Bradley Cooper made his on-screen debut during season 2 of Sex and the City — and at the time he was “terrified.”

Cooper, now 49, reflected on his first-ever role during a Q&A on Thursday, February 8, at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, where he accepted an award for outstanding performer of the year.

“I still remember it: I was Jake the downtown smoker,” he recalled about his appearance, where he played a short-lived love interest of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker). “I auditioned for it, and at that time, I didn’t really realize that you could ever get the job. Honestly, I thought that I had a job as a doorman at Morgans Hotel and then I was lucky enough to audition.”

The actor was “terrified” after landing the gig, thinking at the time, “What do you mean I’m actually going to have to do it?”

After fibbing that he could drive a stick shift, he attended Models Driving School.

“I still messed it up,” he continued. “So they had somebody else drive the car and I just had to … pretend that we stopped.”

Cooper’s first acting gig ended up being “really fun” alongside the “incredible” Parker, now 58. In season 2, episode 4, Cooper appeared as downtown party boy Jake. The pair meet at Beauty Bar, which is a real nightclub in NYC, after a horrible photo of Carrie lands on the cover of New York Magazine.

The iconic episode is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and Cooper said it makes him feel “old,” joking, “S–t, I’ve been around, dude.”

Cooper’s small fib about not being able to drive a stick actually prompted the episode to get changed. Director and writer Michael Patrick King spilled all the details about what exactly happened with Cooper and the Karmann Ghia sports car on “And Just Like That…The Writers Room Podcast” in 2023.

“Four in the morning, another Friday outside 14th Street and I said, ‘Bradley, this is where you drive, you take off.’ And he goes, ‘I can’t drive a stick,’” King said. “And so we fixed, changed, pivoted,” he said. “Sarah Jessica’s character Carrie crawls out of the Karmann Ghia and walks herself home.”

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