Bradley Cooper and Guillermo del Toro formed an extraordinary bond while filming new movie Nightmare Alley during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Del Toro returns to direct for the first time since his Oscar-winning 2017 film, The Shape of Water, with Cooper stepping back in front of the camera to play an ambitious carnival worker in the neo-noir thriller.
However, the shoot was halted due to Covid-19 in March last year, with the cast and crew forced to put everything on hold for six months - an experience that created strong bonds between director and star.
“We have been making Nightmare Alley for the last two and a half years,” Cooper said at a Tribeca Film Festival talk, according to IndieWire. “It was a unique experience, going through the pandemic, taking six months off and revisiting it. We not only become lifelong friends, but it was an artistic experience.”
The Pan’s Labyrinth filmmaker even went so far as to say that filming Nightmare Alley with Cooper has made him a changed man.
“We started talking script and then this started mirroring our thoughts about life and the way we viewed the world,” he explained. “We entered strange, darker times that led to Nightmare Alley for me, and (changed the) way I view the world.”
Revealing what led them to bond so strongly, he added: “We’re like truffle hunters, smelling for that, looking for certain truth, not verisimilitude or realism but truth which is a higher form of telling a story.
“How we get to it is only through curiosity. When we have collaborators, the main reward is a point of view that you can literally bounce off, or get bounced off, and seek for the truth… I found it a blessing at age 56 in this movie to find the marvel of complicity and curiosity. ‘Is this all we can do with that scene, with that shot?’ You keep seeking.”
Nightmare Alley, which also stars Cate Blanchett, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, and Richard Jenkins, will debut in December.