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Why Was Bradley Cooper ‘Terrified’ About His TV Debut In Sex and the City? Actor Reveals

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Renowned actor Bradley Cooper discussed his anxiety-filled television debut while accepting Outstanding Performer honors at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. His first television role was playing Jake, a smoker, on Sex and the City. Cooper recalled feeling tremendous nervousness about entering episodic television early in his now-illustrious career. While receiving the award, he reflected on the humble beginnings of that breakthrough television part which kicked off his eventual rise to superstardom.

Bradley Cooper on his performance in Sex and the City

Cooper’s path to landing the role of Jake was filled with uncertainties and unexpected twists. Recounting his audition experience, he admitted to feeling incredulous at the prospect of actually securing the part. Juggling a job as a doorman at Morgans Hotel, Cooper’s foray into acting was anything but conventional. 

Yet, luck was on his side as he found himself fortunate enough to audition for the role that would mark his television debut. Recalling his audition he shared, as per PEOPLE, “I still remember it: I was Jake the downtown smoker. I auditioned for it, and at that time I didn’t really realize that you could ever get the job. Honestly, I thought that I had a job as a doorman at Morgans Hotel and then I was lucky enough to audition.”

However, what truly unnerved Bradley Cooper was the realization that he had embellished his driving skills during the audition process. When the call confirming his role came, he was gripped with terror at the thought of having to fulfill a skill he didn’t possess. “I remember when I got the call to do it I was terrified. ‘What do you mean I’m actually going to have to do it?’” he joked. “I couldn’t drive a stick shift, so they sent me to Models Driving School and I was just terrified,” he added. 

His inability to drive a stick shift sent him into a frenzy, and even after attending Models Driving School, he found himself struggling to master the art. Eventually, the production had to resort to employing someone else to handle the driving scenes. “I still messed it up, so they had somebody else drive the car and I just had to … pretend that we stopped,” he stated. 

ALSO READ: How Bradley Cooper and Gigi Hadid’s low-profile romance blossom into a shared neighborhood: Exploring Maestro actor’s newly-bought house

Michael Patrick King (Getty Images)

The maker of Sex and the City revealed about tweaking episode due to Bradley Cooper’s inability to drive 

Cooper’s guest appearance in the iconic episode, They Shoot Single People, Don’t They? of Sex and the City’s second season left an indelible mark on both the show and its viewers. Portraying the character of Jake, a fleeting romantic interest for Carrie Bradshaw, Cooper brought charm and charisma to the role despite his initial apprehensions.

Reflecting on Cooper’s involvement in the show, Sex and the City director and writer Michael Patrick King shed light on the challenges they faced due to the actor’s driving constraints. Talking about the hurdles, King revealed how the team had to tweak the episode, keeping in mind Cooper’s inability to drive. 

“Bradley Cooper — first job — said he could drive a stick to get the job because the character drove a Karmann Ghia Four in the morning, another Friday outside 14th Street and I said, ‘Bradley, this is where you drive, you take off.’ And he goes, ‘I can’t drive a stick.’ And so we fixed, changed, pivoted. Sarah Jessica’s character Carrie crawls out of the Karmann Ghia and walks herself home,” King recalled. 

From auditions fraught with uncertainties to on-set challenges, Cooper’s journey from a struggling actor to making it to the top of Hollywood’s pinnacle is surely one of its kind, as his experiences highlight his struggles to make a ground for himself in the industry. 

ALSO READ: Whose call made Bradley Cooper rush out of the Maestro Press conference mid-session? Answered

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