Cooper enrolled in the MFA program at the Actors Studio at The New School in New York City in 2000. His career began in 1999 with a guest role in the television series Sex and the City. He made his film debut two years later in the comedy Wet Hot American Summer. He first gained recognition as Will Tippin in the spy-action television show Alias (2001–2006), and achieved minor success with a supporting part in the comedy film Wedding Crashers (2005). His breakthrough role came in 2009 with The Hangover, a critically and commercially successful comedy, which spawned two sequels in 2011 and 2013. Cooper’s portrayal of a struggling writer in the thriller Limitless (2011) and a rookie police officer in the crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) drew praise from critics.
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