Bradley Cooper And David O. Russel Meet With Joe Biden

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Bradley Cooper and David O. Russell paid a visit to Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday in order to assist with the introduction of a new mental health act to Congress. 

The actor and director, who are both up for Academy Awards for "Silver Linings Playbook," which centers on a former teacher struggling with bipolar disorder, met with Biden to discuss the Excellence in Mental Health Act, which will make mental health treatment more accessible. 

According to Politico, Biden's office tweeted a photo of the three meeting at the White House. 

The bill is part of the Barack Obama administrations's reevaluation of mental health polices following the Sandy Hook Massacre. 

On Dec. 14, the mentally ill Adam Lanza shot 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The tragedy marks the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. 

Some have argued that if Lanza and other mass shooters had had better mental health treatment, they would have been less likely to carry out the crimes they committed. 

Mental illness has become the prime focus of the "Silver Linings" promotional campaign. 

In an interview with the "Today" show earlier this week, Russell spoke candidly about his son Matthew's battle with mood disorders. 

"Nothing comes easily to him, and that makes your heart bigger," he said of his son. "It was a very healing thing to have written the movie. ... I learned a great deal about resilience and about the relationship between the father and the son."

On Tuesday, Robert De Niro, who's up for a Best Supporting Actor nod for the dark comedy, got uncharacteristically emotional while discussing mental illness during an interview with Katie Couric.

When Couric asked the "Raging Bull" legend if he felt a personal responsibility to the film because of Russell's own experience with his son, he said, “Of course, I, um, I understand,” before pausing and breaking down in tears. “I don’t like to get emotional, but I know exactly what he goes through.”

Last week, Cooper visited the Center For American Progress to advocate improving services for those suffering from mental illnesses. 

“I think that’s the real key to this illness -- that it's something we can all relate to," Cooper said. "It’s hard to confront yourself; it’s hard to confront actions that occur that we may not want to deal with. But if we have a dialogue about it, then we can understand it and make change for ourselves." 

As Oscar hopefuls make the promotional rounds in a last-minute bid for the coveted gold statue, it's difficult to tell whether or not these appearances and emotional interviews are genuine or part of the "Silver Linings" awards campaign. 

While the odds aren't exactly in Cooper's or Russell's favors, De Niro, who last won an Oscar in 1980, has a shot at winning. 

It was reported on Friday that Cooper is set to portray Chris Kyle in the upcoming film adaptation of "American Sniper." According to USA Today, the project, which was first announced last May, is being fast-tracked in the wake of Kyle's death. 

The ex-Navy SEAL was shot and killed by post-traumatic stress victim Eddie Ray Routh at a Texas shooting range on Saturday. 

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