Excerpted from Mad World News: Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s best-selling autobiography “American Sniper” was set to hit the silver screen and actor Bradly Cooper was chosen to play Kyle. In preparation for his role, Cooper had the honor to have several conversations with Kyle. However, the men only met once before Kyle was fatally shot by a troubled military veteran at a Texas lodge.
During that single conversation, Cooper made one fateful promise to Kyle: Whatever fears he had about bringing his story to Hollywood to just put them aside and trust him to do it justice, Cooper told USA Today.
Cooper didn’t change course on this plan to make the movie after Kyle’s murder. “There was really no choice” but to “do right by [Kyle] and his family,” Cooper said. He brought on the perfect director to help make it happen, legendary actor Clint Eastwood.
Through a rigorous diet and workout regimen, Cooper, 39, put on 40 pounds and transformed himself into 38-year-old Kyle. He also trained with Navy SEALs who worked with Kyle, including Kevin “Dauber” Lacz, Kyle’s sniper partner during his last two tours. Lacz served as a technical adviser and portrays himself in the movie.
But even clearing houses with actual SEAL teams and live-ammo shooting with the three types of rifles Kyle used in the field, Cooper felt nervous looking through the scope of a powerful gun aimed at actors.
“Even though it was actors through the scope, they were human beings. It was a whole other deal. I remember getting a chill through my body realizing what he had to do,” says Cooper of the man who was credited with 160 confirmed kills in his military service.
Cooper is dedicated to creating a product that Kyle would be proud of and that his family loves, explaining that is the only way to be sure that movie lives up to this incredible man’s legacy.
“His life merits this. I hope we have stepped up to the challenge,” Cooper said. Read more from from Mad World News