Bradley Cooper is known for his movie performances, but he’s taking on a different kind of role in an upcoming healthcare-related project. The Academy Award-nominated actor is teaming with Otsuka America Pharmaceutical on a documentary about family caregivers.

The drugmaker announced earlier this month that it has partnered with production company WETA Washington, D.C., and Lea Pictures to serve as the lead sponsor of a documentary about caregivers for family members. Cooper is serving as executive producer of the two-part, four-hour documentary series.

Recognizing the unsung work performed by family members to assist millions of ailing relatives, the documentary explores the care provided in the shadows, as well as the need for additional support from lawmakers. 

In a three-and-a-half minute teaser video, Cooper acknowledged that he hadn’t truly considered the importance of caregiving until his late father was diagnosed with lung cancer years ago.

“It’s really up to us; all of us can help raise the banner for caregivers,” he said in the video. “Together, with your help, we can make a difference.”

The documentary is slated to air next spring on PBS. It’s the latest component in WETA’s Well Beings national engagement campaign, which kicked off in May 2020. WETA will embark on a digital outreach campaign following the documentary’s debut.

Dana Sultan-Rothman, executive director of corporate communications and marketing at Otsuka, said WETA approached the company as a longtime partner to see about backing the project and was warmly received.  

“Caregiving is one of the most prevalent roles that we have as humans. At some point, we’re all going to be caregivers or be cared for,” she noted. “It’s time to shine a light on this community and have them feel seen, heard and supported in ways that we’ve traditionally done for patients and HCPs. It’s time to include caregivers in that focus and aid them.”

The subject is a familiar one for Otsuka, which produced the Building Mental Resiliency video series during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2022, Otsuka sponsored Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, a two-part, four-hour documentary backed by documentarian Ken Burns about the nation’s youth mental health crisis.

In February, the company created a three-minute-long animated children’s short, Where the Ocean Meets the Shore: Navigating Alzheimer’s Together. 

The short was intended to support the sandwich generation of caregivers and provide them with a simple way of discussing their parents’ Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis with their children.

Sultan-Rothman said Otsuka has committed additional educational and support resources to the Alzheimer’s disease caregiving community. It has hosted caregiver roundtables, created a dedicated microsite and provided employee caregiver benefits. 

As for Cooper’s involvement, Sultan-Rothman believes associating the Otsuka brand with an A-list star can only further the company’s mission.

“The marriage of Bradley Cooper’s belief in shining a light on caregivers with our belief is going to shine a bright light on this community,” she said.