Bradley Cooper has been prepping for the role of Adam Jones in the film Burnt from the time he shucked oysters in a New Jersey restaurant back in the day. A kitchen view of the fine food industry, Burnt was demanding of all its actors--Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl, Omar Sy, Sam Keeley--they all had to work the kitchen, intoning "Yes Chef" in obedience to the master, and learning the arts of fileting, braising, broiling, and plating to perfection. At a breakfast panel last week at the London Hotel moderated by one of the film's producers, Mario Batali, the actors talked about finessing these roles, and keeping their weight down in the process, especially Bradley Cooper who was preparing for his Tony-nominated performance in the play The Elephant Man where he went bare chested and gaunt.
Under the tutelage of British celebrity chef Marcus Wareing, the stars plied their crafts in the John Wells directed film. Cooper's Adam Jones wants to acquire a third Michelin star after early success in the restaurant business, followed by a major drug and alcohol fueled meltdown. Now that he's cleaning up in Paris, he wants to pair up with Sienna Miller's Helene. A single mom who needs a job, she's talented in the kitchen, and tough enough to handle his masochism. Even without makeup, Miller looks beautiful, a terrific Helene teaming up with Cooper again after American Sniper. Matthew Rhys plays an excellent rival in this highly competitive business. Alicia Vikander has a stunning cameo as a woman from his past. And Uma Thurman is delicious as a food critic, as Emma Thompson is wise as a shrink. At the breakfast, Miller chased after Marlowe, her daughter. "She has a crush on Uncle Bradley," she said. Yeah, who doesn't?
Friends Alan Cumming, Emily Mortimer, and Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson, Tony-nominated for their work with Cooper in The Elephant Man, and Christopher Lloyd, hot himself in the return of the Back to the Future films turned up at Mario Batali's Otto pizzeria for a light repast after Burnt's MoMA premiere last week. Mario Batali revealed the film's secret: watching people cook is like watching porn. You can admire what you see, even if you don't want to go there. No one wandered into the kitchen.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.