Bradley Cooper Makes 'Time's 100 Most Influential People & He's Earned His Spot For More Than 'American Sniper'
Thanks to the polarizing box office hit American Sniper, 2014 was a good year for everyone's favorite member of The Hangover's Wolf Pack. Now that Bradley Cooper made Time Magazine 's Most Influential People list, 2015 isn't looking too shabby either. Cooper was one of only two artists to make the cover (top honors went to Kanye West, while the other three covers were reserved for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Misty Copeland, and Jorge Ramos), and, given the company he is keeping on the list of honorees which includes the likes of Amy Schumer, Christopher Nolan, and Julianna Margulies, we could easily say he earned his spot because he is so recognizable. Cooper is the only bona fide star on the list. Nolan may be famous, but his face is not. Should Cooper's star power in any way diminish his position on the list or the cover? Absolutely not.
His cover will sell, but that is not the only reason why he was chosen to be on it. As Cooper's friend Oliver Platt writes in his Time essay, "It’s hard to make people, especially your friends, forget who you are onscreen. But Bradley’s that good. And I think we’ve seen only a hint of what’s to come." American Sniper was one of 2014's most controversial films. It riled many thanks to its depictions of war and the way it seemed to glorify the act of being a sniper. While it is easy to judge the atrocities of war from afar, the truth is the film and Cooper's performance struck a chord with many veterans.
"I had no idea the impact the movie would have, and I just see this as a huge opportunity as an actor to have another weapon or tool in my toolbox to go around and spread awareness of the necessity for our country to deal with veteran's issues," Cooper says in his Time video interview. No matter what your personal opinion on the War in Iraq is or how it was portrayed in the film, activism for the men and women who fought overseas is always a positive.
Cooper is humble throughout his interview, and it is not faux humility. He admits right from the start that he believes he earned his spot because of the cultural impact of American Sniper. His most recent work earned him the spot and the cover, but Cooper would have belonged on the list with or without American Sniper — he is just that good.
Cooper is one of Hollywood's truest stars. He did his time on television taking intriguing parts where he could find them from lovesick reporter Will on Alias to his memorable turn on Nip/Tuck. From there, he crept into the world of film with The A Team and The Hangover — movies that typecast him as the hot jerk. Then he went off book. Cooper wowed us in Silver Linings Playbook, took on the role of a belligerent raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, and embodied a man whose life very few could ever understand in American Sniper. Even as his star rises, Cooper remains refreshingly candid and down to earth. He has not forgotten where he came from; if he had, he probably would not be doing the Wet Hot American Summer series on Netflix.
As Platt notes, "He’s a dazzling actor. Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, The Elephant Man — these are increasingly brave, eccentric, breathtakingly diverse performances." We are just beginning to see the full extent of Cooper's talent. His pearly whites may drive up the sales of this week's Time Magazine, but Cooper is much more than a pretty face. He is one of the most talented actors working in Hollywood today, and, yes, one of the most influential too.