One in an occasional series about the stars with a cause who come to Washington in search of a megaphone. Friday’s visitor: Bradley Cooper.

Bradley Cooper at the Center for American Progress Friday. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Venue: A panel discussion/press conference at the Center for American Progress.

Purpose: A discussion on removing stigmas and improving services for the mentally ill.

Bona fides: Oscar-nominated star of “Silver Linings Playbook”, a best-picture nominee about a man grappling with bipolar disease.

Backup: Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy; Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.); Andrew Sperling of National Alliance on Mental Illness; Barbara Van Dahlen of Give An Hour; CAP policy wonks.

What he wants: To raise awareness of mental illness. The “only open to press” event did not correspond with a legislative push, though Cooper screened the film at Walter Reed and led a discussion with vets Thursday.

How he looked: Dark suit, dark tie. Hair slightly long and darker than usual but slicked back.

How he sounded: Engaged but modest, deferential to the experts. “I’m here by accident,” owing to his movie role, he said.

Observation: Was this all about using a star to promote a cause — or using a cause to promote a “Silver Linings” Oscar campaign? The invisible hand of media-savvy executive producer Harvey Weinstein seems to be at work in Cooper’s last-minute advocacy blitz, a week before ballots go to Academy members. But the mental-health professionals seemed thrilled with the turnout (about 100 people spilling out of the room) and the media exposure.

Soundbite: “I can see myself in a situation like that,” he said, referring to his movie character, “a guy who thought he had his life together” only to see it go off the rails.

See more coverage of celebvocates. . .

Earlier: Bradley Cooper visits Georgetown, 1/31/13

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