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Bradley Cooper to work next with Spielberg, Crowe

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COOPER indulges fans with cell phone snapshots before the premiere of “The Hangover: Part III” at the Westwood Village Theater on Monday in Los Angeles. AP

LOS ANGELES—After David O. Russell netted him a slew of best actor nominations and wins for “Silver Linings Playbook,” Bradley Cooper is poised to work with several topnotch directors who may help him reap more acclaim.

Bradley will work with no less than Steven Spielberg in “American Sniper,” Cameron Crowe in an untitled project, Susanne Bier in “Serena” and Russell again in “American Hustle.”

Serious actor

BRADLEY Cooper and Zach Galifianakis in “Hangover III”

“I feel very grateful,” said Bradley who stars anew in “The Hangover Part III.” “It was a wonderful year,” he said of 2012 that transformed him into a serious actor of note, thanks to his performance in “Silver Linings…”

Almost in an instant, Bradley was pitted against Daniel Day-Lewis and other respected thespians in best actor races.

“I didn’t feel disappointed at all that I lost,” Bradley said. “Breathing that very refined air for those couple of months with everybody and Daniel Day-Lewis, who is my hero, as I’ve said for so many years, was a wonderful experience. I got a chance to make two films that I’m so proud of, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘The Place beyond the Pines.’ I think that’s probably why Steven wanted to work with me for ‘American Sniper,’ a book that I optioned a year ago.”

“American Sniper” is based on the autobiography of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who earned the reputation of being the “most accurate sniper in US military history.” Kyle, to be played by Bradley, was shot and killed by a military associate, said to be suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder.

Beyond excited

“I really wanted to tell Chris Kyle’s story,” Bradley explained. “The fact that Steven wants to help do that is the stuff that you can only dream of. It’s unbelievable. I’m beyond excited.”

“We acquired the book a year ago and then Jason Dean Hall wrote the first draft of the script,” the actor added. “Steven read it and wanted to make it with us.”

Bradley said his production company, 22 & Indiana Pictures, would make “American Sniper” early next year with Warner Bros., DreamWorks and Amblin Entertainment. “This is a story of one man and his journey. We’re just in the beginning stages of approaching how that story will be told.”

Bradley sounded just as excited to be working with Cameron in the untitled project which he said would start shooting in September. He said, “Cameron is one of the great American directors. ‘Jerry Maguire’ is maybe the best film of that type ever made. I don’t know how this happened but I have the opportunity to work with two phenomenal filmmakers. I’m very much looking forward to it. I can’t say anything about the story yet but Cameron wrote it. It’s under lock and key.”

What’s certain is that Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams will costar with Bradley. The film is described as an adventure-comedy-romance from the director who also gave us “Almost Famous,” “Vanilla Sky” and “We Bought a Zoo.”

Bradley said he was finishing this month “American Hustle,” his reteaming with Russell, which is based on the true story of a con artist and his partner in crime who had to cooperate with a federal agent to turn the tables on other cons.

Curly hair

He said, “‘American Hustle’ takes place in 1978. So the fashion revolves around the late 70s in the East Coast. I made the stupid choice of my character curling hair. So that has been  three interesting hours of curling my hair before work every day.”

That explains the paparazzi shots of him in hair rollers (in baby pink). “Men did that back then. A lot of baseball players did that. I love it. We all love it.

Heaven

“We’re all in heaven on the set with the outfits and the music,” he continued. “There are so many wonderful characters in that movie. It’s a very exciting set to be on and just the company—Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Alessandro Nivola, Louis C.K., Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Michael Peña and Robert de Niro. Every day is just unbelievable. I’m sure I’m forgetting other people who are fantastic in it.”

Bradley also acted opposite Jennifer, his “Silver Linings…” costar, in “Serena,” a Depression-era drama directed by acclaimed Danish director Susanne Bier, whose credits include “In a Better World,” “After the Wedding” and “Brothers.”

Before all this serious fare from Bradley, he’s back with the Wolfpack in Todd Phillips’ “The Hangover Part III.”

Fellow actors

Asked to describe in a nutshell his fellow actors in the hit franchise, Bradley obliged with, “Ken (Jeong) is unabashedly fearless. Ed (Helms) is wildly talented. Zach (Galifianakis) is touched by God. We shouldn’t forget Justin Bartha who is the unsung hero of the three films. He never receives the accolades but he’s a vital part of these movies. They’re all really beautiful people and artists. This is a pretty sick group of people that I get a chance to work with on these movies. Not only are they great comedians but they are also great actors.”

Sexiest man

The 38-year-old, voted People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2011, is very close to his mother, Gloria. He has been living with his mom since his father, Charles, passed away a few years ago.

Of his dad, who was a stockbroker, Bradley said, “I saw early on physical mannerisms of my father in me. When you’re young, you say, ‘Oh, God, that’s just like my dad. Ugh!’ Then, as you get older, you sort of love that that happens. It’s this interesting progression. It’s funny—I was just watching videos of my father the other day. We got the videos all together and I realized how funny he was. He was a real clown. In another life, he would have loved to be an actor. I come from a family where that was never even a possibility for anybody. There’s no theatrical lineage at all. I got a lot of whatever it is that attracts me to storytelling from him probably.”

E-mail the columnist at rvnepales_5585@yahoo.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/nepalesruben.

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