Brad Pitt honours Bradley Cooper at Santa Barbara Film Festival


The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, known for its celebration of cinema, became a platform for a heartfelt recognition between colleagues when actor Brad Pitt presented fellow actor Bradley Cooper with the festival’s distinguished Outstanding Performer of the Year award. Cooper, who has traversed from his comedic role in ‘The Hangover’ to profound biographical portrayals, received the accolade for his transformative portrayal of Leonard Bernstein in the upcoming film ‘Maestro’.

Brad Pitt graced the stage with humor and sincerity, remarking on the shared elements between him and Cooper, including cinematic superstardom and their first name, as reported by People. Pitt mused over the discernible chemistry and dynamic Cooper brought to his role in ‘The Hangover’, citing the unique and fresh energy he contributed which foreshadowed his lasting presence in the industry.

Pitt’s commendation extended to Cooper’s 2018 directorial debut, ‘A Star Is Born’, where he admired Cooper’s ability to deliver a nuanced performance alongside managing his duties behind the camera. Juggling the roles of actor and director successfully, Pitt praised Cooper for perfecting the rare skill of portraying a compelling character while maintaining an insightful oversight as a filmmaker.

Reflecting on Cooper’s most recent endeavor, Pitt heralded ‘Maestro’ as a “masterwork”, singling out a scene shared with Cooper’s costar Carey Mulligan. He described the interaction as “alive, kinetic and so natural”, recognizing the complex craft of such an achievement arising from superb acting and meticulous artistic construction.

According to Pitt, the crux of Cooper’s brilliance bubbles from an ardent love for bringing the nuances of the human condition to life. Through his acting and direction, Cooper dives deep into the entangled threads of humanity’s struggles, joys, and messiness, and it is this profound engagement that Pitt believes resonates with each frame that Cooper brings to life on screen.

Continuing his acclaim for Cooper’s feat in ‘Maestro’, Pitt hoped for Cooper’s success at the upcoming Oscars. The film received seven nominations, including Best Picture, Mulligan for Best Actress, and Cooper for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay which he shares with co-writer Josh Singer. With a history of twelve nominations, Pitt voiced his support for Cooper’s victory, though reassuring that in the event of a win or not, it remained evident that Cooper’s time to shine is simply a matter of when, not if.

The sentimental homage concluded with Pitt playfully noting Cooper’s resilience as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, drawing chuckles and nods from those in attendance. The recognition marked a poignant reversal because it was only four years prior that Cooper had bestowed an honor upon Pitt, presenting him with the award for best-supporting actor for his role in ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ at the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala in January 2020.

The exchange of honors between Pitt and Cooper testifies to the mutual appreciation and camaraderie existing among peers within the arts. This heartwarming episode at the Santa Barbara Film Festival served not only as a celebration of Cooper’s achievements but also as a testament to the enduring support and collaboration that defines the spirit of filmmaking. As ‘Maestro’ approaches its release, audiences worldwide eagerly anticipate experiencing the portrayal that has garnered critical acclaim and recognition from Cooper’s peers, notably the laudation from Brad Pitt, an icon in his own right.

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