Bradley Cooper signs on for 'Elephant Man' play
April 16th, 2012
04:44 PM ET

Bradley Cooper signs on for 'Elephant Man' play

This summer, Bradley Cooper is going to go from Sexiest Man to “The Elephant Man."

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Cooper - who was tapped last year as People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive - will transform himself into the gruesome character for the stage.

The production, which also stars Patricia Clarkson, will run from July 25 through August 5 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

“The Elephant Man” is about a severely deformed man named Joseph Merrick who became a famous figure in London society, and Cooper reportedly played the part as part of his senior thesis at the Actors Studio Drama School.

A 1980 film chronicling Merrick’s real-life story, starring John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft, picked up eight Academy Award nominations - including one for best picture - following its release.

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Melanie

    And the actor doesn't "improvise" the role. Improvisation involves making up lines and actions as you're playing them. In the play, the actor speaks the script but does not wear makeup. The playwright used this device to show that Merrick was indeed a real person. It allowed the audience to see him NOT as a "gruesome character," as CNN's writer so carelessly called him.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Melanie

    I saw the original London production of the play and also saw it on Broadway. In the play, they don't generally do the makeup as they did in the film. The actor simply contorts his body for it. Cooper played the role while at the Actors Studio and was praised greatly for his work. People forget that he's a well-trained actor. Don't judge someone by the roles they haven't yet had the opportunity to play. You don't know what he's capable of. I also doubt seriously that anyone would remake the film.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Grace R

    "gruesome character" ?! Joseph was a real person with real feelings who had the misfortune to suffer from a disfiguring condition. This condition still exists. I don't think that the people living today who also suffer from the condition would appreciate being referred to as "gruesome characters."

    April 18, 2012 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. A waste of time to remake a movie whose message is lost on everyone

    I am physically scarred and I can vouch for the fact that pretty much most people do not care about what hurtful things they say.

    April 18, 2012 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. leepinlannie

    its a broadway play NOT A MOVIE........... cripe cant u ppl read............... and with all the makeup they have to do to make john merrick. ya wouldnt even know its bradly cooper..... dahhhhhhhhhhh......i think hes a good actor....... the movie limitless was good with him..... so play away brad.... im sure u will do a fine job..... its a very moving story............... shows just how cruel and awful humans can be to such a gentle man as john merrick was............ nuff said........ peace

    April 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sharon

    CNN, you missed the whole point of this wonderful and touching story by calling the elephant man "a gruesome character."

    April 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. danielwalldammit

    That reminds me. this is one of the classics that I never did see. Have to now.

    April 17, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • leepinlannie

      it was great movie... and that it is a true story makes ya just wanta shake ppl for being so awful to the man............. he was a brillant man also....... prepare to have ur heart bent lil bit..i did.... but u will never forget the story ever

      April 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jp

    Oh. My. God. John Hurt's performance – shattering and incredible. David Lynch's direction – masterful. The whole bloody movie was brilliant and nominated like 8 times for Academy Awards.
    Bradley Cooper??? Come ON! There is no way that this guy is going to remotely catch what John Hurt did in his portrayal – NO WAY. GUARANTEED.
    Brad: wake up, dude: you haven't got the chops for this.

    April 17, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • JonfromLI

      Are you kidding? You must not have seen Cooper's spellbinding performance in "The Hangover".

      April 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TJ

    I agree...Please do not attempt to remake this classic into a movie. As for the play, I remember when it was playing in NY years ago, the actor did not use make-up and only improvised the role.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      It was a move...directed by David Lynch. Excellent film but hard to watch in spots because of the cruelty depicted. If it doesn't move you and make you cry, you are one hard hearted person.

      April 17, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jva

    Okay, as long as he's only starring in the Broadway revival. This film, like oh so many others, does NOT NEED TO BE REMADE!!! Leave perfection alone...fine if you want to exercise your acting chops live, but please...for the sake of all that is holy in movie-dom...leave this film alone!

    April 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Elephant Man



    April 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |

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