The 47-year-old actor talked about his difficult decision during a new edition of Actors on Actors, in which he was interviewed alongside Mahershala Ali for Variety.
Bradley admitted it was director Paul Thomas who made him change his mind, after he was offered a role in his movie Licorice Pizza. This was the actor’s first involvement in movies after the pandemic caused many productions in Hollywood to stop, accepting the role and starting filming in August 2020.
“The reason that I didn’t give up acting is Paul Thomas Anderson. When he called me to maybe be in his movie, Mahershala, I mean really, I think I’d open up a door in his movie. I’d do anything,” Bradley shared.
The actor explained that he was also starring in Nightmare Alley and executives at Searchlight were worried about Bradley’s health.
“I was able to grow a beard and Searchlight was praying that I didn’t get COVID, because we had to go back and continue Nightmare Alley, but I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m not doing it,’” he said.
Bradley added that this “was the first movie back from COVID,” and he “spent three and a half weeks with Paul. I watched all the camera tests. He was teaching me all about lenses, things I never knew. He’s incredible.”