10 Cloverfield Lane spoilers: The secret A-list cameo nobody saw coming

Keep your ears peeled for a JJ Abrams connection in monster blockbuster 10 Cloverfield Lane.

10 Cloverfield Lane John Goodman Mary Elizabeth Winstead John Gallagher Jr
Unhappy families John Goodman's Howard and his two prisoners hear something above ground. Image Picture Paramount

JJ Abrams has kept a tight lid on 10 Cloverfield Lane but, now the reviews are out, its secrets are slowly emerging (spoilers will follow in this article).

A quasi-sequel to 2008’s Cloverfield, the film centres on young Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who splits from her fiancé and drives off into the night only to be abducted by a crazed survivalist played by John Goodman.

Michelle’s ex Ben makes desperate phone calls to get her back. The role is voice only, and hasn’t been credited in any of the trailers or posters so far.

However, the actor behind this short but pivotal role happens to be an A-lister with a long-standing Abrams connection: Bradley Cooper.

The Oscar-nominated American Sniper star was a regular on Abrams’ hit spy show Alias, playing Jennifer Garner’s close ally Will Tippin from 2001 to 2006. Abrams and Cooper both transitioned from TV to film, but are yet to reunite on the big screen.

“We needed that role. It was so minor, but we needed someone to do the voice,” director Dan Trachtenberg told Loaded.

Alias Bradley Cooper Jennifer Garner
Spot the A-lister 10 Cloverfield Lane boasts a big name cameo from the Alias cast. Image Picture Alias

“A lot of people in the office kept on doing it, and it wasn’t right. Then JJ just said, ‘Let me see if Bradley Cooper will do it.’ And he did!”

Cooper and Abrams obviously patched up any differences they might have had over Alias. The actor famously voiced his frustrations about the show in a 2014 interview.

“I would only work three days a week,” fumed Cooper. “And then for the second season, I got even more sidelined. I was like, ‘Ugh.’ And then next thing you know, I was ‘I want to f**king kill myself.’ After I asked to be written out, JJ was ‘OK.’ He probably would’ve fired me, anyway… At some point, you have to come to terms with ‘The business just doesn’t want you’, you know what I mean?”

Of the Bradley Cooper connection, Winstead joked that her character might not have fled if she knew who her ex was in the film.

“You know what, I didn’t know it was Bradley Cooper when we shot the film. If I’d known things might have gone differently!” she told Loaded. “We owe that cameo to JJ. He’s the Bradley Cooper connection.”

10 Cloverfield Lane is released in US cinemas on March 11 and March 18 in the UK.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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