Movies

‘Birdman’s Ties To ‘Batman’ And Other Things You Might Not Know About The 2015 Best Picture Nominees

We’ve all gotten over The LEGO Movie being snubbed by the Academy by now, right? Good. There’s a lot of competition in the “Best Picture” category of this year’s Oscars. Is the Academy going to hand out the award to the patriotic film, the civil rights film, the biopic, the film that took way longer to shoot than the other films, or the Michael Keaton film? My money’s on Birdman. No, wait — American Sniper or, maybe Boyhood. No, definitely Birdman.

There will certainly be much more to talk come Monday morning. In the meantime though, here are a few nuggets of trivia you might not know about this year’s nominees.

American Sniper

Bradley Cooper went into beast mode for training. Playing the part of Chris Kyle not only meant perfecting his West Texas accent and training with Navy SEAL sniper Kevin Lacz, but bulking up to Kyle’s physique as well. The actor put on nearly 40 pounds of muscle by eating a 6,000 calorie a day diet and working out for up to four hours several days a week. By the time filming began, Cooper could deadlift 425 pounds — something that he did on camera, despite filmmakers advising he use dummy weights.

Bradley Cooper wanted Chris Pratt to play the lead. Bradley Cooper first learned about Chris Kyle’s story in 2011 through a friend, and after negotiating with Warner Bros. it was decided that his newly formed production company, 22nd & Indiana, would produce the movie. Cooper didn’t envision himself as the lead, however, and told The Hollywood Reporter that when he first met with Chris Kyle about the project he had a different actor in mind.

“At that time, I didn’t really think, honestly, that I was right to play Chris, but it was the only way that I was gonna get the movie produced. Chris Pratt was the guy in my mind — always — to play him. But I didn’t tell anybody that!”

Yeah, Burt Macklin was nearly in American Sniper.

Whiplash

Miles Teller didn’t joke around with his drumming. Teller wasn’t a stranger to the drum kit before signing on for the movie, and had been playing since he was 15. To refine his stick skills, Nate Lang gave Teller four hour-long lessons in jazz drumming three days a week prior to filming. During certain scenes, the director wouldn’t yell cut and allow Teller to keep drumming until he had exhausted himself. This resulted in the actor developing blisters that would leave blood on the sticks and drum heads.

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