Skip to content

Casting call: Bradley Cooper to wear the Union label?

Click image:
A Union pennant hangs in the bedroom on the movie set. (Used with permission by Pines Productions LLC. For internal use only; not for further distribution)The house in Schenectady where scenes for the movie were filmed. Photo by Matt Milless

Union has always had a strong alumni presence in Hollywood.

Now it could add Bradley Cooper to the list. No, the A-list actor (and Georgetown grad) doesn’t own a sheepskin from Union. But his character in “The Place Beyond the Pines” might.

The indie film recently wrapped up months of shooting in and around Schenectady, which is the Mohawk word for "beyond the pine plains."

Cooper plays Avery Cross, a police officer-turned politician caught in a showdown with a motorcycle stunt rider-turned bank robber, played by Ryan Gosling.

In one scene shot blocks from campus, Cross cleans out the bedroom of his childhood home. People involved with the filming said Cross is an alum in the script, and requested some Union swag to decorate the room.

So keep an eye out for a College banner or sweatshirt when the movie, which also stars Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne and Ray Liotta, is released late next year.

Also watch for a number of students and staff who served as extras in the film. One scene called for Matt Fontaine ’12 to open a curtain as Cooper’s character gives a political victory speech. Fontaine got to meet Cooper and the film’s director, Derek Cianfrance.

“I was really impressed by how nice he was to everyone,” Fontaine said of Cooper. “He was constantly thanking us for being there and encouraging us to keep our energy level high. He did a good job of making every person in the room feel like they were important to the scene, regardless of whether you were an extra or paid actor or actress.”

Cooper (or Cross) isn’t the first Hollywood star, of course, with ties to Union. Robert Redford sent hearts aflutter when he spent weeks on campus filming “The Way We Were,” in the early seventies.

Union’s Hollywood honor roll also includes Robert Chartoff ’55 (producer of the Rocky films), Alan Horn ’64 (former president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros. Entertainment), Phil Alden Robinson ’71 (director of “Field of Dreams”) and Rawson Marshall Thurber ’97 (writer and director of  “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”).