Bradley Cooper rode the success of the first Hangover into a key role in last summer's A-Team movie and this spring's hit thriller Limitless, but he still flinches when I ask how he's enjoying his newfound star power.
"I would disagree with you in terms of what the movie did," he says during a Toronto press stop."If anything, [Zach] Galifianakis wields more power than Ed [Helms] and I in the business. He can do whatever he wants, basically, and he's certainly capable of doing anything. And Ed, if Cedar Rapids had done what Limitless did, it would have been the same thing. They were both small movies; I just got lucky with Limitless. But certainly, no studio was willing to make it with me at the helm except for Relativity."
Really? After The Hangover and The A-Team and all those romantic comedies, Cooper still has to struggle to get a movie off the ground?
"Absolutely!" he says. "I don't sit back with a cigar and have scripts come in. I put myself on tape in my kitchen to play Lucifer last week," he says, talking about a new adaptation of Milton's Paradise Lost from Dark City director Alex Proyas.
"I studied it in college," he says. "I loved the poem, and I just loved the idea of Lucifer being a compelling character. Honestly, his hermeneutic is compelling. Hopefully, when he's been banished to Hell with his minions, you'll go, ‘That guy's making a lot of sense.'"
Cooper's also trying to figure out how to keep the Wolf Pack together, assuming The Hangover Part II does the business everyone thinks it will.
"I don't think it ends up here," he says. "I think it functions as a trilogy. There needs to be a third one."
Having laid waste to Vegas and Bangkok, where can the guys possibly go from here?
"I think," he says, his eyes shining with ideas he isn't ready to talk about, "we've earned the right to abandon the structure this time."