A Painfully Awkward Interview Where I Attempt to Get Bradley Cooper to Admit "The Hangover Part III" Is a Bad Film
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A Painfully Awkward Interview Where I Attempt to Get Bradley Cooper to Admit The Hangover Part III Is a Bad Film

By Dustin Rowles | Film Reviews | May 23, 2013 | Comments ()


(Author's Note: The following interview took place soon after a screening of The Hangover Part III in a hotel room, where journalists are given 15 minute blocks to interview Cooper, who was casually dressed in a baseball cap, sneakers, jeans, and a T-shirt. Given my slot -- late in the day, after scores of other interviews -- Cooper looks surprisingly refreshed and relaxed. He is spread out in a large chair, legs crossed as the interview begins.)

Pajiba: Good afternoon. Thanks for taking the time to meet with me.

Cooper: It's my pleasure.

Pajiba: I'm sure it's been a very long day for you.

Cooper: It's all part of the job. There are worse things than sitting in a hotel, drinking coffee, and answering questions about myself all day.

Pajiba: I'm sure! Speaking of which, and I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way, but I heard your interview on "Fresh Air" a few months ago, about the passing of your father, and I just wanted to say that the entire interview completely changed my perception of you. I was really just impressed with the way you spoke about the experience, how you processed your feelings, and how you dealt with it while you were filming Silver Linings Playbook.

Cooper: Thanks, man. I appreciate that. It means a lot.

Pajiba: You went to Georgetown, right?

Cooper: I did. Class of '97.

(We spend a few seconds talking about a mutual acquaintance who also went to Georgetown).

Pajiba: Anyway, back on topic: I loved you in "Alias," and Wedding Crashers, and I even thought you were great in that short-lived series on Fox based on Anthony Bourdain?

Cooper: So you were the guy that watched!

Pajiba: (laughs) I guess so ... but The Hangover franchise launched your career into the stratosphere, and led to a number of excellent dramatic projects like Silver Linings Playbook and The Place Beyond the Pines . Do you prefer these dramatic roles, or movies like The Hangover, where there's not as much heavy lifting as an actor?

Cooper: I'm not sure if I'd characterize it that way because comedy is probably even more difficult than drama, but I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a "comedic" actor, either. The "heavy lifting" (he signifies with air quotes) in a comedy like The Hangover is left more to the likes of Zach [Galifianakis] and Ed [Helms].

Pajiba: Oh, I totally get that. Mostly, I was just asking because I find it strange that, with as much success as you've had in these Oscar caliber movies, you returned to The Hangover. Do you feel a sense of obligation?

Cooper: What do you mean by that?

Pajiba: Well, I mean, given your place in Hollywood now, you don't really have to be doing comedy sequels.

Cooper: I don't know if anyone has a "place" in Hollywood. It's all very tenuous, and I feel very blessed that I've been able to string together a successful series of jobs. This could all disappear at any moment.

Pajiba: Right, right. I see what you mean. It's just that you're got a Depression era movie coming up with Jennifer Lawrence, and you're starring in another David O. Russel film, and I saw that you're attached to a Cameron Crowe and a Spielberg film.

Cooper: I'm very excited about those projects.

Pajiba: Right, it just seem like at this point in your career, you're less interested in, well, the kind of film that The Hangover represents.

Cooper: I'm sorry. What was your name?

Pajiba: Dustin.

Cooper: I'm sorry, Dustin. I'm not sure what you're getting at.

Pajiba: My apologies. I'm being oblique. Let me use an analogy. Yesterday, the site that I run posted two reviews from Cannes, reviews of fairly high profile independent projects. They're very good reviews, and I'm quite proud of them, but I also needed to run what was essentially an Anna Kendrick picture post to make up the loss of page views.

Cooper: She's great!

Pajiba: She is! It was fun, but it was also necessary to, you know, pay the bills.

Cooper: So you're suggesting that I did The Hangover III to "pay the bills"?

Pajiba: Well, yeah. Kind of.

Cooper: Have you seen the movie?

Pajiba: I have.

Cooper: What did you think?

Pajiba: I wasn't a fan. I mean, no offense. I just didn't think it was very funny.

Cooper: None taken. It's not for everyone.

Pajiba: No?

Cooper: Well, I mean, we're not trying to please the critical community, if that's what you mean?

Pajiba: But the first Hangover movie was a big hit with critics and audiences. And your recent output has gone over very well with critics.

Cooper: Well, that's not why I chose those projects. I'm just trying to stay true to myself.

Pajiba: By playing a douchebag in a series of road trip comedies? No offense.

Cooper: None taken. I mean it's part of who I am, and I owe a lot to this franchise.

Pajiba: So, you are doing this out of obligation.

Cooper: No. I'm not saying that. Please don't put those words in my mouth. I mean, these movies have meant a lot to my career, and I'm very proud of them.

Pajiba: You're proud of The Hangover Part III?

Cooper: Sure.

Pajiba: Not to be an ass, but what in particular are you proud of about this movie?

Cooper: I'm very proud of the work I put into it. It's a huge undertaking, these big comedy films.

Pajiba: But are you proud of the result?

Cooper: Yes, of course I am. This is a very strange interview, Duncan.

Pajiba: Dustin.

Cooper: Right.

Pajiba: Look. I consider myself a fairly bright person, and I absolutely loved the original The Hangover.

Cooper: It was a great movie.

Pajiba: Right. But, well, you say that The Hangover III (scanning back through my notes) "isn't for everyone." Isn't that the point of these kind of movies? To be for as many people as possible? If it's not for fairly bright people who loved the original movie, then who is it for?

Cooper: I don't know how to answer that question.

Pajiba: I'm not sure how you could answer question, either. I apologize. I've put you in an awkward position of having to defend a movie that's not necessarily in line with your better more recent output.

Cooper: Those are your words. Look, I'm not trying to defend anything. We wanted to stay true to the spirit of the original film, and I think in that respect, III was a success.

Pajiba: If by "spirit," you mean, repeating the same beats and the same structure for a third time, only with less enthusiasm, I agree with you 100 percent. Well, 80 percent, because there wasn't an actual hangover in the sequel, which is not exactly in line with the title of the movie. But I feel like you were not very successful in staying true to the comedic spirit of the original hangover. This felt more like a bland action film than a comedy. There weren't even many attempts at comedy. I mean, it was good to see John Goodman and all, but this was the rare instance where not even he could save a film. He couldn't even save his own scenes.

Cooper: I'm sorry, Duncan, but is this a review or an interview?

Pajiba: Both.

Cooper: This is your review? This is an odd way to review a film

Pajiba: Well, it's hard to get people to read reviews these days unless there's a gimmick, but what else can I say? It's the same film as the other two, only with half the laughs of the second film, which only had two. You took a scene stealer from the first film (Ken Jeong) and you turned him into a major character. I mean, you went to Georgetown; how does an Asian caricature speaking in broken English for nearly two hours sit with you?

Cooper: Look, I didn't write the film.

Pajiba: So that's not a choice you would've made?

Cooper: No, I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that I'm not responsible for Ken's character.

Pajiba: No. I suppose not. But I remember there was a controversy during the second film, where several of the cast members rejected a cameo by Mel Gibson because of his anti-Semitism.

Cooper: Well, this is hardly the same thing. Ken's is a COMEDIC character that, yes, plays on certain stereotypes, but he's not espousing hatred toward an entire race of people.

Pajiba: No, I guess not. He's just making fun of an entire race of people.

Cooper: Look, Darrin. I think our time is up here. (Calls to the publicists). Who's next?

Pajiba: Well, thank you Brad. It was a pleasure, and I'm sorry if I said anything to offend.

Cooper: (irritated) No worries.

Pajiba: Could I just get a real quick picture?

Cooper: Please go.


See also: An Interview with an Uncooperative Amanda Seyfried and
Our Very Awkward Interview with Jon Lucas, Writer and Director of 21 and Over

Justin Timberlake is the Worst | 9 Movie Franchises That Rebounded Against All Odds

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Mike

    You came into this interview with a pointless agenda. You wasted Bradley's time when he was kind enough to make time for an interview with you. The movie was enjoyable to watch,

  • Joe

    Dustin- I'm sorry, but you're a douche.

  • BlackRabbit

    I'll admit I didn't want to read this just in case it WAS real. You never know. But having mastered my fear, I see it is delicious.

  • BeauHajavitch

    How about some comments about the actual movie, people? Here's one: When Mr. Chow locked them in that house that was purported to be his, why didn't Phil (Cooper) just smash the door down with the mallet he had just used to smash a hole in the brick wall to find the gold? Did Chow take the mallet away from them in a deleted scene?

  • Oscar

    I thought it was painful to read. Cooper handles it as well as anyone could but this is shameless really.

    You ambush him and to force him to agree with one opinion and then you continuously try to sell in your own stuff by touting your great reviews. It's not only not funny but it makes me not want to read anything you put out. People drew comparisons to the onion. The difference there is, what they write is satire. This is just a bad and mean-spirited interview.

    The most fatal flaw is that this is directed at the wrong person. If you were ambushing the person responsible for the film instead it might have been funny. Todd Phillips wrote, directed, and produced the film and is responsible for the mess you think it is. Bradley Cooper came back to a family of people that launched him into his recent burst of good stuff, and when his work is done on set he goes on to the next project. That you don't seem to grasp this basic understanding of how the film business works makes me question why you for into it at all.

    I'm by no means defending the film. I, like you, liked the first film, hated the second one, and haven't even seen the third, but this was petty and juvenile so count me and many friends out as potential readers. I guess it's not for everyone huh?

  • Madison

    Looks like you just used a rude gimmick to get Redditors to read your terrible interview. You come off as an arrogant jerk, but hey, I guess it "pays the bills"

  • Guest

    Someone needs to make one of those cartoons of this. They know what I mean hopefully.

  • Cruella

    Dustin, I love your interview, that was made with so much objectivity and a good sense of repartee. Too bad Bradley was on the defensive! personally I think the same way as you do, from the trailer, the movie doesn't give me any desire to see it... Bradley felt targeted when he shoudn't, you were just talking about the Hangover III, not his whole carreer.

    I totally agree with you, this saga is full of stereotypes that were pretty funny in the first movie, not so much in the second, i can easily guess what it's like in the third ! Anyway, nice interview, i wish there were a video of this intrview, that would be really fun to watch !
    Kiss love cacahouètes et boule de gomme

  • Britts

    Duncan obviously comes from a place where manners are not taught, pushing and shoving are the norm –– I've been there, it's filthy! His obnoxious opinion and attitude gets in the way of doing a good job at his job description. So, the Hangover III isn't a good film ... Mr. Cooper doesn't need to defend the film against a pompous interviewer who seems more intent on "trying" to make Mr. Cooper pay for a movie that he didn't enjoy. I thought Mr. Cooper kept his composure and handled Duncan's devolved attitude with grace. Duncan needs a new profession where he doesn't interact with people.

  • JenniferOhJenny

    Honestly, this just made me feel bad . I think need to splash some cold water on my face !

  • wicked.whisper

    the first hangover sucked. the fact that I saw it after this site raved about it made me question the validity of this site.

  • Alex

    Wow, Darrin, Duncan...or is it Dickhead? Not impressed, dude. Pull you head out and breath.

  • Maguita NYC

    Dude, not impressed. Change your name to "Guest" quickly.

  • Rub

    Got your page view, but all it did was convince me I don't need to ever come back. What an A_S

  • Haystacks

    This was hilarious.

  • BWeaves

    See, I would have believed this was real if Brad had called Dustin, Joffrey.

  • stryker1121

    Goddammit, I was hoping this was real.

  • Maguita NYC

    If this was real, Bradley Cooper would have short-circuited. As top dog in the wolf-pack structure, the only way to keep his adoring fans happy when faced with deeply probing questions and self-elucidation, is to blind them with his charming French-speaking self.


  • James

    That's not funny, it's just bad manners. You go out of your way to make a personal connection with him, talking about his father that's passed on. Giving him heaps of praise, and then trying to get a 'scoop' that he didn't like his own film.. during the press junket for said film, where he is indirectly getting paid to promote it.


  • Jezzer

    You panic in the streets every time they play the Orson Wells "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast on Halloween, don't you?

  • Anon

    LOL at the number of people that actually believe this is real.. So many hints right in the beginning..

  • The Bone

    fake interviews, damnit. well done

  • E Robb

    Cooper: I’m sorry. What was your name?

    This is the where the alarm bells are supposed to start ringing.

  • "Well, it’s hard to get people to read reviews these days unless there’s a gimmick"

    I Read Reviews! Lots of them! (Say's girl who works at a video store with two TV's and unlimited internet access)

  • Fredo

    How I knew this wasn't real: no mention by Duncan of the Emu comparisons. Duncan would have brought that shit up right quick! What are you hiding, Brad, IF THAT'S YOUR REAL NAME?!!

  • Lauren_Lauren

    I clicked on the Cannes reviews! I was all, "Hey baby, how about some deep clicking?" and then I clicked all over them.

    Several times.

  • DarthCorleone

    I'm all for Anna Kendrick picture posts, but Pajiba reviews like this one are even more rewarding clicks as far as I'm concerned.

  • chris

    the Germans have a word for this: Fremdscham

    Embarrassment on behalf of someone else.

  • BWeaves

    Doh, I didn't see your post when I made the same comment above. Great minds think alike.

  • wsapnin

    Durwood should write scripts for "Between Two Ferns".

  • F'mal DeHyde


  • TheOriginalMRod


    I know the movie is going to be bad. It is still going to make a lot of money. And some of it will probably be mine... ouch.

  • L.O.V.E.

    But what if its the real Bradley Cooper, being interviewed by a fake Dustin?

  • Classic

    I wish that happened. I saw the movie. It is NOT even a little bit funny. I loved the first movie, cringed through the second, and just fumed through the third.

  • blairtch

    Whoa, serious balls, Dustin. I would have totally kissed his ass, and for sure gotten my damn picture.


  • googergieger

    "At this point an actual hangover would be more entertaining".

    There you go, Dustin. You owe me twelve thousand dollars.

  • Agent M

    This movie looks like monkey turds, for sure. But dang, agenda much?

  • JayShap

    Fucking terrific. I can't believe you had the balls to do that interview, and I hope it doesn't have severe negative effects on your career, but it made for a hell of a post that i'm telling everyone to check out. [doffs cap]

    ETA: Derp, fake. Goooot me.

  • emmalita

    I'm amazed you found anything at all to say about Hangover III. I'm still boycotting it based on the giraffe incident in the trailer. Yes, that make me humorless, but at least my humorlessness doesn't fake hurt animals.

  • Jezzer

    Your humorlessness at fake-hurt animals real-hurts my brain.

  • emmalita

    Sorry to cause you pain. I saw a related real life incident that did not involve a giraffe and an overpass, but a dog and a guy who forgot his dog was loose in the back of his pickup.

  • firedmyass

    I... I have to draw you.

  • Julie M

    Dustin, I love you!

  • bleujayone

    At least Michael Caine was more honest about his motivations for making Jaws: The Revenge; "I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."

    Oddly enough, he couldn't be on hand to accept his Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters because he was on this movie's set.

    And I still want to see the accompanying boat and guest houses that came from On Deadly Ground.

  • Josh Brown

    At first I was like "Oh no!" then I was like "This is a story"

  • I enjoy these fake interview constructs a great deal.

  • Steve

    Gotcha interviews are tedious. So Dustin is no less complicit in this whole process because he's asking these insipid questions? Please. Dustin could have asked the same questions in a more thoughtful manner that may have led to a thoughtful discussion on an equal basis rather than ambushing Bradley Cooper for his own purposes. It's always easier to be provocative than to have journalistic integrity which is becoming an oxymoronic phrase.

  • firedmyass

    Oh, Steve... honey. I hope for your sake that you are pretty.

  • +120 Sonic The Hedgehog gold rings

  • And with a swooping noise of my head banging my desk at work in laughter you win Dustin. As someone who's been perusing your site for years and refusing to comment (because how dare I be identified in the comments) you've finally won with this post. This is just amazing. Part of me refuses to believe this was a real interview (because who would do that) the other part of wants it to be real and I'm unsure as to whether I want to directly ask the question because either way it's either a piece of great comedy writing or a great comedy performance and either is just brilliant.

    Thank you Dustin you've made my day.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Hello. Welcome to the land of the delurker! Upvote for you!

  • koko temur

    hey andrew! Welcome!

  • AudioSuede

    I get that you need hits, and god knows everyone who writes reviews of anything gets bored and needs to mix things up once in a while, but I think the fake interview format really limits your ability to make salient points about the movie. I mean, there are really only two or three points in the entire review, and none of them really explain to me why it's not worth seeing. Though the meta-textual balance of negative comments to a more personal counterpoint from "Bradley Cooper" gives you some opportunity for back-and-forth, which could have been a bit more fleshed out, IMO.

    All that said, I think the notion that a comedy is written "for as many people as possible" is both a falsehood and kind of an unfair standard for comedy. Comedy writers, especially at that level, have probably been around enough to know that their style cannot possibly please everyone, and good comedy writers will instead reach out to their audience and hope that they'll reach them sufficiently to be successful. It's like my comedy friends and I always say, "If I find this funny, someone else in the world will find this funny too." I'm not saying that's necessarily the case with The Hangover III, as it seems to be more of a cash-grab than a well-considered piece of comedy (obviously I haven't seen it yet), but just in general, even supposedly broad comedies have to be held to the standards of their audience, rather than a non-existent general population that can band together around a single movie.

  • googergieger
  • I am impressed at your ability to make me want to look away from the screen while also feeling the need to keep reading. Had this been a real interview, I would have felt bad for Cooper, because that's a terrible position to put someone in. At the same time, I think you had a good handle on his voice and didn't make him seem like a jerk - only yourself. Well played, sir.

  • Rob

    This is why I love Pajiba.

  • Guest

    Dustin, Duncan or whatever his name is, was really an asshole in this interview, why trash talking the movie in front of Bradley?

  • Jezzer

    "Guest" seems as bright as the target audience for the Hangover films, so there's that.

  • jollies

    Yeah, why were you such a dick to fake Bradley? He took fake time out of his fake schedule just to give you a make-believe interview and you crapped all over his movie. I hope, in the future, you conduct your imaginary interviews with more professionalism.

  • PerpetualIntern

    "Well, it’s hard to get people to read reviews these days unless there’s a gimmick, but what else can I say?"

  • MichaelAndTheArgonauts

    Trolling "journalism" at it's best. The Onion would be proud. Fun read!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I gotta say, I think a fake Bradley Cooper at some point would say: "you're surprised after the 'more serious dramatic output' that I opted to get paid lots of money to do a jackoff film with some hilarious guys in a fun location? Are you really surprised? Do you still have a question about my choice to do the film?"

    But I also don't think the first Hangover was a "great" movie. It was fun. It made me laugh. I do hate that Mike Tyson was in it though. (so weird how I don't like sexual harassers in my government and rapists as entertainers)

  • Kitt Alexander Proudfoot

    I am going to have to watch his Actors Studio interview for the nineteenth time just to rebalance.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    I LOVE these.

  • lowercase_ryan

    DAMMIT! You get me every single time when you pull one of these. Shame on me!!

  • I'll play this like Peeta. Real or not real? Not real, right? I mean... right?

  • Repo

    I like these as a change up of format. I imagine they are more work than a traditional review, but more fun to write? You left the fake Cooper off the hook on Hit and Run though. Details Dustin!

  • Maguita NYC

    It's Duncan.

  • Samantha Baker

    I have second hand embarrassment from reading that. I'm seriously bright red right now. Eek.

  • BWeaves

    The word you are looking for is Fremdschamen.

  • Oh man this is painfully awkward to even read.

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  • Batesian

    Megan summed it up better than I could've.

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