Bradley Cooper, People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2011, is set to play a slightly less sexy role in the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s production of Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man.

In a departure from previous pretty parts of performances past, Cooper takes on the role of John Merrick, a deformed man whose notoriety fascinates London’s Victorian high society (and interestingly enough, a role that Cooper played as part of his senior thesis for the Actor’s Studio Drama School).

Patricia Clarkson is set to star alongside Cooper as an actress who befriends the ‘Elephant Man’ in the hospital. Both Clarkson and Cooper are alums of Williamstown, with the former having last appeared in the theatre festival in 1996 in Arthur Miller’s The Ride Down Mount Morgan and the latter having recently starred in Smash creator Theresa Rebeck’s The Understudy in 2008.

Does Cooper have the gravitas to successfully portray the disfigured legend? Or, more importantly, is there enough make-up in the world to hide that dashing mug? Either way, a little star power is sure to help the festival as the Scott Ellis-directed The Elephant Man rounds out the line-up, playing at Nikos Stage from July 25 – August 5, 2012.

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