February 15th, 2013
11:14 AM ET

Cooper on veterans and mental illness

Bradley Cooper tells Anderson Cooper why his role as a man with bipolar disorder in "Silver Linings Playbook" inspired him to raise awareness about mental illness.

He recently visited the White House to meet with Vice President Biden about gun violence and mental health.

Bradley calls the number of veterans who commit suicide "a national tragedy." He showed the movie at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to about 200 service members and their families."We must have spent three and a half hours there talking to them, meeting them, hearing their stories, and it was incredible," he says.

The Oscar-nominated actor believes his character in the film is relatable and gives viewers a better understanding of mental illness, which will ultimately help erode the stigma.

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Filed under: 360° Interview • Mental Health
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