiful play, which arrives from the Williamstown Theatre Festival via last year's Broadway season. It's absolutely surreal. Soon enough, Mr. Cooper is on full-frontal, clinical display, wearing nothing but a pair of period-appropriate underpants and a face as neutral as a death mask. Extreme beauty … original 2015 tony awards voters "the elephant man" broadway production 4 page press booklet. But like Merrick, she is more a notion in motion than a full character. Although Cooper's roles in the 2015 films Aloha and Joy earned him two additional nominations, his performance as the severely deformed Joseph Merrick in the Broadway revival The Elephant Man garnered more recognition. Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the our 24/7 digital news network. From left, Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson in a revival of Bernard Pomerance’s “The Elephant Man,” set in Victorian England. But her interpretation throws off the rhythms of the dialogue and denies us the more basic satisfactions of Mrs. Kendal’s artful, parrying wit. Also Read | 'A Star Is Born' Cast: All Actors In Bradley Cooper's Directorial Debut. Bradley Cooper in ‘The Elephant Man’ Offers Gorgeous Along With The Beast With Cooper in the lead, the play takes on new meaning, teaching us what it’s like to be a movie star in ways E! Photograph of John Hurt as "Joseph Merrick" in the Elephant Man … Bradley Cooper, left, and Alessandro Nivola in "The Elephant Man," directed by Scott Ellis, at the Booth Theater. already, can we just go ahead and pull back that curtain? "When I saw 'The Elephant Man,' I knew it. In 2012 he brought his interpretation to the highly-regarded Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. On 60 Minutes, Bradley Cooper talked with Steve Kroft about his transformation into Joseph Merrick inThe Elephant Man on Broadway. ", "Yup! Ms. Clarkson, one of the canniest actresses working, would seem to be trying to avoid stereotype by portraying Mrs. Kendal as a hazy, trans-Atlantic eccentric who speaks as if in a dream. Wow, I'm glad that's over.". "She was excited. "And all of a sudden I'm at the London Hospital crossing Whitechapel Road to where he was, and walked in the gardens that he walked at midnight. Though the part of Merrick made a one-season wonder of Philip Anglim when he originated the role on Broadway in 1979 — and has since attracted the likes of David Bowie (one of Mr. Anglim’s replacements) and Billy Crudup (who appeared in the 2002 revival) — it doesn’t allow for radical variation or nuance. Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. Ensconced in a private hospital suite and attired like a Victorian gentleman (Clint Ramos did the costumes), Merrick says that perhaps his head is so big because it is so full of dreams. "That was . When his lauded performance as John Merrick, AKA the Elephant Man, completes its limited run at the Booth Theatre on February 22, Cooper and the … Bradley Cooper, so excellent in 2006's Three Days of Rain, returns to Broadway in Bernard Pomerance's period piece about the severely deformed Joseph Merrick. The last time Bradley Cooper was on Broadway, in 2006’s Three Days of Rain, ... and the results are evident in the opening-weekend box office of The Elephant Man. But the point registers quite clearly, thank you, even in a less openly didactic interpretation like this one, which was previously staged at the Williamstown Theater Festival. asked Altschul. The epigrammatic and empathetic Mrs. Kendal, who knows from striking poses and being gawped at, is a scene-stealing showboat. © 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. Both tell the true story of a severely-deformed London man named Joseph Merrick (John in the film and play) who's put on display as an attraction at a freak show -- known as the Elephant Man. His parents were sceptical of his career choice until they saw him play the part of John Merrick in an excerpt from the play. . He made his way to the hospital where Merrick lived and was studied until he died in 1890 at the age of 27. Designed by Timothy R. Mackabee, Mr. Ellis’s “The Elephant Man” makes discreetly poetic use of sliding curtains to echo imagery about illusion and concealment. His father introduced him to films like The Elephant Man, which inspired him to be an actor. It ran Off-Broadway from 14 January to 18 March 1979, at The Theatre at St. Peter's. (In the printed script, Mr. Pomerance cautions, “No one with any history of back trouble should attempt the part of Merrick as contorted.”) But once that pose is struck, much of the actor’s work is done. How did his mom react? There’s strong work also from Stram as the head of the hospital, a brisk pragmatist not without decency; and … geez. O.K. Serena Altschul catches up with Cooper and finds out why "The Elephant Man" is the role of a lifetime. But the script’s arc is shaped not so much by Merrick’s transformation as by the reactions to it. The Elephant Man is a play by Bernard Pomerance. It is a strenuous role, for sure, demanding a hunched, muscle-taxing posture for the play’s duration. But it was his father's insistence on watching one particular movie that changed everything. "I'm someone who thinks big -- I NEVER thought that I'd be able to do 'The Elephant Man' on Broadway," he replied. I mean, it was incredible.". (So, for the record, did Rupert Graves, who played opposite Mr. "So this is kind of a dream come true for you? Reflected by Mr. Nivola in liquid eyes that are at odds with his rigid stance, Treves’s conflict between rule-bound propriety and inner unease summons the soul-shaking crises of faith memorably described by eminent Victorians like Thomas Carlyle and John Stuart Mill. Bradley Cooper transformed by "The Elephant Man" His movies have made more than $2 billion worldwide and earned him two Oscar nominations, but for Bradley Cooper, … The Oscars are a long way from reenacting movies as a kid in his backyard: "I would just come out of my house and just walk, which my mother hated, 'cause she thought it was so dangerous. His performance in The Elephant Man landed him four nominations, including a nod for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play And Mr. Nivola delivers it beautifully. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone. By Petra Halbur Nov 11th, 2014, 8:00 pm . The Elephant Man-Bradley Cooper. As Peter Pan is traditionally portrayed by a gamine actress, and Hairspray’ s … And then I just thought, 'Wait a second. . ", It's been a surreal two years since we last caught up with the 39-year-old native of Jenkintown, Pa., just before he was nominated for an Oscar for "Silver Linings Playbook.". thick paper stock full color pages. Cooper laughed. Bradley Cooper, who stars as the grotesquely deformed John Merrick, unlikely darling of Victorian society, may well be the most beautiful feature of all. ", Altschul asked, "So when you sat here in this theater as a kid, did you think at all, 'I'd love to be an actor'? But for much of the audience, the reference might as well be to the guy People magazine once crowned “the Sexiest Man Alive,” the movie star Bradley Cooper. Feast your eyes upon this image while you can, and perhaps be so good as to feel a little guilty for doing so. Not to worry, dear theatergoers and film fans. Nearly 30 years later, roles in films like "American Hustle," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "The Hangover" have made Cooper one of the biggest movie stars in the world -- and, don't forget, People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 2011. The transition is impressive and one that has garnered the actor critical praise and acclaim. There has been much discussion of the astonishing reality attached to this silhouette. Within a few moments, Mr. Cooper — without makeup or prosthetics — will have slowly and painstakingly distorted his form and features beyond recognition. "There's something about this guy's spirit that connected with people, and it connected with me in a pretty fundamentally profound way," Cooper said. In this version, it is Treves to whom we look for emotional complexity.
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