The interview with Serena Altschul airs at 9 AM ET on CBS; check local listings. “There’s something about this guy’s spirit that is connected with people and it connected with me in a pretty profound way,” Cooper tells Altschul about playing Joseph Merrick.
For each performance, Cooper contorts his body to resemble Merrick’s deformities. “It’s exhausting, but I love him so much,” Cooper says. “I have to say it feels like such an honor. I know that sounds cheesy, but every day I do feel lighter afterwards.”
Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man, directed by Scott Ellis, will begin previews at the Booth Theatre Nov. 7 prior to an official opening Dec. 7. The cast also features Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola. This production premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2012. Cooper, Clarkson and Nivola all appeared in that staging.