Bradley Cooper took a bow alongside his costars for the first preview curtain call for Broadway’s The Elephant Man at the Booth Theatre on Friday.

Bradley Cooper In 'The Elephant Man'

In The Elephant Man, Cooper plays the main character John, based off of the late 19th century sideshow performer Joseph Merrick, who suffered from severe deformities. Instead of donning prosthetics or makeup, Cooper transforms into the part by contorting his clean-shaven face and using breathing techniques.

“For me, it just starts with the breath and then it sort of just happens,” the actor said during a Today show appearance.

Landing the lead in The Elephant Man has been something of a career-long dream for the 39-year-old actor. David Lynch’s 1980 film, starring John Hurt inspired Cooper to become an actor.

“It was the reason why I wanted to become an actor, because of David Lynch’s movie,” Cooper told Matt Lauer. “And then I discovered it was a play, and I did it for my thesis in grad school.”

Cooper stars in The Elephant Man at the Booth Theatre alongside Patricia Clarkson, Anthony Heald, Scott Lowell, and Alessandro Nivola.

Prior to taking on The Elephant Man, Cooper appeared on Broadway in Richard Greenberg's 2006 drama Three Days of Rain with Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd.

On the big screen, Oscar-nominated Cooper will next be seen in American Sniper in January.