Bradley Cooper has been splitting his time between directing and acting in recent years. Taking control of his career has worked, as his movies, such as A Star is Born (the fourth flick to share that title), have drawn acclaim and box office numbers. With so many hits under his belt, it’s hard to believe his acting career was being stifled at one point. The situation led to Cooper producing and starring in the war biopic American Sniper. The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 star revealed why he made the film with Clint Eastwood after being rejected by other directors.

At this point in the Nightmare Alley actor’s career, auditioning is a rare occurrence. Bradley Cooper revealed to Mahershala Ali on Variety’s Actors on Actors that the last time he auditioned was to play Satan in a never-produced film. Starring in film series like The Hangover and Guardians of the Galaxy gave the director plenty of cache in Hollywood. But there was a time when the film industry was beginning to pigeonhole him. Cooper opened up about how American Sniper and Clint Eastwood changed that for him, saying:

But I would audition tomorrow for something. Whatever the director needs to make the decision. I’m in a position, or I put myself into a position starting after ‘American Sniper,’ where [I was] trying to create my own content. With ‘American Sniper,’ I got the book and I put the work in, asked Clint Eastwood to direct it; we spent the time and got the script right and took it from the beginning of an idea all the way to the end. ‘A Star Is Born’ even more so — actually writing it from just an idea or a feeling of wanting to do something with music, and maybe I’ve always wanted to be a musician. And I wanted to tell a love story, and I wanted there to be singing. A lot of that was because the directors I admired weren’t hiring me and because they have already made a decision in their mind whether you’re right or not for something. So once you pass that audition point, but then you become like, ‘Oh, I know Mahershala.’ Do you know what I mean?

The move paid off for Bradley Cooper, as both American Sniper and A Star is Born became tremendous critical and commercial hits. Both films led to the Hangover star scoring Best Actor and Best Picture nominations at the Oscars. The same might happen again as Bradley Cooper been receiving acclaim for Nightmare Alley and Licorice Pizza, with the latter movie also getting some nominations at the 79th Golden Glove Awards. Now we wait to see if either movie will be recognized as the upcoming Academy Awards. 

Bradley Cooper’s story proved once Hollywood sees a performer one way, it’s up to them to take charge and change the narrative. Having that experience had lasting effects as Lady Gaga revealed she has continued to seek Cooper’s acting career advice since completing A Star is Born.

Changing Hollywood’s perception of him allowed him to escape from being typecast. Licorice Pizza and Nightmare Alley are currently in theaters. Fans won’t get to see or hear Bradley Cooper until Thor: Love and Thunder arrives in theaters on May 6. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more news about Marvel movies, as well as what else Cooper has coming up.

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