Brad Pitt honours Bradley Cooper at Santa Barbara Film Festival

Pitt presented Cooper with one of the Outstanding Performer of the Year award for his work in the biopic film ‘Maestro’

February 10, 2024 01:38 pm | Updated 01:38 pm IST

Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival | Photo Credit: 2024 Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF

Actor Brad Pitt presented his friend and actor Bradley Cooper with one of the Santa Barbara Film Festival's top honours, Outstanding Performer of the Year, for his work starring as Leonard Bernstein in the biopic Maestro.

While honouring Cooper, Pitt gave a shout-out to him in a hilarious way. He joked that the duo has a "couple of things in common," including "being a movie superstar and also a name," People reported.

He further said that there was something special about Cooper after watching his work in The Hangover. "You'll see the more irreverent that Alan [Zach Galifianakis] gets, the more that Phil [Cooper] is enjoying that irreverence. It's subtle. It's often to the side of the frame, but it's there and it's interesting, and I know this sounds strange, but I was watching that and I know no one else would have brought that to the to the table. And it was something fresh. I knew this guy was going to be around," said Pitt.

Pitt then spoke about Cooper's 2018 directorial debut, A Star Is Born, which the actor also starred in and wrote the screenplay for. "[It's] a film that's been made a few times, it's been made really well, so the bar is so high, and yet he's able to bring in his performance where he's able to play drunk when he breaks down and still keep an eye on the crew to see the time when to know that he's got the tape and you can move on."

"To do that really, really well is nothing short of perfect," Pitt added.

Pitt then shared views on Cooper's most recent work. He called Maestro "a masterwork" and described one scene in particular between Cooper and his costar Carey Mulligan, who plays the late composer-conductor's wife, Felicia Montealegre, as "alive, kinetic and so natural."

"This is really, really difficult to achieve. And yes, it takes great actors but it also takes great construction. Now I'm not gonna say I know for certain what's at the heart of Bradley's brilliance, but I am going to take a stab at it. What I think it is is his voracious love for this little thing we call the human experience and all its struggles and joys and messiness. My man's in it, he doesn't run from any evidence and I think it's that that he infused into each frame that he puts up on the screen," Pitt said.

Pitt concluded his speech by sharing his hopes for Cooper's success at the upcoming Oscars, where Maestro is up for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Mulligan for Best Actress, and Cooper for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay (shared with co-writer Josh Singer)

"He's been nominated 12 times and I really, really hope that this is his year because he's willing, but if it's not, it's okay, everyone knows it's just a matter of time," said Pitt, calling Cooper "the one and only Bradley," before going on to joke, "And truly Brad is okay, he's fine. He's used to it. He's a Philadelphia Eagles fan."

Pitt presenting Cooper with his honour comes four years after Cooper presented Pitt with the award for best-supporting actor for Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood at the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala in January 2020

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