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    Bradley Cooper Talks Mental Illness, Visiting Troops in Washington, D.C.

    Bradley Cooper TRGT/AKM-GSI

    Bradley Cooper is proud of the work he did in Silver Linings Playbook—and not just because it scored him his first Academy Award nomination.

    "I've gone around to many cities around the country and people are talking about, how, 'I actually feel like this film sees who I am,'" the 38-year-old actor told Chris Matthews on Hardball today, talking about the way the David O. Russell-directed film treats mental illness—as something that doesn't have to beat you if you have the right support system.

    "It's heavily stigmatized," Cooper continued. "It's not a very treatable disease. It's a condition, if we liken it to cancer, diagnosed at stage four, well...that's way too late. So hopefully, a movie like this will help it become, you know, [more treatable] in the onset."

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    After his Hardball sit-down, Cooper had plans to attend a screening of Silver Linings Playbook—in which he plays a bipolar man "with mood swings and weird thinking brought on by severe stress"—and Q&A session with about 50 military vets, many suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

    "That's the best part about this thing is that it's able to reach out and make people feel included," he said. "I can't wait to go."

    The Georgetown University alum was spotted earlier in the day at local coffeehouse Saxbys.

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