this is "nightline." >> tonight, two american skiers olympic hopefuls in a killer avalanche. with winter weather advisories in effect from coast to coast, we're going inside the dramatic rescue if you get stuck in the snow. is there a way out? >> right there. keeping up with cooper. >> i have a lot of maneuvers. >> from rugal sharp shooter in "american sniper" to shirtless cover star on "w" magazine. bradley cooper is no stranger to transformation. >> yeah, yeah. >> tonight, he talks working on his body working on his accent. >> that's not me no. >> and working with hollywood's finest. how much is an iphone worth to you? >> $7,000. >> tonight even if the price isn't right, it can bring the laughs. >> there you go! >> our famous game show gachs.
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winter to face disaster in a pounding rush of snow. of course, mother nature can turn deadly in a matter of seconds. and the rescue teams you're about to meet can mean the difference between life and death. here's abc's clayton sandell. >> reporter: this is what an avalanche looks like in a terrifying closeup. a snow mobiler triggers a slide. seconds later, it catches up with him. he is buried and survives. but today, two promising u.s. skiers, ronnie berlack and brice astle, were not so lucky. they died in the austrian alps after a deadly avalanche. the pair were part of a six-person crew skiing just a short ways away from the sight of the world cup races. >> the rescue crews were on the scene immediately with multiple helicopters and other rescue crew. they were able to extricate the two skiers but unfortunately,
it was too late. >> my name is brice astle. i'm out of sandy utah and i am 19 years old. >> reporter: astle was a top junior competitor. his skills earned him an invitation to ski with the u.s. team. he posted this video in the fall to raise the money he needed to follow his dreams. >> helping me hopefully get that much closer to reaching if of the world cup circuit and olympic podium. >> berlack, only 20 was a new hampshire native. he bounced back from a knee injury last year to compete around the world. his father telling "usa today," his son "organized his entire life around ski racing." even the best skiers are sometimes no match for avalanches carrying tons of snow and debris at 80 miles an hour or faster. >> everything happens really fast. and you don't really have much of a chance to avoid the danger once you've triggered it. >> reporter: the accident has left many in the skiing world in shock.
we journeyed deep into the colorado rockies. to find out what it's like -- whoa -- to be caught and rescued from the rush of a raging avalanche. there's the hole. 12,000 feet up i'm about to be buried alive. are you going to be able to hear me? >> no. >> reporter: not at all? >> not at all. >> reporter: okay. all right, here we go. from the moment i'm locked in a snow coffin -- going to be dark in here -- the entrance sealed. the clock is ticking. the further you get towards this rope line, the deeper the snow is. >> reporter: for the team "nightline" came here to meet. the men and women bravely taking own one of mother nature's most powerful natural forces for a potentially life-saving rescue drill. avalanche season in the united states is just beginning. last season 35 people were killed. >> is that an avalanche?
>> reporter: edwin was almost one of them. >> holy [ bleep ] -- >> reporter: his brother davis was watching and recording this video. edwin is suddenly swept away. edwin, only his head visible -- >> help! >> reporter: but he is lucky and pulled out alive. >> dig me out! >> reporter: you look at the snow here, it's fluffy white, but what happens after an avalanche? >> it kind of turns into this. try to hold this thing up. it's pretty heavy. >> reporter: this is like concrete almost. >> exactly like concrete. and, you know, the -- when the snow starts to avalanche, it starts getting churned up. heat, pressure and everything bonds together real tight. and it just locks up like concrete. >> there's at great avalanche right here. >> reporter: there are one million acres of avalanche terrain in colorado. mostly in places roads don't go.
>> that's avalanche here it's at least a couple of days old. >> reporter: our guide is veteran pilot patrick ma >> the avalanche i'm going to show you is at 2:00. i can see where the snow let go. >> reporter: oh, yeah. when disaster strikes, he and flight for life colorado get the call and dozens of professional and volunteer avalanchers assemble. >> we can get to a real remote location, like we're coming up to here in the ten-mile range, in a matter of minutes, where as a hiking team hiking in would take hours. snow mobile would take maybe an hour. if you can even get one up there. >> further away now. >> reporter: in our drill, 28-year-old amanda slater a copper mountain ski patroller, is one of the first on the scene. her partner, 5-year-old rekko, specially trained to sniff out victims buried underneath the
snow. they've been a team for four years. >> we're beginning our search right now. i can see the debris down here. looks like a ski right over there. >> reporter: six feet under, i wait trapped. very claustrophobic. a little unnerving to be in here. it's dark. i can't see very well. and to think that a real avalanche victim would have far less room, would not be able to move around and probably wouldn't be able to breathe really is terrifying. for most of us surviving a record-breaking winter means dressing warmly in layers protecting those hands and feet and staying hydrated. in avalanche country, extra safety gear is critical. like these air bags and emergency beacons. >> you can hear it's telling you there's a beacon right now that's 19 meters away. >> okay. >> and we just go towards that signal and make it get smaller and then start probing. >> reporter: if the area is too big to cover on foot mahaney swoops in to search from the
air. if a victim hasn't been found after 15 minutes, the chances for surviving rapidly drop. i've been down here 15 minutes now. even if something were to happen to me down here, they wouldn't be able to hear me yell and i can't hear what's going on on the surface. i'm hoping the dog is close. >> looks like he's got something. >> reporter: thankfully she is. my hero! my hero! hello! >> are you hurt at all? >> reporter: i'm okay. it's hard to breathe down here. okay. i'm rescued. time for me to get out of here. well that, for a drill, was terrifying. for "nightline," i'm clayton sandell in the colorado rockies. up next bradley cooper explains why acting in "the
hangover" is no different from serious movies like "american sniper." and he's got the oscar buzz to prove it. out of 42 vehicles... based on 6 different criteria... why did a panel of 11 automotive experts... ... name the volkswagen golf motor trend's 2015 car of the year? we'll give you four good reasons the all-new volkswagen golf starting at $17,995. there's an award winning golf for everyone.
okay, here's the thing. it takes a lot more than fine acting chops to transform yourself from the american hustler to the american sniper. for bradley cooper it involved massive weight gain rig use accent training and some real life hero worship. tonight, he opens up to my "nightline" co-anchor byron pitts. >> reporter: in this heart-pump
heart-pumping, highly patriotic film -- >> don't pick it up. >> reporter: bradley cooper -- >> drop it. >> reporter: does more than portray an american war hero -- >> are you chief -- >> yes, sir. >> reporter: he humanizes it. >> you saved my life. >> you did? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: chris kyle, the most lethal sniper in u.s. military history. 150 confirmed kills. the enemy feared him. his peers on the battlefield revered him. >> all these guys? they know your name. they feel invincible with you up there. >> they're not. >> they are if they think they are. >> reporter: based on the "new york times" best eller erseller "american sniper" chronicles chris kyle's success and repercussions on his psyche and his personal life. >> i'm stateside. >> you're home? >> i guess i just needed a minute. >> the kids are dying to see you. it's been nine months.
>> i'm coming home. >> reporter: there's early buzz of a third possible oscar nomination. he was previously only nated for "american hustle" -- >> what is there to confirm? >> reporter: and "silver linings playbook." >> your poor social skills. >> you scare people. >> i tell the truth. you're mean. >> reporter: "american sniper" bears the intimate details clint eastwood is known for. >> clint was right there for that moment. >> reporter: next to you? >> when i was on that gun, he was right there. sort of talking and that's the way it was shooting the whole movie. clint was there all the time. >> reporter: for all the intensity on screen cooper and east the wood shared moments off it. like the director wondering if his star should actually lift the 400 pounds you see in this scene eight times. >> he just said do you really have to lift that weight? >> i said yeah yeah it will be fine. don't pull anything. >> reporter: cooper gained 50 pounds for "american sniper" and
trained with a dialect coach to get that texas twang. >> you said thing with thin. you wouldn't do saturday, sunday, you know it's very interesting. it's almost like learning a foreign language. >> reporter: you stayed in character the whole time? even, like talking to your girlfriend? >> yeah, god bless her. yes, yes. >> reporter: cooper's girlfriend is 23-year-old british model and actress suki waterhouse. though he is private about it their relationship much like everything in cooper's life has been relentlessly chronicled by the paparazzi and his career by the press. he's the shirtless cover star of "w" magazine's movie issue. these days cooper's returned to the theater, starring in "the elephant man" on broadway. performing to packed audiences. so, how does one of the most celebrated actors get to work every day? the subway of course. that's crazy. >> is it? i mean it doesn't feel crazy. i always take the subway here. >> reporter: how is it different
being paragraphed by the paparazzi -- >> by the iphone? i have a lot of maneuvers. if you sense somebody you know it's a constant thing that you do. people are very covert man. they do a lot of this thing. you see it hanging out there. you know? there is also this, reading the thing. you don't -- you can read it there. >> reporter: for all his success, there's a down to earth guy next door quality to bradley cooper, and he gives full credit to his family. he dotes on his late father charlie cooper. >> my dad was my man. >> reporter: what do you think he would have said about this performance? >> growing up i remember thinking when i was a kid, the idea of him crying never. i started to see him really sort of dip into the emotion of his life. >> reporter: his family enabled him to flourish. >> i never, ever grew up with parents that pushed me to do anything other than something that was going to make me happy.
i know that's a rare thing. i was lucky, because i had such a self-generated engine in myself that i never needed them to push me. >> reporter: cooper graduated with honors from georgetown. studied acting at new york's the new school. appearing on its program "inside the actor's studio" with guest sean penn. >> my name's bradley cooper. i'm a second year actor. what was it like to revisit a character, eddie, after a ten-year hiatus? >> reporter: success seemed far from certain. >> you want to go for a ride? >> reporter: from a one-time role on "sex and the city" -- >> i have to go home. >> no way. >> reporter: to his recurring one on "alias," bit parts in movies. but it all changed six years ago. >> to a night the four of us will never forget. >> reporter: with "the hangover." how does one go from "the hangover" movies to the very serious, in part dark characters in some ways?
>> well, i don't see any difference at all. >> reporter: huh? >> i don't. phil to me was a real character that wasn't me. >> tracy, it's phil. >> where the hell are you guys? >> and todd phillips and zach and ed are as good as christian bale and jeremy renner. those guys are serious gangster actors, i mean, they are no joke and you have to bring it hard every time you're with them. so, i see it as the same thing. >> you want to die? is that what it is? >> no. >> then just tell me. why do you do it? i want to understand. >> babe i do it for you. i do it to protect you. >> no you don't. >> yes, i do. >> i'm here. your family is here. your children have no father. >> i have to serve my country. >> you don't know when to quit. >> reporter: there is very little humor in "american sniper." it delves deeply into the high cost of war.
the aftermath of battle when the adrenaline rush has passed. keeper only spoke to chris kyle once by phone. >> he wanted to tie me up put me in the back of his pickup truck and ride around. i found that as a compliment. >> reporter: a compliment? >> pretty? thanks. 38, pretty? >> reporter: but before the movie went into production life took a tragic hollywood turn. >> shocking killing of chris kyle. the most lethal sniper in u.s. history was gunned down at a texas shooting range over the weekend. the man arrested a troubled former marine whom kyle was trying to help. >> reporter: after his death, cooper met with kyle's family including his father, wayne. >> i tried to get to know him. i wanted him to get to know me. i said we're going to do right by your son. and i meant it. and i think he saw that. you got eyes on this? >> reporter: whether he wins any major awards or not, bradley cooper has already achieved two
major successes. honor an american hero and his farthest dream for his son to live a full life. >> if he was still alive, he'd be 74 now. oh, he would be a mess. i think every time he would see me he would cry. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm byron pitts in new york. >> nice. "american sniper" will be in theaters nationwide january 16th. next sometimes you say something silly and nobody hears it. but these game show contestants weren't so lucky. our favorite bloopers, coming up. curling up in bed with a favorite book is nice. but i think women would rather curl up with their favorite man. but here's the thing: about half of men over 40 have some degree of erectile dysfunction. well, viagra helps guys with ed get and keep an erection. and remember, you only take it when you need it.
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you know, game show contestants are expected to bring their a-game but under all those lights with all that pressure and all that money on the line sometimes all bets are off. abc's sara haines brings us the latest round of epic fails. >> it's the price is right! >> reporter: on "price is right," you either guess the right price -- >> $900. >> reporter: or maybe not. >> iphone 6! >> $7,500. >> reporter: $7,500 really? and she's not alone. the next bidder pulling the classic move.
>> $7,501. >> reporter: retail price, $1,969. >> reporter: they lost out on the phone and, perhaps, a little prize. australia's millionaire hot seat proving too hot for this contestant. >> which of these is not a piece of jewelry commonly worn to symbol ize symbolize a relationship -- >> i'm going to go with b. oh burger ring. >> reporter: over on the wheel of fortune million dollar spot. achilles? >> yeah, that's it. >> reporter: with the pressure and the stakes so high, anything can happen. for "nightline," i'm sara haines in new york.
>> oh! ah. thanks for watching abc news. "world news now" is coming up soon with overnight breaking news. tune into "good morning america" tomorrow. and as always we're online at abcnews.com. good night, america. [dramatic music] [cheers and applause] >> yeah! yeah! thank you, and welcome to the show. i'm terry crews, and you may know me from brooklyn nine-nine and i'm also thrilled to be here hosting millionaire. [cheers and applause]
every millionaire contestant is unique, but today's first contestant says she's missing something almost every person has. luckily, it has nothing to do with her brain. from lafayette, louisiana, please welcome ashley hollier. [cheers and applause] hi, ashley. >> can i hug you? >> good to see you. oh. come on in. now, ashley, what are you missing? >> a sense of smell. it's called anosmia. it means i have no sense of smell. can't smell anything. i've never smelled the really nice stuff, but i've also never smelled the really stinky stuff. >> well, you know what i heard? i heard if you're missing one sense, all the other senses are actually increased. do you feel like that? >> well, it kind of diminishes my sense of taste. but maybe it's coincidence maybe not. i have, like, freakishly good hearing, so... >> let's hope you're smarter than everybody else. >> i know.