For fans of cinema, a new film by the Mexican maestro Guillermo Del Toro is big news, with the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy famous for his wicked imagination and compelling gothic tales. His latest movie, Nightmare Alley, looks to veer slightly from this formula, however, with the film including no sight of any fantastical beasts or wondrous magic; at least none that we know of.
Starring Bradley Cooper in the lead role, the film follows a nightclub mind reader who becomes caught up with Cate Blanchett’s Dr Lilith Ritter, a psychiatrist attempting to debunk his talent, the impressive cast also features Toni Collette, Ron Perlman, Willem Dafoe and Rooney Mara.
Speaking about the allure of the brand new role, Bradley Cooper spoke to Deadline to reveal his excitement about coming onboard, noting: “Originally for me, it was truly about the people I was getting to work with, which was Guillermo and Miles, and then the cast, which had basically already been assembled before I joined”. Continuing, the Silver Linings Playbook and Guardians of the Galaxy actor said that the role “terrified” him, adding: “But as we started to delve into it—and we had the real benefit of time and prep to work on this—the idea of inhabiting somebody who doesn’t know who they are”.
Speaking about his collaboration with the actor, Guillermo Del Toro discussed how he was attracted to Bradley Cooper after his appearance as Joseph Merrick in the Broadway version of The Elephant Man. Discussing this, Del Toro noted: “When we met, the only information I had was the movies he had done. But one of the things that gave me great hope and gave us kinship was that he had played Joseph Merrick in The Elephant Man”.
Clarifying that it was the “otherness” in the play that made Cooper shine, Del Toro added: “This sounds strange because The Elephant Man is almost on the opposite side, but there’s something where you understand the otherness with compassion”.
Check out the brand new trailer for Nightmare Alley below, with the film due to premiere in the US on December 17th.