‘Licorice Pizza’ Star Alana Haim Says Bradley Cooper’s Performance Was so ‘Insanely Intimidating,’ He Apologized for It

Licorice Pizza is Paul Thomas Anderson’s ninth feature film. The highly-anticipated movie trended on social media quickly after its announcement. The Licorice Pizza trailer confused some audiences, as it doesn’t give away much about the movie’s direction. Critics are hooked on Alana Haim’s spectacular feature debut performance, but Bradley Cooper‘s short screen time is also getting a lot of chatter. Haim recently explained that the character was so intimidating, he apologized for it.

What is the premise of ‘Licorice Pizza?’

'Licorice Pizza' stars Bradley Cooper as Jon Peters, Cooper Hoffman as Gary Valentine, and Alana Haim as Alana Kane sitting in the front seat of a truck
L-R: Bradley Cooper as Jon Peters, Cooper Hoffman as Gary Valentine, and Alana Haim as Alana Kane | Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Licorice Pizza takes place in 1973 San Fernando Valley, California. It’s a reflection on Anderson’s teenage years in the area. Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) meets the photographer’s assistant named Alana (Haim) at his school’s picture day. They become friends and decide to start a waterbed business together. However, their friendship takes them on a roller coaster of emotion set against the gas crisis.

Anderson’s film is set up similar to a collection of vignettes. It’s a hangout movie that doesn’t necessarily have a direct narrative. Gary and Alana are the two constant characters, while others come and go throughout the movie. Cooper plays film producer and former hairdresser Jon Peters while the two lead characters come to work on a waterbed.

Bradley Cooper apologized to Alana Haim and the cast for his ‘insanely intimidating’ performance’

Tara TV talked with Haim about Licorice Pizza and her experience on-set with Anderson. The interviewer asked Haim if Cooper or Sean Penn intimidated her more. She pointed to Cooper’s performance as the more intimidating person.

“Bradley Cooper playing Jon Peters was insanely intimidating,” Haim said. “It was really great. He played the character through and through. He was the first person that I saw on the movie set, which was so amazing.”

Haim continued: “He’s such an incredible actor and he really did intimidate me. After we cut, we all got together and he was like, ‘I’m so sorry that I had to play this character for the past four days!’ We were like, ‘No, it was good. We needed it.’ He was definitely one of the intimidating ones, but also the sweetest.”

Cooper’s performance intimidated Haim and other cast members on the set, but he’s a nice guy out of character. Her Licorice Pizza experience was very positive, as she raved about having the opportunity to film with her sisters and her parents.

Bradley Cooper garners huge laughs

Cooper inspired huge laughs from recent press screenings. Critics particularly pointed to his performance as being a real highlight of the movie, even though he only has a small role. Audiences are sure to talk about his performance that’s equally hilarious and nerve-wracking. Licorice Pizza is getting some awards buzz, but having more Cooper might have further helped its chances.

Licorice Pizza comes to theaters in Los Angeles and New York on Nov. 26 before it goes into a wide release Dec. 25.

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