His first film role was a gay camp counselor in Wet Hot American Summer, and his first TV gig was playing a piece of Carrie's man candy on Sex and the City, so it was only a matter of time before The Advocate interviewed Bradley Cooper. Having broken out as bad boys in Wedding Crashers and He's Just Not That Into You, the 34-year-old Alias alum takes on another lovable jerk in The Hangover (out June 5), a testosterone-soaked comedy about a boozy bachelor party weekend in Vegas gone hysterically wrong. Here Cooper pours us a potent brew of gay-sex-scene secrets, off-screen bromances, and his hypothesis on homophobia in film.
Ready for your first gay-press interview?
Man, I'm honored that The Advocate wanted to talk to me. No segment of the population really makes itself known to me except for my mom and dad, so I love to hear that people are enjoying what I do. Let's gay it up.
You made your big-screen debut in 2001's comedy Wet Hot American Summer, in which you had a gay sex scene. Did you have any reservations about taking a role like that so early in your career?
Maybe for 10 minutes I thought, Is this the first thing I should do? But I'm pretty fearless. The joy of acting is getting to do outlandish things or putting yourself in unusual situations. You have this serious, beautiful sex scene between two men in the middle of this crazy comedy, and I just thought that was great. As long as the story is exciting, I'll do anything.
What do you remember about shooting that scene with costar Michael Ian Black?
I remember every second of that scene. We shot it about three or four weeks into shooting, which made it better because I had gotten to know him. Those guys all knew each other through The State and other things, but I was still in school at the Actors Studio and didn't know anybody. I just sort of auditioned for that movie randomly and was so lucky to get it. So I'm playing Ping-Pong with him the first night I arrived, and I was like, "So, we're going to fuck in a few weeks." [Laughs] We came up with the idea to keep our socks on, and we put tons of that sweat stuff all over our bodies to make them shine.
Did you guys argue —
About who was going to take it? No, it was very clear that my character was going to be the recipient of that kind of love. There was not even a question.
And in the film your character had a happy ending and a wedding ceremony. What are your thoughts on gay marriage?
Sean Penn summed it up perfectly when he talked about how years from now we'll look back and think, How could you not have seen the idiocy of not allowing gay marriage? I actually auditioned to play James Franco's role in Milk — I really wanted that — but oh, my God, Franco just killed it.