May 13, 2013 at 9:19 AM ET
He may have gotten an Oscar nomination for his "Silver Linings Playbook" role, but don't think Bradley Cooper's head has gotten too big for movies like "The Hangover." Now, the franchise that helped make him a household name is back -- with a third and final installment.
"It's all gravy," Cooper told TODAY's Matt Lauer Monday during a visit (before that, however, he graciously presented the recently-engaged Savannah Guthrie with a bouquet of roses). "We made the first movie never thinking it was going to be a trilogy. So the fact that I'm sitting with you here now, three movies in, is incredible.... No, it's over, mainly because (director)Todd Phillips; he's the reason we're all here. He just spent the last six years of his life making 'Hangover' movies, and it's time for him to move on."
While it'll be a shame not to get to see the Wolfpack showing up semi-regularly on feature screens, Cooper himself has gone on to any number of feature roles. And there's always his first great obsessive interest to fall back on -- as Lauer reminded him, for a long time as a boy, Cooper wanted to be a ninja.
"You know on the back of magazines when you were a kid, you could buy all these little things if you had enough tickets?" explained Cooper. "I wanted a like, a Chinese (Throwing) Star and nunchucks and all that stuff." He even asked his dad if he could relocate to Japan until he was 21.
Don't count that possibility out, said Cooper. "You never know what could happen, Matt! I'm still healthy!"
"The Hangover Part III" opens in nationwide theaters May 23.