Cooper reveals back pain from Elephant Man stage role
18 May 2015
From the section Entertainment & Arts
Cooper has said watching the film of The Elephant Man “solidified [his] need to become an actor”
Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper has revealed he has to hang upside down on an inversion table to straighten his back after playing Joseph Merrick on stage in The Elephant Man.
Cooper plays the physically deformed Merrick by contorting his body rather than using prosthetics.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row that twisting his features had left one side of his face bigger than the other.
“Right now my face twitches sometimes,” he said.
The production was also staged at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in 2012
The play is transferring to London after a successful run in New York, and Cooper said that having experienced back pain during the New York shows, he had brought his table with him.
He distorts his body for the role and appears on stage virtually naked.
“It’s all about illusion,” he said of the play, written by Bernard Pomerance in 1977.
“The physical challenge is having to twist body and hold it for two hours. It’s brutal, we did 120 performances in New York and in the last two weeks of the play I started to feel it in my back and my mouth and my face, all the muscles got very strong.
“This …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment