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Bradley Cooper discusses "heavy" nude scene of ‘Nightmare Alley’


Guillermo del Toro has packed in his fantastical gothic tendencies for Nightmare Alley, bringing audiences a crime thriller about a manipulative carnival worker and the female psychiatrist he hooks up with. Famous for his wild imagination and romantic storytelling, del Toro made a name for himself with the likes of the Oscar-winning Pan’s Labyrinth, action-adventure Pacific Rim and the modern fairytale The Shape of Water. 

Starring Bradley Cooper in the lead role, Nightmare Alley features an impressive ensemble cast that also includes Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette and Willem Dafoe. In a career-first for Cooper, known also for his role alongside Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook, the actor has recalled the difficulty of engaging in his very first on-screen sex scene. 

In conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor stated that the scene in question was “pretty heavy” recalling the moment when he and Toni Collette’s character engaged in a sexual act. “I remember reading in the script and thinking, he’s a pickled punk in that bathtub and it’s to story. You have to do it,” Cooper told the magazine.

Agreeing to the scene “because there was nothing gratuitous about it,” the actor praised Del Toro, adding, “Because the content of what the movie is, what we were exploring, in order to do it in a real way, it demanded that we’d be naked emotionally and soulfully”. 

Reflecting on his very first Hollywood nude scene, the actor recalled his time on Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, remembering, “I can still remember that day, just to be naked in front of the crew for six hours, and it was Toni Collette’s first day. It was just like, ‘Whoa.’ It was pretty heavy”.

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