Is it time to start thinking about Bradley Cooper as an Oscar contender? To hear his “American Sniper” co-star Sienna Miller tell it, he’s turning in something special in Clint Eastwood‘s upcoming film. “His performance is completely compelling. He’s just unrecognizable,” the actress told EW. “He was training four to six hours a day. He put on 40 pounds of muscle. He looked and sounded like a different person. I’m pretty sure he didn’t break character for the entire thing. He dived into this completely head-first. It was an amazing thing to be around.”
Tomorrow, audiences at AFI Fest will get a first taste of Cooper’s work, with “American Sniper” officially announced as the Secret Screening film. The movie tells the true story of Chris Kyle, the deadliest Navy S.E.A.L. sniper in history, whose battles didn’t end in the Middle East. Will the film shake up the awards season? We’ll know in about 24 hours — “American Sniper” screens at 9 PM Pacific Time tomorrow night. Here’s the official synopsis:
AMERICAN SNIPER stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter. U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.
“American Sniper” opens in limited release on Christmas Day.