Bradley Cooper goes inside the mind of a bipolar man in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Bradley Cooper stars in “Silver Linings Playbook,” in theaters now.

Some of the fear that Bradley Cooper had about joining the cast of David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” — in which we plays a man trying to put his life back together after a stint in a mental hospital — was alleviated when he found out that he’d be playing Robert De Niro’s son.

“We had done a movie together prior, and he really did champion me to get the role,” the actor says. “I knew I could say the word ‘dad’ and look at him and that would come from a real place.”

Jumping into the shoes of his character, Pat Solitano, wasn’t too far a leap for Cooper, who grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where the movie takes place. He credits the house they shot in as being “very much a part of that magic that occurred” — a crew member actually cooked in the kitchen so the whole house smelled of suburban life — and his own experiences being Italian-Irish.

“It really helped that I come from a very similar background [as Pat],” he says. “Everything smelled and looked and felt real because it is how I grew up. So I was very lucky in that I had 37 years of preparation for that role.”

But what did take some real preparation was getting into the mind of his character, who is bipolar. After Russell sent him some documentary footage, the two explored how to approach the character and tweaked it when necessary.

“There’s not, like, a general wash of bipolarity that one can play,” Cooper says. “It’s very specific to this guy. These traumatic events trigger something in him that puts him in a manic state. Just finding all of those moments and then being able to insert that into the scenes and modulate it so that it’s not overbearing … we were very conscious of making him palatable while at the same [time] not negating the integrity of the character.”

All the right moves

Cooper also had to prepare for some extensive dancing scenes with co-star Jennifer Lawrence, whom he did not know prior to their making the film.

“It’s a hell of a way to meet somebody,” he says. “The first time I met her was at a small studio space; next thing you know we’re sweating and she has her hands under my armpits and it’s very embarrassing.”

Performing to moves choreographed by Mandy Moore, Cooper says he enjoyed the process — although there was one aspect he wasn’t too pleased with.

“I like to dance, so it was fun, but I feel bad — Bob [De Niro] and Chris [Tucker] had to sit and watch us dance for three days, for 16 hours.”


Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win


NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1


MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing


MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox


How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.