Belfast Telegraph

Cooper: Don't be someone you're not

Bradley Cooper has realised that "the bottom line" is that he has to be himself.

In his latest movie American Sniper, the 39-year-old actor takes on the role of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who killed 150 people during his career. It took a lot to get ready for the part, with Bradley calling on the emotions he felt when his father died in 2011.

"Losing someone close to me. Going through love and loss… knowing what’s important. Realising that the bottom line is that all I got is me, so it’s about time to stop trying to be something that I think you would want me to be," he told Vanity Fair. "Or that would give me what I think I need. As you get older, thank God, your body deteriorates, but your soul sort of flourishes.”

Bradley has battled addiction in the past and has been clean and sober for years. It means that he had to be careful about beefing up to play Chris, but he was clear about the steps he would and wouldn't take.

"I did it naturally because I’ve been sober for ten years and didn’t want to do anything. I had a realistic conversation. Can I do this in three months naturally? Can I gain 30lbs. of f**king muscle? I didn’t know if I would be able to do it or not. Thank God - luckily - my f**king body reacted fast," he explained.

Getting clean changed a lot for Bradley. He sees the world differently these days, although in part he thinks that comes with his advancing years.

"I see life much more grey as I get older. I was so sort of black-and-white in my late 20s. There’s right and there’s wrong and that’s it. That’s a tough way to live… It’s rare that I judge somebody, really rare. I think people feel that, so it’s sort of easy to get close to somebody if you don’t feel judged by them," he said.

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