Cooper told Barbara Walters in an interview for the ABC News special “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2015” that he believes his late father Charlie Cooper, who died in 2011, would have been very proud of his accomplishments today.
“I think he wouldn’t believe it,” Cooper said. “I really wish, I mean thank God he was alive for so many of the successes, but like the Clint Eastwood thing he would have really loved-- That was one of his heroes.”
In addition to his acclaimed movie roles, Cooper was also nominated for a Tony award for his lead role in “The Elephant Man” on Broadway. “The Elephant Man” tells the heartbreaking true story of the inhumane treatment of a severely deformed man in Victorian England -- a story that really touched Cooper.
“[It] floored me,” he said. “I was devastated by it. I couldn’t stop crying.”
Cooper was very close with his dad and wears his wedding ring, even though Cooper isn’t married. The actor said it was his father who first introduced him to “The Elephant Man” and other films when he was a boy.
“My father sat me down and said, ‘Let’s look at this movie.’ ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Deer Hunter’ and ‘Elephant Man’ and ‘Raging Bull,’ all these movies, when I was between the ages of 12 to 14. It was crazy,” Cooper told Walters. “He just wanted to share his love of cinema.”