Belfast Telegraph

Sniper 'life-changing' for Cooper

Bradley Cooper has revealed that he felt as if the late Navy SEAL he plays in American Sniper possessed his body during filming.

The film, which also stars Sienna Miller and was directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the story of expert marksman Chris Kyle and is based on his book, American Sniper: The Autobiography Of The Most Lethal Sniper In US Military History.

Bradley - who spoke with Kyle on the phone at the beginning of the project, before the marksman was killed at a shooting range in Texas - h as now told The Hollywood Reporter he felt possessed by him when he made the movie. And he told how important it was for him to meet Kyle's family in order to pay justice to his memory.

"It was the thing that sort of concretised it for us and really made us both realise just how important a responsibility we had," he said.

The Silver Linings Playbook star said that doing the character justice was a "make or break" moment, especially as he had to impress Kyle's father.

"I can't tell you how many people came up to me during the preparation and said, 'You've got a lot of balls to be playing this guy' - including his father, by the way. And I was like, 'I- I- I- Just give me a few months'."

Bradley said the film was "life-changing in every way".

He said: "Personally, to set a goal and actually achieve it, which I had a lot of fear that I wasn't gonna be able to do; the honour of being able to walk - pretend to walk - in this man's shoes; to have the trust of his family, having his father look me in the eyes and trust me to do this; being able to walk the path with Clint Eastwood, who is one of the reasons why I wanted to become an actor and get involved with film; getting to make a great friend with Sienna Miller, all of those things."

Luke Grimes also stars in American Sniper, which opens in UK cinemas in January 2015.

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