Bradley Cooper's Dramatic Transformation to Play a Navy SEAL: He's Gained 40 Pounds!

Oscar-nominated actor bulked up for American Sniper

By Marc Malkin Apr 30, 2014 7:43 PMTags
Bradley Cooper, Eric CloseVLNY / Zodiac / Splash News, Getty Images

Eric Close is one very busy man these days. Not only does he co-star on Nashville as Teddy Conrad, but on Saturday, he and his wife, Keri, are hosting a big fundraiser at their L.A.-area home for The Africa Foundation.

But before we get to any of that, I have to tell you what Close just revealed to me about Bradley Cooper. Close appears opposite the Oscar-nominated actor in American Sniper, the upcoming Clint Eastwood-directed real-life drama about the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Cooper), who had more than 150 confirmed kills over his decade-long career as a sniper.

"He put on like 40 pounds," said Close, who plays a Defense Intelligence Agency agent in the film. "He's really been working hard. He looks great. He's really taken on this character…He really takes this story personally and wants to do an honorable job for Chris' memory and for his family."

And speaking of doing great work, the benefit at the Closes' home is actually the second time they've helped The Africa Foundation.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for PCA

In 2009, they raised $55,000 to build a preschool in Welvierdiend, South Africa. This time, they hope to fund similar work in Zululand with a Nashville-style acoustic concert in their own backyard. Sam Palladio, who plays Gunnar Scott on Nashville, is one of the performers.

"We have two kids of our own and fortunately because of where they were born and their family, they have a lot of opportunities," Close said. "But there are a lot of children who don't have the opportunities so if you could somehow provide some of just the basic needs, that could make the difference in these kids' lives. You never know when one of those kids could grow up to be a leader in their community. They could end up becoming a leader like a Nelson Mandela."

For more information on how you could help, go to africafoundation.org.