Why Do All Of Bradley Cooper's Characters Have The Worst Names?
Fact: Bradley Cooper is one of the most lucrative actors working today, has appeared in several Oscar-nominated films, and is steadily becoming one of Hollywood’s most respected directors. He also seems to be holding down his own in the dating department.
Also Fact: I don’t trust him.
Look, I’m not saying I actually believe that Cooper is a bad guy. I’m sure he’s great. It seems like his costars like him, but I have a personal aversion to him. I can’t exactly explain it other than when I see him on screen, he makes my face scrunch up, and I automatically mutter the words “Nah, thank you, I don’t care for any.”
I don’t think I’m alone. Not because I have some sort of insider knowledge or because I’m exceptionally good at parsing entertainment gossip. It’s only because I’m able to read and hear the names that other people think are appropriate for him. People intentionally cast Bradley in their movies, and then think “Should we call this guy ‘Blaine’ or ‘Trip’?” That’s his whole thing. No one wants to give him what are actually the coolest names, they want to give him names that Instagram influencers think are cool names this season. It happens almost without fail and in order to prove it, I’ve dug into his filmography to produce the most representative list of BCoops’ character names.
This list is in no way complete or comprehensive. There were more than a few names I couldn’t comment on. Like I can’t really get into the fact that his name was “Cowboy” in the film The Comebacks, which is both a football movie directed by Tom Brady (but not that Tom Brady) and also not The Replacements. Without having seen The Comebacks, I can assure you The Replacements is a far superior film. There’s too much for me to dig into there. So I’m going to have to give it a hard pass. (I also passed on addressing Coopy’s role as “Trash” in The Rocker because even I am above such obviousness.)
So from Least to Most Terrible Names:
Patrick “Pat” Solitano Jr. from Silver Linings Playbook, Richie DiMaso from American Hustle, Neil Walker from Joy
David O. Russell is an abusive jerk, but he gives The Coop characters with totally fine names. Or at the very least, inoffensive names given the movie and character. Can most people pull off a “Richie”? No. Do I believe C-ville as a Richie with a perm? Absolutely.
Zachary “Sack” Lodge from Wedding Crashers
This is exactly right. Exactly. I understand the point of The C-Man’s character. He’s supposed to be a sack, but making him a character who would fully adopt the nickname Sack Lodge is exactly the vibe Brad is always giving off. Always. Sack. Lodge. Sack Lodge.
Phil from The Hangover
Calling this character “Phil” is not only the perfect level of name dismissal (on account of how empty and vapid he is), but is also a perfect reminder that if you name your son Phillip (a fine name) the proper shortened form is Lip.
Will Tippin from Alias
So strangely, Will Tippin is just on the other side of the trust/distrust line from Phil for me. Maybe it’s because Phil as a character was supposed to be a distrustful f*ck up. Maybe it’s because Will Tippin is supposed to be the solidly dependable, best friend, boy next door type, and I’m not fully buying it. Or maybe it’s because I’ll never not be convinced that “will tippin” isn’t British slang for something that sounds charming but is secretly surprisingly dirty. “We might pop ‘round to the pub for a pint and a wee bit of will tippin ‘fore going dogging tonight”?
Rory Jansen from The Words, Avery Cross from The Place Beyond the Pines, and Colin Bates from The Mule
*Sigh* And now we reach the aforementioned Instagrammer names. I should have probably noted earlier that this isn’t actually a critique of any of these names themselves. If you’re named Phil, you’re fine (I would still strongly recommend trying to change it to Lip if you can work that. It’s a very hot name). If your children are named Colin or Rory, you and they are fine. This is about viewing a fully grown man whose job it is to fully embody a role and deciding, “What currently popular name says, ‘He’s hot, but you can still bring him home to mom’”? That’s Rory. People just want to call the Coopster “Avery.”
Holden from Valentine’s Day
Actually, f*ck all the way off with what I literally just got done saying. Holden is a bad name, and if you were born after 1960 and your name is Holden, it’s because you insisted people start calling you that freshman year. If anyone says you seem like a Holden, that person hates you.
Jackson Maine from A Star Is Born
So now I’m starting to feel bad. Because The Original BC starred, produced, directed, and wrote A Star Is Born, which means what he believes about himself is that he’s deserving of a name like Jackson Maine. Now, could it be that Jackson Maine is itself a stage name and an indication that CooCoo’s character is more show than substance? Maybe. Did he still think “Jackson Maine is the name I’d like to give the badass rocker I’m writing for myself to play?” Yes, yes he did.
And if Brad Bod C-town knows that about himself, we should accept that about him.
Header Image Source: ABC