The 60-year-old Oscar-winning actor was on hand to present the 49-year-old actor with the Outstanding Performer of the Year award for his role in Maestro, which he also directed and co-wrote, at the 2024 Santa Barbara Film Festival on Thursday evening (February 8) held at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, Calif.
In his speech honor Bradley, Brad joked that that the duo have a “couple of things in common,” including “being a movie superstar and also a name.”
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Brad went on to note that he knew Bradley was special after watching his work in The Hangover.
“You’ll see the more irreverent that Alan [Zach Galifianakis] gets, the more that Phil [Cooper] is enjoying that irreverence,” Brad said, via People. “It’s subtle. It’s often to the side of the frame, but it’s there and it’s interesting, and I know this sounds strange, but I was watching that and I know no one else would have brought that to the to the table. And it was something fresh. I knew this guy was going to be around.”
Brad also spoke about Bradley‘s 2018 directorial debut A Star is Born, which he also starred in and wrote the screenplay for.
“[It’s] a film that’s been made a few times, it’s been made really well, so the bar is so high, and yet he’s able to bring in his performance where he’s able to play drunk when he breaks down and still keep an eye on the crew to see the time when to know that he’s got the tape and you can move on,” Brad raved. “To do that really, really well is nothing short of perfect.”
Brad then talked about Maestro, calling it “a masterwork.”
“Now I’m not gonna say I know for certain what’s at the heart of Bradley’s brilliance, but I am going to take a stab at it,” Brad said. “What I think it is is his voracious love for this little thing we call the human experience and all its struggles and joys and messiness. My man’s in it, he doesn’t run from any evidence and I think it’s that that he infused into each frame that he puts up on the screen.”
Brad concluded his speech by sharing his hopes for Bradley at the 2024 Oscars where Maestro is nominated for seven awards.
“He’s been nominated 12 times and I really, really hope that this is his year, because he’s willing, but if it’s not, it’s okay, everyone knows it’s just a matter of time,” Brad said before calling Bradley “the one and only Bradley.”
Brad ended his speech by joking, “And truly Brad is okay, he’s fine. He’s used to it. He’s a Philadelphia Eagles fan.”
Bradley then accepted his award from Brad and joked, “I didn’t like what you said there.”
In his acceptance speech, Bradley talked about how movies have “changed his life” and “kept me alive,” adding of his career, “It’s just such a privilege. I can’t believe I get to do it and and I’m so privileged and I’ve been so blessed.”
“Living is hard and it feels like it gets harder. And I need people who love me and that I can love and without that I would just be walking on a wasteland,” Bradley continued. “And sometimes it’s hard to keep going and you know when you feel love and authenticity, it gives us strength and it’s just community man. It’s all about community. And I know that without community I would never attempt to achieve the things that I’ve attempted without people that have believed in me in ways that I never believed in myself.”
Also on hand to honor Bradley at the awards event was his Maestro co-star Carey Mulligan.
In a recent interview, Bradley revealed the famous former co-star that helped him change his approach to acting for the better.
Click through the gallery for 35+ pictures of the stars at the Santa Barbara Film Festival…