Introducing himself to Sean Penn, a then-unknown Cooper asks the actor about playing Eddie in Hurlyburly

By Dahvi Shira
Updated February 19, 2013 02:00 PM
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Credit: Sipa

Every actor starts somewhere, and Bradley Cooper is no exception.

The Academy Award-nominated Silver Linings Playbook star, 38, appeared as a student on Inside the Actors Studio in 1999. At just 24 years old, a fresh-faced Cooper had the chance to ask Sean Penn – whom he referred to as “Mr. Penn” – a question.

“I’m Bradley Cooper, a second year actor,” he said on the long-running Bravo series. “My question is regarding Hurlyburly. What was it like to revisit it, a character Eddie, after a 10-year hiatus? Did you have new discoveries? Did you find that it was a different approach, because you had already done this character before?”

Penn responded with a rambling answer, saying that movies are “something just shy of a filmed rehearsal” and wondering aloud: “How much more would I have found out if I had gone through this (play rehearsal) process prior to doing a movie?”

On the same panel happened to be Robert De Niro, who later went on to costar with Cooper on Silver Linings.

In 2011, shortly after filming his own episode of Inside the Actors Studio, Cooper said it “was pretty surreal” to see it all come full circle.