EXCLUSIVE: After all the sinister implications of the Sony hacking scandal, a nice story has emerged among the sharp elbows on the Oscar circuit that is enough to make one feel good about actors who simply love the craft.

Even though he was suffering from the flu, Ben Affleck took the time to speak at an event meant to celebrate American Sniper and Bradley Cooper’s performance as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. During a screening of his film Inherent Vice, Josh Brolin could be heard talking about how important Cooper’s performance was. Now, both of them have movies in the Oscar hunt–Affleck having starred in Gone Girl. And yet they were standing up for the strong performance turned in by Cooper, who is at a distinct disadvantage because he is starring on Broadway in The Elephant Man, and got snubbed in both the Golden Globes and SAG nominations to the shock of many.

Word is that Leonardo DiCaprio might also do something. This is noteworthy because stars never do anything against their self interest to help the competition when awards are on the line. Why the change? As Affleck said the other night, and I’m paraphrasing, right now we need to say something strong and meaningful about what our industry is about and what our country is about, and Cooper’s performance does that. Cooper’s performance, he said, speaks well for who are are at our best.