Bradley Cooper surprised by controversy surrounding ‘American Sniper’

Bradley Cooper, who earned a best actor Oscar nomination for his performance as a deadly marksman in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, said on Monday that he did not foresee how the Iraq war biopic could become a charged political conversation.

“You never know when you make a movie if anybody’s going to see it, so to have the audacity to think that it would cause any sort of effect at all would be pretty presumptuous,” Cooper told reporters at the Academy Awards nominees luncheon.

American Sniper, which tops the US box office and has so far grossed nearly $250 million, tells the real-life story of late US. Navy Seal sharpshooter Chris Kyle, whose 160 kills in Iraq is considered the highest count ever in US military history. The film has been nominated for six Oscars including best picture.

It has become a flashpoint in US public debate with some liberals and conservatives sparring over its portrayal of war, soldiers, and Eastwood’s interpretation of the history leading up to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Targets of ‘violent threats’
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has said that its members have been targets of “violent threats” caused by the film’s language directed at Muslims.


Oscar-winning Eastwood, who is a staunch supporter of veterans, has said “American Sniper” has nothing to do with party politics.

Cooper, who is also a producer on the film, said he wants the spotlight to be on soldiers.

“Any discussion that sheds light to the plight of the soldiers and the men and women in the armed services, for that discussion to occur is fantastic,” Cooper said of the film.

Kyle was killed by a disgruntled US veteran at a Texas gun range in 2013 before the film began production.

Cooper has previously been nominated for acting Oscars in 2013 for Silver Linings Playbook and 2014 for American Hustle.

Chris Kyle Day
Meanwhile, the US state of Texas declared February 2 “Chris Kyle Day” on Monday, honouring the late Navy Seal marksman portrayed in American Sniper, two years after his death.

“Today, we commemorate [Kyle’s] passing, and we honour his service and the service of his comrades in arms who have joined him to defend our great nation,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, said in his proclamation.

The film has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture. 

Critics contend however that the film glorifies war and sanitises Kyle, who called Muslims “savages” in his memoir. Some have also drawn issue with Eastwood’s interpretation of the history leading up to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Jury selection in Kyle’s murder trial is set to begin on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported. – Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Reuters
Guest Author

Related stories

M&G is most trusted weekly news brand

In a poll by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, based at Oxford University, the Mail & Guardian emerged as the most trusted weekly publication in South Africa

Caught at last, a brazen Jo’burg con artist must face the music

For years it seemed to all those people caught in Tracy Morrison’s intricate webs of deceit that she would never be called to account

Blatter and Platini banned by Fifa for eight years

Football moguls still in denial, claim unfair treatment and will appeal ruling of ethics committee.

Bob Dylan’s ‘Hard Rain’ lyrics expected to sell for £200 000

The draft of 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' lyrics contains scribbled revisions and scratchings-out to the song that Dylan recorded in December 1962.

Why the ‘obsession’ with pension cuts, asks Greek PM Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sees further pension cuts to low earners as a red line his leftist Syriza party will not cross.

Nigeria oil company overpaid govt $750m – audit

An audit of Nigeria's state oil firm said it overpaid Goodluck Jonathan's government by $750-million, and had not properly accounted for $1.5-billion.
Advertising

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Cambridge Food Jozini: Pandemic or not, the price-gouging continues

The Competition Commission has fined Cambridge Food Jozini for hiking the price of its maize meal during April

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday