'Wet Hot American Summer' All-Star Roll Call: Then and Now

How the comedy MVP cast became huge since making the 2001 cult hit

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Bradley Cooper
Saeed Adyani/Netflix9/15

Bradley Cooper

Character: Ben, theater geek extraordinaire
Pre-WHAS: This was Cooper's big-screen debut — in 2001 he would've only been familiar to his friends, his family, and the few people who saw him asking Sean Penn a question on a 1999 episode of Inside the Actor's Studio.
Post-WHAS: Gosh, where to begin? Cooper's first substantial break came when he was cast as a regular on the spy series Alias, not long after appearing in this movie; his career really started to take off in 2009, however, with the raunchy comedy The Hangover. Since then he's starred in several big box office hits (including Guardians of the Galaxy, where he played a raccoon), and has been Oscar-nominated three times: for Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and American Sniper. No one involved with Wet Hot American Summer could've predicted that for Cooper back in 2001 — except for maybe his own drama-besotted character, Ben.

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