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Actor Bradley Cooper furthered his A-list status in Hollywood by starring in the commercially and critically successful Silver Linings Playbook. But initially, Cooper was a bit reluctant to do the film because of its director David O. Russell.

But his A-Team co-star Jessica Biel helped Cooper make up his mind.

How Bradley Cooper ended up in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Bradley Cooper smiling while wearing a suit.
Bradley Cooper | Ian West/Getty Images

Silver Linings Playbook was a David O. Russell project adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name. It starred Bradley Cooper as a young man living with a personality disorder who is released from a mental institution.

The project was a financial success, earning $236 million at the box office and earning several Oscar nominations. It also won Cooper’s co-star, Jennifer Lawrence, an Oscar for Best Actress in a leading role.

Cooper ended up starring in the film after a conversation with Russell.

“I met David on the phone about another project, while The Fighter was in post. And then that project fell apart, and then he asked me to read the (Silver Linings Playbook) script. Not offering it to me, just asking me to read it,” Cooper once told Deadline.

But when their schedules opened up, Russell officially asked Cooper to be a part of the project.

“And I thought, ‘Well, aren’t you guys shooting in October?’ He said, ‘Yeah,'” Cooper recalled. “I said, ‘Well, I wrap the last week of September.’ He said, ‘Can you come down on the weekends?’ So I did. And then I just drove from Schenectady to Philly — and a week later we’re on camera, and I have a trash bag (on) running down the streets of Philly.”

Bradley Cooper asked Jessica Biel for advice about working with David O. Russell

Russell is known for his sometimes controversial treatment of his actors. As most know, he even once brought Amy Adams to tears when they collaborated on American Hustle.

This raised a few concerns for Cooper about working with the director. To help firmly make his decision, he went to his A-Team co-star Jessica Biel for advice. Since Biel worked with Russell before, The Hangover star felt that she could give him some insight on what to expect.

The reputation that preceded him for me was stellar. I spoke to Jessica Biel, who I’d been on The A-Team with, and I said, ‘You know, I think I might do this David Russell movie,’ and she said, ‘Run. Don’t walk to that.’ She did a movie that never even came out with him, actually, and she loved him,” Cooper said.

He also consulted the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World actor Jason Schwartzman for further advice on the matter. Schwartzman echoed Biel’s sentiments about Russell being wonderful to work with, which solidified an already sealed deal.

“So I was going to do it anyway, but it just made me even more excited to know what it would be like. I had an instinct that it was going to be special in that way, and I wasn’t wrong. It’s a very unique way of making a movie, and I would love to do every movie like that,” he said.

Bradley Cooper and David O. Russell became like brothers after several collaborations


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Cooper and Russell enjoyed working with each other so much that they collaborated on two more projects. Apart from Silver Linings, they would also work together on the films Joy and American Hustle. This is in large part because of the bond The Nightmare Alley star developed with Russell.

“Now he’s like my brother. That’s not just because he’s here, or because we’re doing this interview. It’s just the truth. I love working with David so much. Every day, I remind myself, ‘You get to work with the greatest director around. And he asks you to collaborate with him,'” Cooper said.