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Episode 82

Emma Watson

Episode 63

Jared Leto

Episode 56

Will Ferrell

Episode 55

Lea Seydoux

Episode 52

Emma Watson

Episode 49

Richard Gere

Episode 47

Joan Smalls

Episode 41

Karlie Kloss

Episode 40

Tom Cruise

Episode 39

Clive Owen

Episode 37

Jessica Biel

Episode 35

Uggie

Episode 34

James Franco

Episode 32

Viola Davis

Episode 31

Jonah Hill

Episode 24

Melissa Leo

Episode 18

Mila Kunis

Episode 16

Mark Ruffalo

Episode 14

Emma Stone

Episode 5

Bradley Cooper Always Knew He Was Going to Work with Clint Eastwood

The American Sniper actor—who was one of W’s February 2015 cover stars—opens up about learning how to shoot a gun, working with Clint Eastwood, and playing the “killing machine” Chris Kyle.

Released on 2/12/2015

Credit

Starring:

Bradley Cooper

Transcript

00:04
I didn't grow up shooting guns.
00:05
I tried to talk my father into sending me
00:07
to the Valley Forge Military Academy when I was a kid.
00:09
And only because of movies, because of war movies.
00:12
There was something about Vietnam movies,
00:13
Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Deer Hunter,
00:16
where I thought there was something these soldiers had.
00:18
This understanding about life that I wanted to have.
00:22
There was something in their eyes.
00:23
I don't know, there's just something
00:24
I was always fascinated with.
00:25
Every time I could talk to a Vietnam vet
00:27
I would ask them a million questions.
00:29
I actually fell in love with the training
00:31
of an M4 machine gun.
00:33
We never trained with live ammo for the ATeam.
00:34
In this movie, I did.
00:36
The shoot of ATeam was long.
00:37
It was a sixmonth shoot, and we had two months prep,
00:41
or a month prep, so I spent every second
00:43
I wasn't on set, training.
00:46
None of it was in the movie. [laughs]
00:48
I don't even think I'd shot anything in the movie. [laughs]
00:50
I shot like once inside a train station.
00:52
Now I know what it's like to shoot a sniper rifle,
00:55
and I really loved the aspect of a Westernlike story
00:59
in a war setting, and that it's a character study.
01:03
It felt a lot like Unforgiven to me, in many ways.
01:06
Your hero who's conflicted, who is not very verbose.
01:11
All of it is probably gonna be in the eyes.
01:13
That kind of thing.
01:14
Dealing with a family life, what he does for a living,
01:17
and then going out in country to do something.
01:19
He's in a way, a killing machine.
01:21
At that point, the only way I was gonna get it made
01:23
is if I said I would do it.
01:24
Chris Pratt was always the guy in my mind
01:26
who I thought would've been perfect to play Chris.
01:28
He's much bigger, and he just to me,
01:30
looked like Chris to me.
01:31
I mean I sat across from his father Wayne
01:34
who just said you know,
01:36
you know you're half the size of my son,
01:38
and you don't sound a goddamn thing like him,
01:41
so I don't know how you're gonna do it.
01:43
Clint just happened to be reading the book recreationally
01:46
while he was shooting Jersey Boys.
01:48
So I called Clint on a Friday.
01:52
Now I had auditioned for Clint Eastwood movies
01:54
since Flags of our Fathers.
01:55
I put myself on tape.
01:56
I put myself on tape to play
01:57
the Irish priest in Gran Torino.
01:59
And I put myself on tape to play J. Edgar's lover,
02:02
which Armie Hammer killed, by the way, it was right.
02:05
But I remember that was the closest I'd got.
02:06
For some reason I always had this idea
02:08
that I was gonna work with Clint Eastwood,
02:10
and I know that sounds crazy, but I just had this feeling.
02:12
And when that didn't happen I thought, oh man.
02:14
So I called Clint on a Friday, and I said hey Clint.
02:17
And he said, yeah he said,
02:18
yeah I'm reading this sniper book,
02:21
and I like it, yeah, yeah.
02:24
Why don't you call me on Monday?
02:27
We'll talk about it.
02:28
I said okay Clint, I'll call you on Monday.
02:29
And then Monday came around, called him,
02:33
watched Unforgiven over the weekend just to get rejuiced.
02:37
It was a very short conversation.
02:38
He just said, alright let's make this fucker.
02:42
And that was it.
02:43
You know what I did?
02:44
I have to say, I cried a little bit.
02:45
I mean come on, it's Clint Eastwood.
02:47
It's pathetic, but yeah, I did.
02:49
He and I got along like right off the bat.
02:51
I felt so comfortable with him.
02:53
I always thought, 'cause you know,
02:54
you always see these guys walk in movies.
02:55
And I always thought, God he walks like my dad.
02:57
You know, his hands were always sort of very loose
02:59
by his sides as he walks?
03:01
My dad did the same thing.
03:02
Matter of fact, I had just went to Walter Reed
03:04
when I got the call that Chris was murdered.
03:07
We had just shown Silver Linings to a bunch of vets there,
03:09
which is so crazy.
03:11
People who aren't really familiar with the plight of a vet,
03:14
seeing this movie, maybe you would think twice
03:16
the next time they see a vet walking past them.
03:18
You know, you're often in those airports.
03:20
It's so interesting.
03:21
There's just some guy sitting at the bar
03:22
and you think, what's his story?
03:23
The game's on, it's another day, you know?
03:25
And you don't even realize where this guy just came from.
03:28
And the fact that he just can't come home yet.
03:30
Somebody who has gone through it
03:32
who feels isolated and alone could look at this story
03:34
of this guy and think, oh wow,
03:36
I can relate to this guy's story.
03:38
If we could tick both of those boxes, total success.