Immediately after Bradley Cooper graduated from the Honors English program at Georgetown University in 1997, he moved to New York City to enroll in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the Actors Studio Drama School at New School University. There, he developed his stage work, culminating with his thesis performance as John Merrick in 'Bernard Pomerance''s "The Elephant Man," performed in New York's Circle in the Square. While still in school, Bradley began his professional career, appearing opposite Sarah Jessica Parker in "Sex and the City" (1998) and in the series "The Beat" (2000).
His weekends were spent with LEAP (Learning through the Expanded Arts Program), a non-profit organization that teaches acting and movement to inner city school children. The summers took him all across the globe, from kayaking in British Columbia with Orca Whales to ice climbing in the Peruvian Andes, while hosting Lonely Planet's "Treks in a Wild World" (2000) for the Discovery Channel. Bradley had to skip his graduation ceremony from the Actor's Studio in order to star in his first feature film, Wet Hot American Summer (2001). After finishing his second feature, Carnival Knowledge (2002), his plans to relocate to Los Angeles were delayed when Darren Star hired him to star in the series "The $treet" (2000). Bradley went on to win the role of young law student Gordon Pinella in the film Changing Lanes (2002), starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson, and also stars as Travis Paterson in My Little Eye (2002). He finally decided that it was time to forgo his other New York projects and move to Los Angeles when he was cast in "Alias" (2001). More recently he is known for his roles in the films The Hangover, The A-Team, and Limitless. In 2011, People magazine named Cooper "Sexiest Man Alive"