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Bradley Cooper Says Watching Vince Vaughn on ‘Wedding Crashers’ Set ‘Changed Me Forever’: He Was ‘Absolutely Willing to Fail’ Take After Take

Bradley Cooper joined his fellow best actor SAG Award nominees Jeffrey Wright (“American Fiction”), Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”), Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”) and Colman Domingo (“Rustin”) for an hour-long chat as part of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations program, during which each actor was asked to name a career-changing moment they had with a fellow actor on set. Cooper, nominated for his self-directed performance in “Maestro,” had perhaps the most surprising pick of the bunch: Vince Vaughn in “Wedding Crashers.”

The 2005 R-rated comedy “Wedding Crashers” cast Cooper in the supporting role of Sack Lodge, the villainous boyfriend of Claire (Rachel McAdams). The actor was mostly known at the time for his good guy role opposite Jennifer Garner on the ABC spy thriller “Alias,” which is why he viewed his “Wedding Crashers” casting as such a “huge break” since he was finally tasked with changing up his onscreen image.

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“Up until that point, I was always just trying to get it right on camera. Be present and get it right,” Cooper said about his acting process at the time. “I’m watching Vince Vaughn destroy a scene, just crush it, and then he wants another take. It was the scene where the grandmother is shooting him, takes the gun out and he’s running out. He’s just like, ‘I want to do another one.” In front of everyone…this huge crew and lights and it’s so nerve-wracking…and it was his willingness to fail.”

“Watching Vince Vaughn…this huge tough guy, funniest guy, quickest guy…I was just in awe of this human, this man just failing, just willing to try anything,” Cooper continued. “At some point he was just scatting and caught onto this thing and was doing this song. I loved seeing it, but clearly it wasn’t working. But it didn’t even matter. It was all of us watching this artist just explore with complete abandon. It was like a diamond through the middle of my head going, ‘That’s it! That freedom to just be absolutely willing to fail.’ It changed me forever. That was the moment.”

“Wedding Crashers,” headlined by Vaughn and Owen Wilson, went on to gross $288 million at the worldwide box office and became one of the seminal R-rated comedies of the 2000s. Four years later, Cooper would go on to headline and find even greater R-rated comedy success with “The Hangover,” which launched a $1.4 billion grossing film trilogy. Cooper recently said he’s open to doing a fourth “Hangover” movie.

“I would probably do ‘Hangover 4’ in an instant,” Cooper said last November on “The New Yorker Radio Hour” podcast. “Just because I love Todd [Phillips], I love Zach [Galifianakis], I love Ed [Helms] so much, I probably would.”

When asked if a fourth “Hangover” film could happen, Cooper replied, “I don’t think Todd’s ever going to do that.”

Watch Cooper and more in the full talk from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations program in the video below.

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