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Bradley Cooper Proved Instrumental in ‘Joker’ Editing Room: ‘He Was a Huge Help’

"Joker" is nominated for the Best Editing Oscar, one of 11 nominations the comic book film received for the 92nd Academy Awards.

Bradley Cooper, Joaquin Phoenix. Actors Bradley Cooper, left, and Joaquin Phoenix attend the premiere for "Joker" on day five of the Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall, in Toronto2019 TIFF - "Joker" Premiere, Toronto, USA - 09 Sep 2019

Bradley Cooper, Joaquin Phoenix

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

“A Star Is Born” was Warner Bros.’ big Oscar contender at the 2019 Academy Awards, and this year the studio landed the most Oscar nominations for a single film with comic book movie “Joker,” which is set to compete in 11 categories when the ceremony takes place next month. What do these two Warner Bros. Oscar power players have in common? The answer is Bradley Cooper. The “A Star Is Born” filmmaker served as a producer on “Joker,” but it turns out his role was much greater and more hands on than some fans might expect. “Joker” editor Jeff Groth recently told Collider that Cooper was an instrumental figure in the “Joker” editing room.

“We kept this one pretty close to us,” Groth said when asked about test screening the film. “We screened it more personally for people and filmmakers. Bradley Cooper definitely came in a couple of times. He was a producer on the movie, but he definitely watched the movie many times and sat with us. We could call him if we got stuck with something and be like, ‘Hey, can you come over and take a look at things?’”

Groth continued, “He doesn’t miss a thing. He would watch stuff and he would pick out even some of the smallest things. He was definitely a huge help. I think he’s got a lot more experience in editing than most people would realize.”

One of the big challenges in editing “Joker” was sorting through numerous takes of Joaquin Phoenix’s improvisations. The film’s script would change in a moment during filming, leaving the editing team to keep the narrative tight while filming got looser and more improvisational. Coming off of the Oscar-winning success of “A Star Is Born,” Cooper is clearly a favorite among Warner Bros. executives, so it’s not a shock to hear his role on “Joker” bled into the creative process in post-production.

Next up for Cooper as director is a biographical drama about famed composer Leonard Bernstein. The untitled drama got the backing of Netflix this week and is expected to begin production in 2021. Cooper co-wrote the script with “Spotlight” Oscar winner Josh Singer.

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