Upstart Designer Cedric Charlier’s Off-Season Show Gamble

Cedric Charlier, a name recognized by fashion insiders but unknown to the general public, took a risk Tuesday night in Manhattan. Whether that risk was sartorial is up for debate, but he definitely got editors and stylists on their feet to see his spring ’17 collection on a NYC rooftop. Coinciding with resort shows by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dior and Marc Jacobs, Charlier’s first show in New York (the Belgian designer typically shows in Paris) came four months before he would have shown in the City of Lights.

Charlier’s pioneering in shifting from the fashion calendar isn’t his only call for his acclaim. His clothing’s sharp angles, airy colors and emphasis on wearability make it no surprise that it-girls from a very pregnant Nicky Rothschild (formerly Hilton) to DJ Mia Moretti were donning his designs in the front row.

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Speaking to Mrs. Rothschild before the show, she shared how long she’s known about Cedric for, as well as what she likes most about his designs. “I became familiar with [Cedric’s] designs a couple of years ago. I love his fun party dresses like the one that I’m wearing.” Rothschild’s sequined short dress brilliantly complemented her pregnant glow.

As models walked the rooftop, it was difficult not to think of Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia’s debut show for Balenciaga this past March. The most notable reference was the use of oversized light-grey blazers with broad shoulders. Other references to Gvasalia included the frequent use of yellow, also bringing to mind Beyonce’s visuals for Lemonade.

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Though Charlier’s show certainly included references, it still had an excitement to it, as well as strong attention to detail, which comes as no surprise given the designer’s tenure at Celine. The punk, choppy soundtrack offered a shrill contrast to the clothing’s light tones.

Commenting on Charlier’s designs, Moretti identified his penchant for comfort. “This is my first time wearing Cedric, but I’m really enjoying how dynamic all the pieces are. I mixed two different looks together and all his pieces work so well like that. The fabrics feel like second skin in that sense and I think most women that wear his clothes feel very comfortable in them. I think that’s why it’s so easy to piece them all together in so many easy ways.”


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Gabby Mejia Talks Miami’s Cultural Renaissance Ahead of Art Basel 2015

Photo via @eltucanmiami on Instagram

Gabby Mejia is not your typical nightlife connoisseur. With a resume that includes Creative Director at Andre Balazs’ subMercer in NYC, Entertainment Director at Soho Grand and Artistic Director-turned-independent consultant at Will Smith’s favorite Miami cabaret, El Tucan, Mejia has moved back to Miami and shared with us some insider tips on the heels of Art Basel 2015.

How are things?

“It’s raining here in Miami. I moved to Miami in the end of July.”

What exactly do you do at El Tucan?

“I handle special bookings and DJ occasionally. I brought in Puddles Pity Party, who’s a giant (literally and figuratively at a whopping 6’8″) in the the cabaret/live performance world. I also booked Freddie King, a soul singer and NYC busker who used to sing at my subway station at Fulton! He is the son of the Freddie King and [the late] B.B. King was his cousin, and he brought the house down.”

You just got back from Marrakesh?

“Second time in three months. It’s so vibrant and inspiring to the senses.”

Tell me a little about your career.

“I worked with Andre Balazs for many years. I started off at The Raleigh in 2004—the first time moved to Miami from New York. Initially, I thought I would hate it, but this is my fourth time back now. I have an ongoing relationship with Miami.

I’ve also with Ben Pundole at Shore Club before returning to New York. Then I joined Andre at The Standard Spa Miami beach , handling events and cultural day-life programming.

Next I went to run subMercer [in New York] and did that for three years.

I manage clubs and restaurants and do a lot of bookings and events. There’s always music involved with what I do. I worked on a lot of music videos and event production stuff. I was the entertainment director at GrandLife—Soho Grand, running the Club Room—a beautiful room in the back. They wanted to activate the room, so I did cultural programming. We wanted to offer something different from the typical downtown programming, so we had nights  of African music, for instance — amazing music – with musicians Xander Ferreira and Findlay Brown. We also did a night with Stretch Armstrong – very positive, old-school New York vibes, without being throwback. We had piano karaoke with Joe McGinty. It was a secret room that was very word-of-mouth, attracting the right people.”

I started a music label for subMercer. [The Mercer] was the first hotel to start its own music label with original content. At that time great underground DJs and producers were playing at subMercer, so I wanted to collaborate and produce something with them – to do something more creative and expand the capacity in which we worked together, but obviously music was the common ground and foundation. Every boutique hotel in the world puts out a CD compilation – which is ultimately just someone’s playlist – it’s costly and unoriginal. When I approached Andre [Balazs], I said we have to take advantage [of the amazing talent] who we have the opportunity to work with. We also published vinyl instead of CD’s, though we offered the albums digitally, too.”

Tell me more about your music selection?

My music selection is very diverse, from Classical music to Jazz to Funk to Folk to Northern soul to Disco to Dancehall/Reggae to Rock and Dance Music. Admittedly though, I can’t say I”m one for the current state of mainstream pop music, though there are a few true beacons right now. I DJ too though so I try to keep an open mind and an open ear.

How did you get involved with El Tucan?

“I used to work with a friend Emilia Menocal at Hotels AB [Andre Balazs], and she’s now the Creative Director for the owners of El Tucan and their venues. She pulled me in the assist wight the opening and do programming for the club. Emilia also works with Rob McKinley – the designer for Ruschmeyer’s, Surf Lodge, Sant Ambroeus and Tijuana Picnic – so she brought him to do the interiors.

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Photo via @travisthevoice on Instagram

What are your thoughts on the launch of Faena District?

I’m having dinner with them tonight. They’re great, everyone’s been waiting for it for such a long time. They really kept things under wraps, so there’s been a lot of anticipation. [The paradigm is shifting]. Everything was in South Beach. Then Soho Beach House opened and things moved up north. Mid Beach didn’t ever have much action before – it was a bit of a no-man’s land. Now that whole stretch of the beach is being revitalized and transforming the neighborhood, which is what the Faena Group is known for. The Edition has opened a hotel there as well, with a nightclub, restaurants, a bowling alley and even an ice skating rink! The Freehand is also a gem and attracts a hip, young, easy-going crowd with its restaurant (a paladar of sorts) and famous Broken Shaker bar. Faena Group is about to open a hotel, residents, a market area and an art center designed by [architect] Rem Koolhaas. [Faena] will also have its own massive cabaret theater.

Miami is very much becoming cabaret town. Faena will be really interesting. They pulled together Darryl Gibson, the Culture Director for Andre Balazs in L.A. and Dani Morla, formerly of La Clique in Paris and Le Baron internationally. It’s a killer, ace team. It’s a promising sign that such notable captains of [the hospitality and entertainment] industry are moving to Miami. It’s a positive sign that stuff is going on here.”

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Photo via @alan_faena on Instagram

Tell me more about your professional experience.

“Oh, man…I can’t – the CV is too long now LOL. I’ve been around a minute, but let’s just say it’s NY-MIA-NY-MIA and all things music, entertainment, nightlife, hospitality, travel and events product – the intersection at which they all collide with some film and fashion thrown into the mix, too. I’m a creative, project-oriented person that loves to travel, so I try to keep on the move and work on new projects, so that I’m constantly excited and inspired and challenged. I want to start doing more things abroad, too.

Interview: Photographer Dan Martensen Talks Capturing the Stars of The Wolfpack

Photo: @danmartensen on Instagram 

With a cult following of sorts, the Angulo brothers starring in Crystal Moselle’s documentary The Wolfpack have captured the spirits of many, particularly photographer Dan Martensen.

Photographing the boys over the course of the past five years, Martensen has created a photo book, Wolves Like Us, and included a curated selection of the images in The Wolfpack Show at Deitch Projects, which will also feature Mukunda Angulo’s first film, Window Feel, as well as the brothers’ costumes seen in Moselle’s documentary.

With Martensen’s book prepping a release and the gallery show taking place from October 21st through November 1st, we caught up with Martensen regarding his experience with The Wolfpack.

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Photo: @danmartensen on Instagram 

How are you doing?

Dan Martensen: I’m exhausted, I’m fine though. I’m happy to be done with the hanging of the show.

How did you get involved with this project – meeting the Angulo brothers?

Dan Martensen: Crystal , the director of the film [The Wolfpack], is a friend of mine and said, “you’ve got to meet these kids, they’re great”. I started shooting them around that same time [five years ago].

I would take their pictures and go on adventures with them.

After five years I had a book of work and when the film came out I put together a book [Wolves Like Us]. The show [at Deitch Project] has two sections. There’s my work, photos taken from the book curated for the show, and in the back the boys did a big installation of their own personal stuff – all their costumes. That’s what the show is – that’s how it got started.

Tell me a little about yourself and your background.

Dan Martensen: I studied photography at Rhode Island School of Design. I did a couple of shows at Rare Gallery 15 years ago. I got into both commercial and art photography for a while. A few years ago, I had a show that was a collection of images that I made into a book of landscape images of the American Southwest

This [Wolves Like Us] was my next big project.

I’m from Westchester – Pleasantville, New York to be exact.

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Photo: @inezvinoodh on Instagram 

Did you or Crystal have an idea of what this project would turn into?

Dan Martensen: No way, not even close.

Crystal, being a filmmaker, I don’t know when exactly she knew, but for me, it sort of just started out very innocently wanting to photograph these guys not knowing what I would do with the work, maybe show as an editorial in a magazine.

I kept shooting. At one point I tabled it for a little bit just because I was busy doing other things. My wife was like, “it’s such a great project” and pushed me to get back into it. At that point I got really into it in a way I hadn’t before and that’s when I realized I wanted to make a book.

What was the time duration you photographed the Angulo brothers?

Dan Martensen: I started in Septemebr 2010 and stopped in April 2015.

What was your favorite aspect?

Dan Martensen: The boys themselves – I love the images and love having it [the book] as a collection from a professional standpoint but the personal aspect was such an eye-opening experience. I really connected with them on a lifetime level. It’s definitely the friendships and families I’ve made – that was the biggest [treasure].

Were you present during the actual filming of the documentary?

Dan Martensen: I wasn’t there when they were filming – I was for a couple of parts.

Crystal really had to essentially live with the boys.

Was the direction of your book inspired by the documentary?

Dan Martensen: I didn’t see the film until after I completed the book because I didn’t want to be swayed by anything.

I knew bits and pieces from what Crystal would tell me but I tried to have my own unique relationship in that it wasn’t about their story as to what it meant to be them now and what it meant to be young and interested in having fun and exploring and playing. I didn’t really want to see the film until then [finishing the book] but when I did, there were definitely parts that I found really difficult. There definitely was some pain that they [the brothers] expressed that I didn’t experience with them and some details that I didn’t know so much about.

But I definitely feel like I intended on having my own relationship with them. It’s not like I would normally meet someone and get into so much detail about their life. If I found out they came from a unique circumstance, I would make them feel okay rather than ask every last detail. I’m hardly that inquisitive knowing it could be painful to bring that stuff up. I was in the now and present. It was more about having fun and exploring with them – exploring their personalities, who they are now.

It [The Wolfpack] is an optimistic film, an optimistic story – a happy story in the end.

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Photo: @danmartensen on Instagram

Did you encounter any obstacles photographing the brothers?

Dan Martensen: It was hard to get them out of bed before 11am – other than that, no, not really.

Just a little bit more about your first book.

Dan Martensen: I was just road tripping for a few years – photographing around the Southwest.

Do you have any future projects planned?

Dan Martensen: I’m just trying to get this show up to be honest – nothing planned yet, there’s always something. I really enjoyed shooting these guys because they were so different and that’s a theme I’d like to continue.

They’re young and there was stuff from my own youth, the idea of play and escapism, which I related to.

I’ve got eyes and ears open to any amazing stories. At this point, I’m trying to get this show up and show everybody what I’ve done.

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Photo: @danmartensen on Instagram

Will Mukunda’s film only be shown opening night?

Dan Martensen: No, the film will be on loop at the show.

Anything else you would like to add?

Dan Martensen: Buy the book, Damiani published it – I think it’s great, I’m really proud of it.

Kanye West Launches Soundcloud Page With Two Songs

Kanye West barber of 20 years Ibn Jasper took to Instagram this afternoon referring his followers to Soundcloud.com/kanyewest.

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Photo via @ibnjasper on Instagram 

Immediately checking the account, we were intrigued to see Say You Will, the opening track to West’s 808s and Heartbreak, listed as one of the two tracks. This version, featuring Pulitzer-winning violinist and singer Caroline Shaw, who performed a lyric-free version of the track with West at the Democratic National Committee fundraiser last week before segueing into Power, is an enchanting 2015 refresh of the still treasured 2008 track.

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The other track listed on West’s new Soundcloud page is When I See It, a nostalgic 1:43 minute song that sounds like it could have been a demo, or progression, of the West-produced The Weeknd track Tell Your Friends.

 

Watch: Miley Cyrus Performs at James Franco Bar Mitzvah

Photo via @jamesfrancotv on Instagram 

What other way for James Franco to ring in his long overdue rite of passage into Jewish manhood than with a performance from the lady of camp herself, Miley Cyrus.

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Photo via @mileycyrus on Instagram 

Hosted by Seth Rogen in collaboration with Funny or Die, the festivities helped raise money for Alzheimer’s awareness.

Also in attendance was Bill Hader, Jeff Goldblum – who performed a mock circumcision and HAIM – who performed Hava Nagila.

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Photo via @mileycyrus on Instagram 

Drake Says He Got Kicked Off ‘Degrassi’ But Wants to Act Again

Photo: @champagnepapi on Instagram 

In W Art’s new cover story, Drake reveals he was kicked off Degrassi, but now has the acting bug again.

“[Making music] was part of the reason I was kicked off the show…“Back then, I’d spend a full day on set and then go to the studio to make music until 4 or 5 a.m. I’d sleep in my dressing room and then be in front of the cameras again by 9 a.m. Eventually, they realized I was juggling two professions and told me I had to choose.” Drake laughed. “I chose this life.”

Even though Drake’s gig as Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi came to an end, the rap juggernaut still has acting aspirations.

“I can’t wait to get back into acting,” Drake told me. “No one ever asks me to do movies, and, although music is my focal point now, I’d love to do a film. That was the life that I lived before, and it would be interesting to live it again.”

If his 2014 SNL hosting gig is any indication, Drake has certainly not lost his acting chops.

‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ Previews Leonardo DiCaprio’s Next Film Role

Photo: @sandrolevatino on Instagram 

Introducing Evan Peters Mr. March, the mad architect of Hotel Cortez, American Horror Story: Hotel beats Leonardo DiCaprio to the punch in paying homage to serial killer H.H. Holmes.

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Photo: @ahsfx on Instagram 

Set to play Holmes in Martin Scorsese’s The Devil in the White City, DiCaprio’s portrayal will differ from Peters’ in that it will take place in 1893, historically accurate compared to Horror Story’s 1920s depiction.

DiCaprio will play H.H. Holmes, who murdered between 27 and 200 people, mostly single young women. Set against the backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, “The Devil in the White City” tells the intertwining stories of fair architect Daniel H. Burnham and Holmes, who used a hotel he built near the fairgrounds to lure his victims.

While Peters’ fetish mask, as well as the 1920s timeframe, strays from historical accuracy, the Horror Story regular definitely plans to take inspiration from the serial killer playing Mr. March, according to Vanity Fair

Peters told Variety “there are definitely things derived from good old H. H. Holmes” in his performance and that the darkness of this season got to be a little too much, even for him. “I’ve done five seasons and this is starting to really get to me,” he said describing one particularly harrowing day on the American Horror Story: Hotel set. “It’s starting to get a little weird. I’m starting to see things a little differently. I think I’ve got to kind of step out for a minute and get back to reality because you become desensitized to it.”

If you’re not spooked yet, tune into American Horror Story: Hotel on FX Wednesday nights at 10 – that should do the trick.

Uber Driver to the Stars on Kardashians, 21 Siblings and Giving Back

Photo: Oumarou Idrissa

Oumarou Idrissa is no regular Uber driver. Commissioned on Craigslist to drive UberBLACK, the highest rank of the car service, Idrissa has met everyone from Rihanna to the Kardashians.

While Idrissa tries not to be affected by his regular brushes with fame, the soccer lover can’t help but think about how far he’s come from his impoverished roots.

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Photo: Oumarou Idrissa

How are you doing?

Oumarou Idrissa: Everything is good, can’t complain.

How does it feel to have been featured in both The New York Times [Style Magazine] and Business Insider?

Oumarou Idrissa: Exciting, something I didn’t even know, just living life.

Tell me about your background.

Oumarou Idrissa: I’m West African from Niger – one of 21 siblings – and grew up in Niamey, the capital, but a poor area of the neighborhood. Growing up in Niger was good. We don’t have much but are always happy with what we have.

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What brought you to California?

Oumarou Idrissa: California was a dream come true, something I dreamed about at 13 – I watched a movie with a plane landing in Los Angeles and thought, “one day I want to go to Los Angeles.” It’s a miracle being here – thank g-d. Now is time to work and succeed and help the people back home.

Giving back to family – that’s why I’m here. I know where I left. I don’t want to see any kid go through what I went through.

When did you come to California?

Oumarou Idrissa: First I went to New York City – living there, hustling. My first job was shoveling snow. It was the first time I saw snow in my life. I was getting $3.75 an hour and worked ten hours a day, seven days a week.

I was living in studio with some people from my country – 11 of us. I had to work everyday, every week, to save money. I’d make $350 a week sometimes and send 200 home. The weather, smell, food…one time I passed out on a subway by Yankee Stadium 161st Street. I woke up to see people around me in uniform who don’t speak my language: I didn’t know what they’re asking me – it made me paranoid – and they found someone who spoke French and took me to the hospital and kept me there over night. After that I decided this is not my life – I made the move to come to Los Angeles.

I was living in Long Beach when I came to L.A. I started meeting people – Mexicans playing soccer. Soccer is all I want to do in my life. They liked the way I played and invited me to play. I was illegal in L.A. so I couldn’t work – it was a challenge. After that they would pay me if I scored goals on league games Saturday and Sunday.

And you coach soccer?

Oumarou Idrissa: I was introduced to a college coach at Long Beach City College. I can’t go to school because I can’t afford it – the coach said he will find a way to help. He got me job as a soccer referee. I made money to support myself and my family. While coaching, I met a nice guy David. I cooked him African food – he liked it and I cooked for his family. He paid my tuition for college – and I started playing soccer there. I made him proud making the first save, getting the school into second round playoffs.

Meanwhile, my immigration was still denied. I was told I have 30 days to leave the country. I was like, “I’m not leaving.” So I was hiding for years – when I saw police I got scared. At one point the police stopped me walking yelling “put your hands behind your neck”. One grabbed me, pushed me down asking if I have job or have probation. When he heard my accent I said “my English no good”. They searched me, did what they had to do and let me out.

At one point I was biking and the police kept harassing me so then I would either walk or catch the bus. I never had a problem like that in New York. Long Beach was different.

Then I had to find a way to stay here – the only option was to get married to a U.S. citizen so I started hunting for a wife. It was a crazy experience. From there, I met a young girl, I liked her, she liked me and we dated for six to seven months. A year and a half later we got married.

I went to a two-year college. I can’t be full-time student with no job. I had to keep working. I coached soccer for Long Beach District. After that I met someone through Craigslist who wanted me to do Uber Black. I had an interview in Glendale and he accepted me and I started working for Uber.

Tell me about your experiences as an UberBLACK driver.

Oumarou Idrissa: Sometimes I go to parties with customers – I dress up nice – and the ladies sometimes think I’m rich. When I tell girls I’m just an Uber driver they are always surprised.

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Photo: Oumarou Idrissa

People make fun of my accent – classmates would laugh during class in college – but those people don’t know better. [They probably] don’t travel to other countries. In my class I couldn’t say things.

In school, people make fun of you, saying “why are you so dark?” It’s ignorance. I experienced all that through college but did not let it affect me. I kept hustling.

When I go to parties, I meet a lot of celebrities – I don’t even know they’re celebrities. I only know [they’re celebrities] if I see people taking pictures with them. [The ones I know are] Jay-Z, Beyonce and [major] actors and actresses.

Are you happy with your job?

Oumarou Idrissa: I’m always happy – but it’s not something I want to do all my life. With a situation, you have to survive with what you have to do. I’m working for somebody and using his car – I pay him every week. [You] have to be grateful.

I met some people who wanted me to do modeling from L.A. Casting. I appeared in Jay-Z and Beyonce’s music video for Part II (On The Run) as and extra. I couldn’t believe it. I kept living hustling. Something I will never forget in my life. I never thought I would see them in my life.

Have you told your family that you were featured in Rihanna’s New York Times interview?

Oumarou Idrissa: My family doesn’t know much about celebrities or The New York Times. My brother is only one who knows – he used to know about The New York TImes because he lived here many years ago. Now he’s back home helping kids – doing soccer – trying to get soccer players to go to South Africa to play.

Tell me about meeting Rihanna.

Oumarou Idrissa: Rihanna is very kind – I respect her. She’s nice – I was shy and didn’t even want to ask for picture – and at the last minute when she was leaving I got the courage to ask her. She asked where I’m from and I told her. She smiled and it was nice. She was warm – that felt good.

Usually when I see celebrities I don’t jump in, I play it cool.

You’ve also met the Kardashians?

Oumarou Idrissa: I met Kendall many times – at Fashion Week in New York last year. They are very good people – very nice, very respectful. [They] come and give a hug. I like them a lot – good people.

I met Khloe – she was the first celebrity I have a picture with.

What is your driving route in Los Angeles?

Oumarou Idrissa: From downtown L.A. to Hollywood to Santa Monica to Beverly Hills to Calabasas to Malibu.

I met Kendall, Kylie and Khloe at a party – they were very nice. One time I was at the Celebrity Kickball Game with Chris Brown and Quincy [and they were there]. [They are] very good people, very respectful.

Are you in school now?

Oumarou Idrissa: I’m taking a break from school to support my family – I went home six months ago because I lost my father so I went to visit. I stayed for two/three days and took so many stuff for the children there – I helped the kids. I took ten shoes – people gave donation shoes for me to take – and went there to take them. Those kids never had a pair of shoes – I got my first pair of shoes at 16/17 so I know how that feels.

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I’m coaching soccer at a French school right now – undefeated for five weeks in the league. We train on Monday and Wednesday – Saturday we have games. Soccer is my life. Everytime I’m driving, I have soccer ball in my car. If I’m sleeping, I have a soccer ball in my bed. Because of soccer, I get to stay in Los Angeles. It helped me a lot.

You also met Kris Jenner?

Oumarou Idrissa: I met her at the Elton John party – the Kardashians are very good people, very friendly.

How long have you been working as an Uber driver?

Oumarou Idrissa: A year now.

You seem to speak English fairly well. Did you learn from school?

Oumarou Idrissa: I watch the news a lot – I love American politics. I watch CNN, Fox and BBC. The only talk show I watch is Ellen DeGeneres – she can make anyone laugh. She’s positive, I watch her show a lot.

Awesome. Do you have anything else you would like to share?

Oumarou Idrissa: I’m praying for Lamar Odom. I hope he comes through. He’s such a nice guy. I watch him play basketball and hope he gets through this strong.

Bradley Cooper Supports Jennifer Lawrence Argument About Hollywood Gender Pay Gap

Photo via @_bradcoopictures_ on Instagram 

Promoting upcoming film Burnt on E! News, Bradley Cooper shows solidarity with Jennifer Lawrence following her Lenny Letter op-ed Why Do I Make Less Than My Co-Stars.

“One thing I could say is that’s interesting because if you think that you only deserve a certain amount and that’s not correct, it’s about changing that mindset and sticking up for yourself the way that Sienna did,” he shared with E! News. “So that’s a great thing.”

Cooper is referring to Burnt co-star Sienna Miller dropping out of a play after negotiations for equal pay as her male costar proved unsuccessful.

Lawrence’s op-ed, which calls for women to stop being ashamed of negotiating higher pay, references the Sony email leak from over a year ago which revealed an executive referring to the actress as a brat for asking for higher pay.

The email leak also revealed the pay gap between Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper for American Hustlers.