“American Sniper” actor goes from SEAL to big screen

Kevin Lacz started as a technical advisor for the movie and ended up playing himself.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The movie “American Sniper” has been in theaters since Christmas Day. Connecticut native and retired Navy SEAL Kevin Lacz, who served in Iraq, sat down one-on-one with our Media General station, WTNH, in New Haven, Connecticut Friday morning. He talked about everything from Bradley Cooper, and Clint Eastwood, to becoming an actor.

When asked what it was like to appear in the movie, Lacz told us, “It was kind of surreal. Having been in the SEAL teams, and fast forward a couple of years and you’re on set with Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. Once you get over that, it was easy sailing.”
Lacz started off on the film as a technical advisor, but then was convinced to go into acting.

“My wife had made contact with the writer early on, and I had just done some technical work, answering a few questions here and there,” Lacz said. “After Chris’ murder in February, the writer came down to the funeral and met a bunch of the SEALs, and I took more of a role of answering stuff about Chris, because Chris was no longer with us. Fast forward a little bit further and the next thing you know I’m work with Rob Lorenz [Producer] and Andrew Lazar [Producer] and training Bradley Cooper.”

Returning to memories of war:

Lacz said it was clear he was now on the film set. “There’s a difference,” he said. “The cameras are in your face versus real life. The more depth I was able to go back to the easier it was for the actors.”

On Clint Eastwood:
“Clint’s not a legend for nothing. He is that guy. I couldn’t think of a more capable person telling this story than Clint,” Lacz said.

On Bradley Cooper:
“He put on 40 pounds. He looked the part, acted the part. He became a Seal. He became the legend,” Lacz told us.

Overall, Lacz said it was a real privilege to be a part of the movie. It was important for him to bring authenticity to the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. “It was a very rewarding, cathartic experience,” said Lacz.

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