Bradley Cooper received his third consecutive Best Actor nomination this week, for his role in the awards-season black horse 'American Sniper', directed by Clint Eastwood. The gritty true story is based on the life of Navy Seal Chris Kyle, a beefy Texan who was apparently amused when he learned that Cooper would play him on the screen.

Bradley Cooper in 'American Sniper'
Bradley Cooper in 'American Sniper'

"I'm going to have to tie him to my truck, drag him down the street and knock some of the pretty off him," he said.

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Bradley Cooper in 'American Sniper'
Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in 'American Sniper'

But Cooper has never thought of himself as a "good-looking" actor. He started out his career playing bad guys and jerks. For 'American Sniper', he set out to make the performance as realistic as possible, gaining 40 pounds for the role, mostly muscle, by eating a 6000-calorie diet. And Kyle's wife and friends have said the transformation was uncanny.

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Playing Kyle was moving for Cooper as well. "It was a life-changing experience," he said. "I was nervous. I didn't know if I was going to be able to do it. There were a lot of sleepless nights. But coming out the other side of that was a huge accomplishment, and it always makes you stronger whether you fail or succeed. You gain different things."

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