New Bradley Cooper/Alias Article

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May 5, 2003
<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Bradley Cooper Reappears on ABC's 'Alias'</span>

By Kate O'Hare

LOS ANGELES ( - That music in the background of Bradley Cooper's cell phone might be one of the many live performers on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, where the former "Alias" star is now strolling -- or perhaps not.
"I pay a band to follow me wherever I go," Cooper quips, "because I'm pretty famous, you know."

Apparently his fame has grown since the last appearance of his character, journalist Will Tippin, in last season's finale of the ABC espionage drama "Alias."

"More people stop me now than ever," Cooper says, "way more, saying, 'What the hell happened? Are you dead? Why aren't you back on the show?' I have to keep explaining to them, 'I'm not coming back. Sorry.'"
When last seen, Will was seemingly bleeding to death in a tub in CIA agent Sydney Bristow's (Jennifer Garner) apartment, where he'd been deposited by Allison (Merrin Dungey), the murderous DNA-altered double of Sydney's dead friend Francie.

By episode's end, Sydney and everyone else had been catapulted two years ahead in time, which everyone knew except Sydney, who lost a big chunk of memory. She did learn that Will had survived, and has been trying ever since to figure out where her lost two years went.

Although Cooper won't be rejoining the cast full-time, we do learn what happened to Will in those years, in "Remnants," the Sunday, Dec. 7, episode of "Alias," which also features Dungey and a guest appearance by director David Cronenberg ("Crash," "The Fly").

"Will has been in witness protection for two years in Wisconsin," Cooper says. "Sydney needs information to figure out who she was for two years, and Will has a piece of information that could help her figure out what the hell happened. So she has to go and get Will out of witness protection to help her find something out.

"So they go on a mission together."

Cooper says fans should prepare themselves for a very different Will Tippin. "He's a foreman for a construction company. Big change. He's incognito.

"He's wearing the big boots. He's not sporting the flannel. He's sporting the long undies. He looks much different, though. He shaved his head for one thing, just clipped it with the clippers."

When reminded that Allison's beau, the evil Sark (David Anders), has also gone for the super-short look this season, Cooper says, "I think he has his hair done. There's a big difference between Will putting the clippers to his head, and Sark. Sark has that hair cut with scissors, I'd say."

Although Cooper says he and his castmates are friends and keep in touch, "I hadn't seen the crew in eight months, and that was great. I'm still shooting. I've got three days left. It's been phenomenal. It's a big episode, so I get to work every day, which is great."

Asked if Will gets to see some action in "Remnants," Cooper says, "There's a little bit of juice going on, a little bit of sass."

Cooper says he was "sad to leave the show," but he's keeping busy. He did an episode of NBC's matchmaking romantic comedy "Miss Match" earlier this season, called "I Got You Babe."

"My character was in love with himself," Cooper says. "That was the dilemma."

Next up is "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks," a movie for ABC Family, shooting right now in Canada for a proposed January airdate. Cooper co-stars with Jason Priestley ("Beverley Hills 90210") and Emma Caulfield ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer").

"It's pretty great," Cooper says. "It's about these two guys who go from Boston to Los Angeles when they're 18 or 19, and then 10 years later, one guy, Jason, is a huge star, and the other guy, me, is his manager. But [the star's] career is on the skids.

"The manager concocts this scheme to do a reality show called 'I Want to Marry Ryan Banks,' to rejuvenate his career. It's a great script, well-written."

With casting for the new pilot season right around the corner, Cooper is eager to get back in the game -- depending on who's playing, that is.

"If it's right role and the right people, absolutely. The one thing I learned from doing 'Alias' and even 'Miss Match' is that, I'll tell you, you'd better love what you're doing, because you're going to be doing it for a while. It was a real lucky experience with 'Alias,' because everybody gets along and loves it each other. Ron Rifkin and I live in the same compound. It's just ridiculous."

Prodded for any more hints about his "Alias" episode, Cooper reveals, "I'll say one thing -- Will grows a pair. Let's just say that."
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