Bradley Cooper picked up Best Male Performance at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday night for his role in American Sniper and used his acceptance speech to dedicate the award to the man he portrayed onscreen: the late U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.
Cooper also thanked fans of the film for making it a massive success and bringing attention to military families and their sacrifices.
“I want to thank MTV and the fans,” Cooper began. “It’s because of you, you brought awareness to the men and women and their families in the military and what they do for us on a daily basis. It’s because of what you guys did and how you came out for the movie.”
“Chris Kyle would have turned 41 four days ago; Chris, this is for you,” Cooper added, raising his award.
The actor was the favorite to win among some stiff competition in the category; Cooper beat out Miles Teller (Whiplash), Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher), Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars) and Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) for the prize.
Other big winners at Sunday night’s event included three statues for Shailene Woodley (Best Female Performance – The Fault in Our Stars; Trailblazer Award; Best Kiss), Seth Rogen (Best WTF Moment – Neighbors), and Meryl Streep (Best Villain – Into the Woods). Robert Downey Jr. was honored with the MTV Generation Award while Kevin Hart picked up the Comedic Genius Award.