Santa Barbara Film Festival

Brad Pitt arrived as a surprise guest to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Thursday (02/08) night to pay tribute to Bradley Cooper, the Maestro and A Star Is Born actor and director who was honored as the festival’s Outstanding Performer of the Year before a sold-out audience of 2,000 at the stately Arlington Theater.

We’ll have highlights soon from Cooper’s Q&A, in which he discussed all of his films, did impersonations of collaborators Clint Eastwood and Robert De Niro, and said he would make another Hangover film “in a heartbeat.” But in the meantime, here are the remarks by Brad Pitt as he presented the award, and made fun of Cooper’s favorite football team.

Tonight, we celebrate the brilliant writer, director, actor, producer, singer-songwriter, Bradley Cooper. Now the first time I saw Bradley, I said to myself, one day — one day — I’m gonna milk this guy for a free trip to Santa Barbara.

Before we start, I want it known, for the record, I was this close, this close to getting A Star Is Born. And in the end, the director went with Bradley.

It’s selfish, really.

But truthfully, the first time Bradley made me sit up and start taking notes was in The Hangover. And really, if you look closely, amongst all the chaos of trying to, you know, find their friend, you’ll see the more irreverent that that Alan — Zach Galifianakis gets — the more that Phil — Bradley — is enjoying that irreverence. It’s subtle, it’s often to the side of the frame, but it’s there.

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• x080 February 08 – Santa Barbara Film Festival, Santa Barbara, CA.