As the handsome, blue-eyed hero of movies like “The Hangover” and “American Sniper,” Bradley Cooper could probably pick his pick of romance stars, models, and influencers.
So it’s no wonder Hollywood intrigued when Vidak For Congress first revealed he’s quietly dating Huma Abedin: Hillary Clinton’s forever-loyal chief of staff and long-suffering ex-wife of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner.
At first glance, they may seem like an odd couple. The outgoing LA actor is now directing and filming the high-spirited Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro,” while the enigmatic New Yorker Abedin has been the keeper of secrets, optics and logistics for Clinton and people smugglers for 25 years. in the politically oriented world of Washington, DC.
But insiders and experts say that, while it’s still in its infancy, the relationship is boosting both of their profiles — and that Cooper, 47, and Abedin, 45, could become the next George and Amal Clooney-style power couple: a meeting of Hollywood and politics.
In September 2014, Hollywood heartthrob George married British lawyer Amal at a high-profile wedding in Venice, Italy. That pairing seemed unlikely at first — after all, George had previously been associated with a string of little-known actresses and TV hosts (Elisabetta Canalis, Krista Allen, Lisa Snowdon) as well as a professional wrestler (Stacy Keibler). If the man had a type, it was hardly a “lawyer specializing in international human rights.”
“There is no doubt that having Amal in my life changed everything for me,” said George, now 61, in 2020. “It was the first time that everything she did and everything about her was infinitely more important than anything. about me. “
Now of course it all makes sense.
Their pairing led to the Amal Clooney Effect, which reversed the stereotypical relationship dynamics and introduced the idea of a trophy husband to an accomplished, intellectual wife.
Amal, 44, has taught at Columbia Law School and represented clients such as Nobel laureate Nadia Murad. She addressed the UN on issues such as genocide against the Yazidi people, sexual violence as a weapon of war and, in April, pushing for the punishment of war crimes committed by Russia against Ukraine.
George’s fame has taken Amal’s work to a new level without making her seem frivolous, while giving him a sense of gravitas that is hard to find in Hollywood. Especially for a man who, while trying to cement a serious directorial career with films like “Good Night, and Good Luck,” continues to be mocked for the nipples from his 1997 Batman outfit.
Since marrying Amal – who shares 5-year-old twins Alexander and Ella with George – the actor has focused more on his humanitarian work. Together, they founded the Clooney Foundation for Justice in 2016, sparking calls to enter the political arena. (He has publicly declined, in his smooth George Clooney way.)
He also charmingly knows how to play her reputation to his advantage. In 2018, the Oscar winner took the stage at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon by introducing herself as “Hi, I’m George and I’m Amal Clooney’s husband.”
Global branding and public relations expert Mark Borkowski told The Post of Abedin and Cooper, “It has all the potential to have one of the most interesting power relations we’ve seen since Amal and Clooney.”
For starters, it could be an opportunity for Abedin to finally shake her reputation as Anthony Weiner’s beleaguered ex-wife and Clinton’s lackey.
“She has this whole history: Hillary, the husband and the laptop,” Borkowski said, referring to how, just before the 2016 presidential election, an investigation into Weiner’s computer led to a reopened FBI investigation into Clinton’s use of private data. emails when she was Secretary of State.
“Like a moth to a flame, she’s attracted to fame and celebrity, and dating a hot celebrity is a good way to show she’s still relevant,” a political insider added. “It makes her current. Her book [2021 memoir ‘Both/And‘] got great reviews, and now she’s moving on with this terrible marriage.”
As for Cooper, “It gives Bradley a platform to be seen more seriously — and to take on more cerebral business rather than the usual showbiz piffel.”
Nine-time Academy Award nominee Cooper has expressed frustration at not being taken seriously. In June, he spoke on Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes’s “SmartLess” podcast that he was still being treated as an impostor among the Hollywood elite, admitting that he wondered, “What the hell is this city? “
In 2018, he told the New York Times how furious he was when filmmakers tried to cast him in the same roles. “Because you’re like, ‘I have these big dreams, and I feel these things.’ Is that all wrong? Like, be ashamed of anyone who’s going to tell you who you are. That makes me angry. It’s like someone’s going to tell you who you are, what you’re capable of… They just really believe that each person has one dimension gets.”
An influential Hollywood source said Cooper put his “heart and soul” into directing and starring in 2018’s “A Star Is Born” with Lady Gaga — only to tear it to shreds. “Bradley was devastated that he didn’t win the Oscar for that film. He put in everything he had.”
The Hollywood source added: “While whoever is dating who doesn’t guarantee Oscars or a movie hit, it could change the perspective of someone as an artist in Hollywood.
“Huma has a huge network of very rich and powerful contacts and world leaders. She can make important introductions for Bradley, which could be a valuable source of funding for the independent films he wants to make.”
Borkowski, meanwhile, noted that “having a devout Muslim partner would put him in a different light, in terms of her global impact.”
Cooper has also long been a Democratic supporter, having donated to Clinton’s campaign in 2008, was an outspoken supporter of Obamacare, and appeared at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
But political insiders say his relationship with Abedin could boost his standing in democratic and wider political circles. A self-proclaimed “fan of politics,” Cooper was asked in 2012 if he would ever run for office. “I don’t know, I actually think it’s a very noble profession,” he said. When he insisted on a more direct answer, he said “yes”, adding the job comes with “great respect”. (Unless, of course, your name is Weiner.)
A leading Democratic insider said: “Huma is a very smart woman who has many powerful contacts around the world. This relationship will open doors for Bradley Cooper that were previously closed.
“The idea of having him run seems like an opportunity right now, but you could see him appearing on panels or advisory committees.”
And on top of that, the political insider added: “Let me tell you something – no one has more right to go out and have fun than Huma Abedin.”