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Bradley Cooper's The Bear Season 3 Finale Cameo, Explained

You never know where Bradley Cooper might turn up these days. He'll pour himself into a passion project like "Maestro," which Looper's review called "a work of pure showmanship," and then he'll have a silly voice-over role in "IF." It's not too shabby for a guy who almost quit Hollywood for good, and Cooper's latest cameo is something he seemingly had nothing to do with. If you look carefully, you'll spot him on the Season 3 finale of "The Bear."

Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), Syd (Ayo Edebiri), and a bunch of other chefs go to Chef Andrea Terry's (Olivia Colman) restaurant for one last meal there before it closes its doors for good. At one point, Carmy looks at various photos plastered on a wall of chefs who have worked with Chef Terry over the years, and if you look closely, you'll find a shot of Cooper. This is actually a promotional photo of Cooper from the 2015 film "Burnt," where he plays Adam Jones, a chef who attempts a career comeback after drug use derailed things and seeks to earn a Michelin star.

The most likely explanation is that this is a silly blink-and-you'll-miss-it joke. It's a quick reference for anyone who paused the episode at the right time to catch Cooper randomly having a picture in this restaurant. However, could this hint at a greater cinematic universe between "The Bear" and "Burnt"?

Will Bradley Cooper guest star on The Bear Season 4?

Bradley Cooper's photo on "The Bear" could just be the set decorators having a bit of fun. An in-universe explanation could be that Chef Terry likes "Burnt" or thought it would be funny to put Cooper on the wall. However, it's important to note that "The Bear" incorporates a mix of real-life chefs and actors playing chefs. Actual pastry chef Malcolm Livingston II cameos during the season, but Will Poulter plays the fictional Luca, who's also a respected pastry chef in this universe. It's possible that Cooper is another chef within "The Bear" we've yet to meet in-person. He may be playing Adam Jones from "Burnt" or someone else entirely, but it sets up the possibility of some kind of cameo in a later episode. 

There's a good chance Season 4 will pick up right after Season 3 ended, similar to how "The Bear" Season 3 picks up right where Season 2 left off. Carmy just got the review for The Bear, and based on the words that were highlighted, it seems like it was mixed, at best. This likely won't be great for Carmy's mental health, so maybe he'll meet up with some other chefs to get their perspectives. This is where Adam Jones from "Burnt" could factor in, playing into the idea of a shared universe and opening the doors for a Cooper cameo. 

Then again, all this speculation may be overthinking it. Cooper's photo could just be there to be funny, seeing as "The Bear" is technically a comedy, after all.