Bradley Cooper Reveals the Audition Lie that Left Him Terrified on Sex and the City Set


  • Bradley Cooper’s early guest appearance on
    Sex and the City
    jumpstarted his career, leading to future success in acting.
  • Cooper had to pretend to drive in the show because he couldn’t actually drive a stick shift, showcasing the unexpected challenges actors face.
  • Reflecting on his experience, Cooper’s journey highlights the persistence and growth required in the entertainment industry.

Bradley Cooper shared an experience from his early career during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival that, for many, shows the unpredictable nature of stepping into the entertainment industry.

Back in 1999, a guest appearance on Sex and the City propelled Cooper into the spotlight, marking an early yet crucial highlight in his career. This role saw him playing a fleeting love interest to the iconic Carrie Bradshaw, a character that would unwittingly lay the groundwork for his future in acting.

Per Deadline, Cooper was relatively unknown at the time, his resume scant with the kind of roles that would later define his versatile career. Fast forward to the present, and Cooper is a household name, with his latest project, the biographical drama Maestro, securing seven Oscar nominations—an impressive feat that underscores his journey from small parts to leading man and director. Cooper shared:

I remember when I got the call to do it I was terrified.
‘What do you mean I’m actually going to have to do it?’ I couldn’t drive a stick shift, so they sent me to Models Driving School and I was just terrified. I still messed it up, so they had somebody else drive the car and I just had to… pretend that we stopped.”


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However, the path to success is often paved with unexpected challenges, as Cooper candidly revealed. The actor reminisced about the anxiety that gripped him when he realized the implications of a small fib he had told during his audition for Sex and the City. Despite his growing enthusiasm for the part, Cooper had overstated his driving abilities, claiming proficiency with a stick shift—a skill he did not possess. This led to a rather comedic solution: a crash course in driving that did little to quell his nerves. Eventually, the production team had to employ a stand-in driver for the scenes requiring his character to drive, leaving Cooper to act out the motions.

Bradley Cooper’s Journey From Newcomer to Celebrated Actor

Cooper’s reflection on this particular episode reveals more than just a light-hearted story from the start of his career; it underscores the essential growth experiences that shape an actor. It illustrates the lengths to which newcomers in the industry must sometimes go, navigating through a mix of truth and fabrication, all in the hope of making an impression.

Sex and the City itself has been a launching pad for many actors who would go on to achieve significant acclaim, including Elizabeth Banks, Justin Theroux, Vince Vaughn, and Matthew McConaughey, to name a few. In addition to capturing the era’s essence, Sex and the City served as an important bridge for actors stepping into the limelight.

Cooper’s stint on Sex and the City, despite the acclaim and Oscar nominations for Maestro, brings to light the modest starts typical of Hollywood’s most celebrated figures. Every award serves as a testament to the persistence, learning, and occasionally inventive embellishments that characterize the journeys of successful individuals.

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