Bradley Cooper says he realised he is still "insecure" about being cast in certain films after being asked to replace Leonardo DiCaprio in the noir thriller Nightmare Alley.
The American actor said he had experienced a period where "the directors I admired weren't hiring me" and had jumped at the opportunity to be part of "the group" when it came along.
Cooper made the comments while speaking to fellow American actor Mahershala Ali in Variety's Actors on Actors series.
"Nightmare Alley was an interesting example of how insecure I am," he said, speaking about being approached for the Guillermo del Toro-directed film.
"I was like, 'Oh, I guess I still am the guy that wants to be in the group' because I had no intention of acting in anything other than what I've been writing.
"Leonardo DiCaprio dropped out, and Guillermo Del Toro came to me.
"I still remember thinking, 'Oh wow, the guys that don't hire me, they want to hire me?'
"'I'm the next guy after Leo in this cast that was already assembled. Of course, I have to do it because I've never been allowed into that group'.
"It really was ego. It was insecurity and ego".
Currently in cinemas, Nightmare Alley follows a hustler who sets his sights on manipulating the rich and, alongside Cooper, stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
Source: Press Association