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Brad Pitt honors longtime pal Bradley Cooper with award at Santa Barbara International Film Festival – and says he knew Maestro actor would be a star after watching The Hangover

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Brad Pitt presented Bradley Cooper with an award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Thursday.

The Fight Club star, 60, gushed over his longtime pal while honoring him with the Outstanding Performer of the Year award for his role in his ‘masterwork’ film Maestro.

He joked that he and Cooper, 49, had a ‘couple of things in common’, including ‘being a movie superstar and also a name’.

At the film festival, Pitt  who was recently hit by accusations of ‘volatile behavior’ on the set of his 1994 movie Legends of the Fall – brushed off the drama as he joined his pal.

During his speech, Pitt praised Cooper and said that he knew his friend would be a star not after seeing his many Oscar-nominated films but rather when he watched his earlier performance in the 2009 comedy film The Hangover. 

Brad Pitt presented Bradley Cooper with an award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Thursday

Brad Pitt presented Bradley Cooper with an award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Thursday

The Fight Club star, 60, gushed over his longtime pal while honoring him with the Outstanding Performer of the Year award for his role in his 'masterwork' film Maestro.

The Fight Club star, 60, gushed over his longtime pal while honoring him with the Outstanding Performer of the Year award for his role in his ‘masterwork’ film Maestro.

‘You’ll see the more irreverent that Alan [Zach Galifianakis] gets, the more that Phil [Cooper] is enjoying that irreverence,’ he said during his speech per a report from People.

‘It’s subtle,’ he explained. ‘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 table.

He said Cooper’s performance was ‘something fresh’ and for that reason, he ‘knew this guy was going to be around’.

Pitt also spoke about Cooper’s directorial debut A Star Is Born, which he wrote the screenplay for and starred opposite Lady Gaga.

Because the film has been made before, Pitt said ‘the bar is so high’ but Cooper did ‘really well’.

He praised Cooper’s ability to act as if he was incoherent, drunk and breaking down all while carefully coordinating with the crew as they filmed certain scenes.

‘To do that really, really well is nothing short of perfect,’ he said.

Pitt also applauded Cooper for his role in the biographical romantic drama Maestro.  

During his speech, Pitt praised Cooper and said that he knew his friend would be a star not after seeing his many Oscar-nominated films but rather when he watched his earlier performance in the 2009 comedy film The Hangover

During his speech, Pitt praised Cooper and said that he knew his friend would be a star not after seeing his many Oscar-nominated films but rather when he watched his earlier performance in the 2009 comedy film The Hangover

The stars posed up with Cooper's Maestro co-star Carey Mulligan

The stars posed up with Cooper’s Maestro co-star Carey Mulligan

The pair first met when their respective careers in Hollywood were kicking off in the '90s and '00s. They got closer in recent years as their careers matured

The pair first met when their respective careers in Hollywood were kicking off in the ’90s and ’00s. They got closer in recent years as their careers matured 

While on stage, he joked that he and Cooper, 49, had a 'couple of things in common', including 'being a movie superstar and also a name'

While on stage, he joked that he and Cooper, 49, had a ‘couple of things in common’, including ‘being a movie superstar and also a name’

Cooper portrayed Leonard Bernstein in the recent movie, which he also directed and co-wrote, about the famous conductor and his love story with actress Felicia Montealegre. 

He said that he believed Cooper’s talent stems from ‘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,’ he gushed. 

Finally, he concluded his speech by talking about his pal at the upcoming 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,’ he said. ‘But if it’s not, it’s OK. Everyone knows it’s just a matter of time.’

He also called his friend ‘the one and only Bradley’.

During his acceptance speech, Cooper talked about how film 'changed his life' and 'kept me alive'. As for his acting career, he said, 'It's just such a privilege.'

During his acceptance speech, Cooper talked about how film ‘changed his life’ and ‘kept me alive’. As for his acting career, he said, ‘It’s just such a privilege.’

'I can't believe I get to do it and I'm so privileged and I've been so blessed,' he continued. At the end of his speech, he credited and thanked the people around him who gave him strength and love to achieve and believe in himself

‘I can’t believe I get to do it and I’m so privileged and I’ve been so blessed,’ he continued. At the end of his speech, he credited and thanked the people around him who gave him strength and love to achieve and believe in himself

During his acceptance speech, Cooper talked about how film ‘changed his life’ and ‘kept me alive’.

As for his acting career, he said, ‘It’s just such a privilege.

‘I can’t believe I get to do it and I’m so privileged and I’ve been so blessed,’ he continued.

At the end of his speech, he credited and thanked the people around him who gave him strength and love to achieve and believe in himself.

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