The actor stayed in character at all times to portray Chris Kyle for the film

By Alexandra Zaslow
Updated January 06, 2015 02:00 PM
Gregory Pace/BEI

Between American Sniper and Elephant Man, it’s been one heck of a year for Bradley Cooper.

The busy actor took time out of his jam-packed schedule for an interview on The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday, where he talked about everything from performing on Broadway to facilitating President Obama’s appearance on Zach Galifianakis’s show.

Cooper, 40, who campaigned for President Obama in 2008, scored an invite to the State Dinner at the White House last February. While he was there, he got to talking with White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett on how to promote health care to young people. That’s when he suggested that President Obama should go on Zach Galifianakis’s show, Between Two Ferns. A month later, the president appeared on the show and the clip now has over 8 million views.

“You actually facilitated a moment in history,” Stern said to Cooper.

And this wasn’t the first time Cooper wowed Stern.

“I think it’s a f——- great movie,” Stern told Cooper about American Sniper. “One of the best movies I’ve seen, and you were phenomenal in it. I wrote Bradley immediately. I was so moved by your performance.”

While Stern believes the movie should be nominated for an Academy Award, Cooper isn’t too concerned with that type of praise.

“There’s no rhyme or reason. Who knows. You never know. I’ll tell you one thing, I’m proud as hell of this movie. I think we did the job we set out to do and I love the movie and I hope people go out in droves to see it,” Cooper said.

To prepare for the film, Cooper remained in character at all times as Chris Kyle, a decorated sniper in the U.S. military.

“From the moment I woke up in the morning, I talked like him,” Cooper said. “I actually enjoyed it to be honest, it was kind of fun.”

The actor compiled all of Kyle’s interviews as well as home videos from Kyle’s wife, and would listen to them regularly and practice Kyle’s vocal cadence. The film’s director, Clint Eastwood, would make fun of this exercise, Cooper said.

The sober actor, who reaffirmed on the show that he doesn’t drink anymore, packed on 40 pounds a month, without touching drugs.

“When you’re a famous actor, you could get tons of women, but to be in character all day, that would drive women crazy,” Stern said.

Stern told Cooper a story about when he went to go see The Elephant Man, and how half-naked girls were swooning over him, but he stays humble.

“If they’re coming for that they’re going to be very disappointed,” Cooper said.

“You’re too focused on your role,” Stern told Cooper. “You’ve gotta get less focused on your role and more on the action.”

Cooper may not notice the girls, but he does keep an eye out when his famous friends come to see him in The Elephant Man.

“I’m in a major minority, I love to know everyone who’s coming. There’s a moment when I’m in the tub where I’m looking around,” Cooper said.

He was most nervous when Robert De Niro was in the audience. De Niro later admitted that the sound was a problem and he couldn’t hear Cooper well.

“It’s amazing dude. No one else said it,” Cooper said.

The Elephant Man has been doing so well that it’s extended through Feb. 22.