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Young Bradley Cooper’s weird brush with Robert De Niro

Bradley Cooper revealed on Tuesday’s The View that he has a vintage connection with his Limitless co-star — he once asked him a question on Inside the Actors Studio.

Bradley Cooper was just a college student when Robert De Niro appeared on Inside the Actors Studio in 1999, but Cooper had the good fortune to share the screen with him when De Niro answered a question posed by the young Cooper.

“The thing was, he was like, ehhhhh—” Cooper said on The View, lapsing into a De Niro impression, serious face, rubbing his head, “—and said, ‘That was a good question.’ That was huge.”

Inside the Actors Studio, in addition to being a television show on Bravo, is also a class at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York City, where Cooper got his master’s degree.

Cooper told David Letterman in 2011 that when the camera turned on him in 1999, he froze, and forgot to sit down after asking the question. Someone had to actually tug the microphone from his hand so the next questioner could get on it.

What a pity there aren’t YouTube clips of his question to De Niro out there so we could see a baby-faced Cooper freezing in place during De Niro’s (inevitably) serious, lengthy and circuitous reply to Cooper’s question about what inspired De Niro’s character in Awakenings.

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When Cooper himself appeared on Inside the Actors Studio in 2011 and a clip was played of him questioning De Niro back in 1999, Cooper started crying. Full circle, Bradley Cooper! Full circle.

In other Bradley Cooper acting news, while on The View, Cooper also answered a tweet from one of the show’s viewers that lauded his dancing in Silver Linings Playbook. “You have amazing dance moves in SLP. Does this mean we might see you in a movie musical in the future?”

Why, yes! answered Cooper, who also mentioned that he has plans to bring his staging of The Elephant Man to Broadway. He mounted a production of the tragic story of a terribly disfigured man at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts last summer that was successful enough to get attention from Entertainment Weekly and the New York Times. “I’m going to try to bring it here next spring,” Cooper told The View hosts. Anyone else seeing Elephant Man: The Musical?

The Sexiest Man Alive as a man so deformed he died from trying to sleep lying down? Cooper pooh-poohed his status as former Sexiest Man: “Last year I felt like I was a spokesperson for the everyguy, this year it’s back to a real sexy guy,” he said of Channing Tatum.

Image courtesy Dimitri Halkidis/

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