Taya Kyle, widow of famed Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, has opened up about the difficulty she faced in watching someone play the movie role of her husband, who was killed two years ago.
Though she said she originally struggled with the idea of someone portraying her husband onscreen, Ms. Kyle praised actor Bradley Cooper for his accuracy in American Sniper, the film based on Chris Kyle’s 2012 memoir. According to the Daily Mail, she asserted that Cooper did an excellent job depicting the challenges Kyle faced both at war and when he returned home. In particular, Ms. Kyle singled out a subtle facial tic that Cooper displayed while looking through a rifle scope as a detail that made her nearly forget she was watching an actor.
“It’d be almost like a tell in poker,” she recalled. “In a stressful situation, Chris would do that.”
— MRC PR (@MRC_Publicity) December 22, 2014
Before filming began on American Sniper, both Cooper and the film’s director, Clint Eastwood, traveled to Midlothian, about 25 miles south of Dallas, to meet with Ms. Kyle. Over the course of two days, she related the depth of Chris Kyle’s character to them, and told the duo that she didn’t want her husband to be portrayed as a stereotype. Showing them Kyle’s baseball caps, cowboy boots and the clothes still hanging in his closet, Taya noted how deeply she appreciated their presence, according to the Dallas Morning News.
“It felt like I had a couple of friends over,” she said. “They were very respectful, kind and warm.”
— Jason Fraley (@JFrayWTOP) January 14, 2015
Taya credits scriptwriter Jason Hall with accurately depicting the tension in her marriage that resulted from Kyle’s multiple deployments to the battlefield. Hall, for his part, remembered what Ms. Kyle told him shortly after her husband’s funeral.
“If you guys are going to do this, you’re going to need to get it right,” he recalled her saying. “This is going to play a part, for better or worse, in how my kids remember their dad.”
After being honorably discharged in 2009 after ten years of service, including four tours in Iraq, Chris Kyle was killed in February of 2013 at a shooting range with his friend, Chad Littlefield. As the Inquisitr has previously reported, ex-Marine Eddie Ray Routh has been charged with the murders, and authorities say he has confessed to killing Kyle and Littlefield.
American Sniper, the film that Chris Kyle’s widow calls a gift to her family, is set to open nationwide on Thursday.
[Image: Getty via the Daily Mail]