Bradley Cooper: Oscar nominee, heartthrob...and political mastermind? According to a new story from Politico, the American Hustle star played a big part in boosting referrals to President Obama's controversial Affordable Care Act. He helped finalize plans for Obama to appear on Zach Galifianakis' mock-interview show, Between Two Ferns -- a move that led to a 40 percent spike in traffic to the healthcare.gov website.
With model girlfriend Suki Waterhouse by his side, the French-speaking actor, 39, visited the White House on Feb. 11 for a state dinner in honor of French President Francois Hollande, Politico reports. While there, he met with Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett to "brainstorm ideas about how to help get the word out on Obamacare."
A White House official tells Us the idea for the president to do Between Two Ferns had come up a few months earlier in a meeting with Funny or Die's Mike Farah and host Galifianakis, Cooper's Hangover costar and friend. (Funny or Die also worked on and released a slate of other videos to promote the Affordable Care Act.)
Plans for Obama's appearance were in the works by the time the state dinner rolled around, but Cooper helped finalize the interview. "Cooper pulled out his cell phone, got Galifianakis on the line and put him on speaker," Politico reporters Edward-Isaac Dovere and Carrie Budoff Brown write. "He was ready to help. Now they just needed to sell the idea to the president."
Exactly one month later, the hilarious interview was posted online by Funny or Die. It covered topics ranging from pardoning turkeys to North Korea to Obama's birth certificate to The Hangover -- a discussion that ultimately led to a chat about Cooper's own appearance on Between Two Ferns in 2009, which Obama called "a great show."
"Bradley Cooper..." Galifianakis, 44, mumbled under his breath. "Everybody loves Bradley...Being like that in Hollywood, that's easy. Be short, fat, and smell like Doritos and try to make it in Hollywood!" he added faux-bitterly.
"He kind of carried that movie, didn't he?" Obama replied unsympathetically.