Published: March 25, 2011
Bradley Cooper is officially a leading man. He’s currently starring in Limitless, the top-grossing movie in America; he’s all over the tabloids for dating and breaking up with some blond “actress”; and he’s fiendishly handsome. But more important, the characters he plays have excellent taste in cars. So in my role as VF’s gay car guy, I called him to talk Maseratis, Vin Diesel films, and the world’s stupidest bank robber.
Brett Berk: We’re here solely to discuss cars, Bradley. So this may be the only interview you do this week where you don’t get asked a single question about mind-altering drugs, Robert DeNiro, or your personal life. Are you down with that?
Bradley Cooper: I’m totally down with that.
So, first things first. Do you own a car?
I own two cars. A 2007 black Prius, and a 2004 G55 AMG Mercedes truck. Oh, and a Vespa.
Yeah. Todd Phillips gave Vespas to the cast of The Hangover II when we finished shooting. And I thought, a Vespa? What the heck kind of gift is that? I mean, it’s nice, but I’ll never drive it. But I tell you, I cannot stop riding that Vespa. I dream about it when I’m away. It’s gotten to the point where I think I’m screwed: I’m starting to look at motorcycles. I don’t know if you deal with motorcycles for your column, or just cars.
It’s pretty much been only cars. But, actually, in a couple weeks I’m supposed to take a motorcycle driver’s ed class. On a Ducati.
Nice. I’ve been looking at those too. The Ducati S 1000 racer is just gorgeous.
Yeah…. [Momentarily pictures himself riding with Bradley Cooper through the hills around Malibu on matching Ducatis, the wind whisking along their leather-clad bodies, the taste of sand and beer in their mouths.] In the Limitless trailer, you’re in a slick, navy-blue Maserati GranTurismo—a car I adore. Did you actually get to drive the GT and, if so, what’d you think?
Oh. Yeah. There’s just one shot in the film where I didn’t drive it. The rest, I was driving. The thing about the Maserati is, it’s a beautiful car, I mean it’s just ridiculous. But it’s also the perfect mix of luxury and sport. You get inside and you feel like you’re in, like, a top-of-the-line 7-Series BMW. But it’s a very high-performance sports car as well.
So did they let you take it home for a couple weeks to help you get into character?
That would have been lovely. But, no. Then again, neither does Eddie—the character I play. What you see in the trailer is, like, the only time he rides a car in the whole movie. That’s it. He mostly walks. He’s a big walker.
You’ve been in some other iconic vehicles in your movies as well. I’m particularly fond of the Mercedes convertible from The Hangover. I actually felt more emotional about that car getting ruined than I did about anything that happened to the characters.
Well, know that there were seven of them, one per scene. One was actually stolen from the set in Vegas—one that was already beat-up, so that was pretty hilarious. Of course they found it the next day, because you couldn’t miss the car. Not only that, the guy who stole it also robbed a bank. So they found him with that car, and, like, an old cartoon safe in the back seat. With the top down.
Not a very wise criminal.
Now, in that film, you got a little more drive time.
Yeah, we drove a lot in that movie. As a matter of fact, all that highway stuff, I actually did that, not a stunt driver. There’s nothing like driving on a closed highway, where every other car is going 30 and you’re weaving in and out, doing 70. Of course, Zach [Galifianakis] didn’t like that I was driving. He was a little nervous.
That Mercedes is one of my dream cars. Do you have a personal dream car?
I always liked the BMW Z8, the old Bond car. It was the first time I saw the speedometer in the middle of the car, I think, and that sold me on that. And the whole thing just looked like a bullet.
But no plans to replace the G or the Prius with a Z8?
No. Not really. I mean, I love the G. I’ll never get rid of it. I have two big dogs, and the back door opens like a door to a barn, so there’s a lot of room. And the Prius is great because it’s much more…feasible.
I understand. O.K., last question: Favorite movie from the Fast and the Furious franchise? I’m going to stick my neck out, personally, and go with Fast & Furious, the fourth one.
You’re going to kill me, but Tokyo Drift.
That’s the worst one, Bradley. The absolute worst one.
Yeah, but I like what they were doing, like, with the parking brake.
You’ve never actually seen the movie, have you?
Well, no. But I’ve seen the trailer. And I thought, I can’t believe they’re doing all that in a parking structure.
O.K., conceded. It was kind of a cool scene.
© 2011 Vanity Fair | Written by Brett Berk | No copyright infringment intended.