Bradley Cooper Talks ‘Place Beyond the Pines’ & His Most Complex Character Yet
Bradley Cooper in Focus Feature's 'The Place Beyond the Pines'.
In "The Place Beyond the Pines," Cooper plays Avery Cross, an ambitious young police officer who crosses paths with a motorcycle-riding bank robber motivated by familial responsibilities (Ryan Gosling). While interviewing Cooper to promote today's home entertainment release of the film, Cooper told us Avery is "by far the most complicated character I've played on film." That's saying something, considering Solitano's issues.
Writer/director Derek Cianfrance's film is quite complex in its own right, which makes it challenging to properly discuss the intricacies of Cooper's stirring performance without doing some serious plot spoiling. So, for the good of the art, we went there. You've been properly warned.
That said, the interview below is a can't-miss – just like the film itself.
"The Place Beyond the Pines" blew my mind.
Bradley Cooper: It's something else, isn't it? Yeah. I agree with you, dude. I am so proud to be a part of that movie. I think he's an incredible director.
How do you describe this movie?
BC: That's a good question. I think it's a generational story about fathers and sons. I think is how I would describe it. Does that sound accurate? What it is to be a man – dealing with the idea of what it is to be a man.
Yeah. I didn't get that in the marketing.
I think that's a really good tag line. I was kind of surprised by what I did see on the screen. Pleasantly surprised, but there was something in the marketing I would have liked to have known more about.
BC: Yeah. It's a hard movie to market, man, because you don't want to give away the fact that your hero gets killed, because you want people to go to the movie. You also want to bring people in, so I think maybe you play up the violence. I'm just not sure. I don't envy those who had to market the movie.
Well, I think it will hold up and I definitely think it will do really well in home entertainment, because it's so interesting.
BC: Yes. I do too. I hope it gets out there because he's a director that should be reckoned with for many, many, many years. It was such an ambitious movie.
The only reason why I even did the movie was to work with Ryan Gosling, who I just think is incredible, and Derek, after meeting Derek.
But after doing the movie, man, I fell in love with that character. I think it's the most complicated character I've ever played. For sure.
How do you describe him?
BC: A man who is in quiet desperation to discover who he is. I think where Luke, Ryan's character, is sort of outwardly, animalistically expressing who he is as man, Avery is torn by the emotional dilemmas that he has in his life.
He is the son of a judge, growing up in the very blue-collar town of Schenectady. So he becomes a cop instead. But at the same time, he can't shy away from what it is that he's good at, which is being a leader. But in what sense? Because the world that he wants to lead is gray, it's not black and white. And even he is a part of that, a part of the shooting. Did he pull the trigger first? So he deals with the shame of that – the consequences of violence.