"The choice of that lifestyle has worn its welcome on his body," Cooper said of his character.
The actor said he played up the fact that his “eyes get red normally” to achieve his character’s bloodshot look. It was the movie’s director, Todd Phillips, who provided the inspiration for the distinct glasses worn by Cooper’s character.
“I remember I emailed Bradley a picture of Jeffrey Dahmer just for the glasses,” Phillips said in an interview that aired today on “Good Morning America,” referring to the infamous serial killer. “And I said, ‘He needs to wear these glasses.’”
Phillips also directed Cooper in “The Hangover,” a movie that would appear on the surface very different from “War Dogs.” While “The Hangover” saw a group of buddies losing control in Las Vegas, “War Dogs” centers on two 20-somethings, played by Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, embroiled in a $300 million deal to arm the Afghan military.
Phillips said the two movies have more common than a viewer might at first think.
“There's a little bit of tonal shift but it's ultimately still about guys making bad decisions,” he said. “Which all my movies seem to be about.”
Phillips wrote the film in addition to directing it and producing it, along with Cooper.
“War Dogs” is based on a true story depicted in a 2011 Rolling Stone article, “Arms and the Dudes,” written by Guy Lawson. Hill and Teller’s characters are living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War when they take advantage of a government initiative to bid on U.S. military contracts.
“There haven't been a ton of movies made about the obscene amount of money that a very small group of people make off of war,” Phillips said.