Tags: American Sniper/Chris Kyle | Bradley Cooper | Chris Kyle | life changing | sniper

Bradley Cooper: Playing Chris Kyle 'Life Changing'

Bradley Cooper: Playing Chris Kyle 'Life Changing'
Actor Bradley Cooper. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Tuesday, 03 February 2015 12:44 PM

Playing "American Sniper" hero Chris Kyle was "life changing" for actor Bradley Cooper, who believes he will never get over the experience.

Speaking at the Oscar Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills on Monday, Cooper told the crowd that he has yet to appreciate just how big an impact portraying Kyle had on him personally. "I don’t think I’ll realize it fully until maybe later in my life. It was life changing. Completely," the Huffington Post reported.

The film, which has generated a lot of political controversy, has received five Academy Award nominations and Cooper has been nominated for a best actor award, National Public Radio (NPR) reports.

Special: Clint Eastwood: You 'Must Read' Chris Kyle’s Book — More

The movie, which tells the story of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, whose 160 confirmed kills during four tours of duty in Iraq makes him the most lethal sniper in U.S. history, has earned $250 million at the box office, making it the highest-grossing war movie ever, bypassing "Saving Private Ryan," which earned $216 million, CNN notes.

The film also earned $67 million internationally for a total of $316.2 million so far.

However, Cooper's take on his portrayal of Kyle, who was murdered Feb. 2, 2013, at a gun range by a veteran suffering from PTSD whom he was trying to help, is much more personal than financial.

"The responsibility to play a human being when his family is still alive and it’s still fresh was a huge endeavor and something that I knew was going to be important. I treated it in a way I hadn’t before," Cooper said, noting that Kyle, known in Iraq as "The Legend," was killed two years to the date that Cooper was giving his speech, the Huffington Post reported.

Cooper said Kyle's wife, Taya, "gave us everything. I had thousands of hours of footage of him. So it was a completely different thing of allowing him to come inside me, basically.

"I just really loved this story, and it’s changed over the years. He was murdered a year and a half into our development and it changed everything. It became a different movie. It became more about the plight of the soldier and his family."

Cooper virtually became Kyle, packing on 40 pounds of muscle to play the role of the beefy Texan sniper.

Special: Clint Eastwood: You 'Must Read' Chris Kyle’s Book — More

"It wasn't at all like a costume," he told NPR. "It was like this sort of transformative experience to me because there was no going home from it.

"It was a gradual change that then became my daily life until I started to shed him after we stopped shooting, which actually didn't happen for three or four weeks."

As for the controversy, "Any discussion that sheds light to the plight of the soldiers and the men and women in the armed services, for that discussion to occur is fantastic," Cooper told Reuters.

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Playing "American Sniper" hero Chris Kyle was "life changing" for actor Bradley Cooper, who believes he will never get over the experience.
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2015-44-03
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 12:44 PM
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