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Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper rev up “A-Team” promotions at NASCAR race


Hollywoodnews.com: The cast of 20th Century Fox’s upcoming remake of the cult television drama “The A-Team” descended on Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., this weekend to kick off the annual Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race and rev up promotions for their anticipated summer blockbuster.

Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson celebrated Memorial Day weekend with hundreds of thousands of NASCAR fans as they toured the pits, participated in racing events, posed for photographs in Victory Lane, and raced around the track in the legendary, black and red “A-Team” van.

“I’ve always wanted to come to a race,” Copley said, after admitting that Formula 1 was more popular in South Africa, where he grew up.

Cooper said he loved touring the NASCAR garages and speaking with drivers like Kasey Kahne. “It’s really tight in a NASCAR car,” Cooper said. “But it is awesome.”

Copley, who most will know from his leading role in last year’s “District 9,” also admitted to reporters that he ran in an “A-Team” gang while growing up in South Africa.

“We actually had war with another ‘A-Team’ gang,” Copley joked. “These guys are going to find me on Facebook now or something. … But I got to be in The A-Team as a 12-year-old, and in the A-Team now, which is cool.”

Biel, meanwhile, revealed that her character in the film — Capt. Charisa Sosa — is trying to bring the A-Team to justice.

“I have to police these crazy guys a bit and chase them around,” she said. “We have some other bad guys (in the film) as well, so I’m not the only one who is making their journey a little more difficult. But yeah, I get to chase them around, and it’s great.”

When asked about the tone of the upcoming “A-Team” adventure, which balances between homage and serious drama, Cooper explained, “The thing that’s going to make it great is that it’s both funny and you care about these four guys. The tone that Joe was able to create is the kind that I really like in movies like ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ where one minute your laughing and then you really care the next. And I just love action movies, so if you can get all of that wrapped up in one, which is what we were able to do under his guidance … if you are looking for that kind of movie, you are set.”

When asked is Mr. T makes a cameo in the film, Cooper wavered. “You’ll have to watch the movie for that (answer),” he said. But when asked to elaborate on the style of the film, Cooper said, “The grit factor is pretty high in this. We saw about 20 minutes of an assembly of the movie about one-quarter of the way through us filming it, and the thing that i was struck by is that you saw the Joe Carnahan stamp on it right away. If you’ve seen ‘Narc’ or ‘Smokin’ Aces,’ you know he’s got this style that you don’t see director’s have these days. It’s great, and it’s rare that you are going to get a director who can put his or her stamp. And he manages to do that within this genre, and that was exciting.”

Biel, Cooper, Jackson and Copley were named Honorary Race Officials for the Coca-Cola 600. Biel even delivered the flag that helped start the race.

The actors said that the Coca-Cola 600 was their first NASCAR race. “We’re all virgins,” Cooper joked. When asked what they were most looking forward to as part of the track experience, Biel said the sound of the cars racing around the track was high on her list.

“I’ve been hearing that it reverberates through your entire body, so I’m sort of excited about that,” she said.

“The A-Team,” directed by Joe Carnahan, opens in theaters on June 11.

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