Bradley Cooper, the renowned actor-turned-director, recently shared insights into his approach to filmmaking, revealing unique on-set rules and his transition to directing. In a candid conversation with Spike Lee for Variety's Actors on Actors series, Cooper discussed his directorial style, particularly while working on his latest project, "Maestro." Cooper, who not only directs but also produces and stars in "Maestro," described his move from in front of the camera to behind it as a "natural transition." He explained that the shift came naturally once he mustered the courage to both write and direct.
However, it's his unique on-set rules that have caught the attention of many.
Cooper's Unique Directing Rules
A standout rule in Cooper's directing playbook is his dislike for chairs on set. "I've always hated chairs on sets; your energy dips the minute you sit down in a chair," he explained, emphasizing the importance of maintaining high energy levels during production.
This unusual approach also extends to playback; Cooper avoids it entirely, along with the common practice of having a 'video village' on set. Another distinctive aspect of Cooper's directorial style is maintaining a largely closed set.
He believes in creating a sanctuary for his actors, allowing minimal external interference. This rule was so strict that, aside from multiple visits by producer Steven Spielberg, no one else was permitted on set. Cooper's immersion into his characters is another highlight of his method.
He shared insights from his experience on "American Hustle," where he first observed Christian Bale maintaining his character's voice throughout the shoot. This approach, initially perplexing to Cooper, later became a part of his acting technique.
He emphasized the importance of staying in character while still being able to engage in everyday conversations, a balance he admired in Bale and has since adopted. As Cooper continues to carve out his niche in the world of film direction, his unconventional methods and dedication to his craft are setting a new standard in the industry.
His commitment to maintaining a focused and energized set environment, along with his deep involvement in his roles, exemplifies his passion for filmmaking. "Maestro" not only marks another milestone in Cooper's career but also showcases his unique perspective as a filmmaker.