Bradley Cooper’s Book Club: A Literary Look at His Film Roles

Bradley Cooper’s Book Club: A Literary Look at His Film Roles

Bradley Cooper is certainly the man of the moment: He was recently nominated for not one, but two Academy Awards for his work on American Sniper, one of the most talked about films of the year. Based on a book of the same name by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, American Sniper isn’t Cooper’s only literary role; in fact, far from it. Here are some of Cooper’s other bookish roles, spanning time and genre.

The Midnight Meat Train
Cooper stars in this terrifying film based on the short story of the same name by Clive Barker. Cooper plays Leon Kaufman, a photographer (and vegan) who descends into the New York City subway system to track down a serial killer who murders his victims with a meat hammer and subsequently hangs them on meathooks. You may never eat meat or ride the subway ever again. Seriously.

He’s Just Not That Into You
In this movie adaptation of the now-famous dating book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, Cooper plays Ben Gunders, a married man who is unfaithful to his wife, Janine, played by Jennifer Connelly. While the film deviates considerably from the content of the self-help book, Cooper’s performance sends a strong, if infuriating, message to his on-screen partner: At the end of the day, he’s just not that into her.

Based on The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn, this movie centers on Eddie Morra, played by Cooper, an author who cannot for the life of him break through his writer’s block. All of that changes when Morra gets his hands on a dose of NZT-48, a powerful cognitive enhancer, and suddenly is able to write pages and pages in short periods of time. His use of the drug quickly spirals out of control as he discovers its strength, and Morra is soon addicted and cannot account for chunks of time and many of his actions.

Silver Linings Playbook (4)
Cooper plays Pat Solatano Jr., who suffers from bipolar disorder, in this Oscar-winning film based on the novel by the same name by Matthew Quick, also starring Jennifer Lawrence. Pat has just left a treatment center, and returned to his parents’ home to continue recuperating following an incident where he attacked a man he found with his wife in the shower one day. A dance competition and an unexpected friendship with a young widow named Tiffany, however, just might help Pat turn things around.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Though he’s never seen on screen, Cooper certainly makes himself heard as the crass, gun-toting raccoon Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy. Based on a Marvel comic, the 2014 film features a team of ragtag misfits who have more interest in joyriding and jailbreaking than justice. Never afraid to fire off his mouth or his gun, Rocket is ironically always accompanied by a talking (if you count knowing three words as talking) tree named Groot, who honestly steals the show. #SorryNotSorry, Bradley.

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper together again? Heck yes! This time around the two play much darker roles in the adaptation of Ron Rash’s 2008 novel Serena. George and Serena Pemberton are struggling to maintain their timber empire during the Great Depression. As tough times and past secrets threaten their livelihood and marriage, they soon become willing to do anything in order to survive—even if it means they’re no longer on the same side.

American Sniper
Whether by news outlets or your Twitter feed, you have likely heard of Bradley Cooper’s Oscar-nominated performance in American Sniper. The film, based on a memoir of the same name, stars Cooper as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. The film has sparked its fair share of controversy and discussion, though Cooper has described his involvement in the role (which has included visiting veterans and military families) as “life-changing.” The role has earned Cooper two Academy Award nominations, one for best picture and another for best actor.

Dark Invasion
Fresh off of American Sniper, Cooper is set to cover another American war in the adaptation of Howard Blum’s nonfiction book Dark Invasion. Out in paperback this week, Blum recounts the true tale of Germany’s 1915 cover attack on the U.S. In an attempt to prevent America from aiding the Allies in the First World War, Germany sent spies over to sabotage the U.S. Cooper is producing the film, and he’s also currently slotted to play NYPD Capt Tom Tunney, the leader of the team that hunts down the German spies.


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