HOW DOES a talented, versatile actor cement his status as an A-list star? The upward trajectory of Bradley Cooper's career offers a few lessons.
* Start your movie career with indie credibility: Cooper had a role in 2001's "Wet Hot American Summer," a quirky comedy that's become a cult hit and included future stars Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler and Elizabeth Banks.
* Get a recurring role on a buzzworthy TV series: In the early 2000s, he played Will Tippin, a civilian pal of Jennifer Garner's international spy character on ABC's "Alias," the stylish action drama created by future "Star Trek" director J.J. Abrams. * Land a supporting part in a big-screen hit: As the smug boyfriend of Rachel McAdams, Cooper was a worthy adversary for love-struck Owen Wilson in 2005's "Wedding Crashers."