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Actor Bradley Cooper, star of American Sniper, said it was a “privilege” to play Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in the Academy-award nominated film.
When filming, Cooper said he was focused on being accurate toward Kyle’s character, so his personal thoughts about America’s War on Terror did not come into play.
“The honor, it’s right there, I’m standing next to Taya Kyle and any time you get to play an individual who has really lived, or is alive, that’s a privilege but especially when it’s this man, Chris, and the fact that we were going to do it while he was alive and then I continued once he died and she really was the reason why it became the film that it became, you know, that’s the honor,” Cooper said at the Washington screening of American Sniper, which was directed by Clint Eastwood.
Kyle is regarded as the most legal sniper in U.S. military history for having the most confirmed kills during his four tours in Iraq.
Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill made a surprise appearance at the screening in Washington.
Filmmaker Michael Moore and actor Seth Rogan recently made controversial comments about the film on Twitter, sparking a debate about Kyle and his wartime actions.
“My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes,” Moore wrote on Twitter.
Rogan compared American Sniper to a Nazi propaganda film shown in Inglourious Basterds.
Conservatives such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have praised the movie.
“Bradley Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Mark Wahlberg and others like Dean Cain, who was another friend of Chris, defy typical Hollywood self-centeredness by putting their heart and soul and tremendous physical efforts into accurate portrayals of true heroism,” she said.
“I honor them for honoring the U.S. military through projects like American Sniper, Lone Survivor, and their pro-military charity events. Guys like those four – and Gary Sinise, Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, and others – know that the hope for our future is protected by and embodied in brave men and women represented in their work. I love them for standing strong in the face of cowardly fire from their colleagues,” Palin also said.
PJ Media asked Cooper if working on the film changed his perspective of the War on Terror.
“Never even thought about it. It was all about being accurate toward that character [Chris Kyle] and what he went through and that’s always been the intent … to create and reflect the human that I got to know and that she [Taya Kyle] knew as her husband,” Cooper said.
Related: Taya Kyle and American Sniper co-author Jim DeFelice talk with Ed Driscoll.