Kevin Lacz, a retired Navy Seal and Middlefield, Connecticut native, starred alongside Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper,” served as tech consultant for the movie, and will be at special screening in Berlin this weekend in honor of the Chris Kyle Memorial Fund, as well as other veterans projects.
Cooper stars in the movie, which is based on the memoir of Chris Kyle, who served in four tours in Iraq before retiring from the military in 2009. Kyle died in February 2013 after being shot at a shooting range in Texas.
Lacz said he got to know Kyle in 2005. Lacz had just gotten to Seal Team 3 when Kyle was returning from a tour in Fallujah.
Kyle became a mentor and a friend to the new guy on the team. They served together for two tours in Iraq and stayed in touch after returning home.
“American Sniper is a great representation of what went on Chris’ life,” Lacz said.
“You know, it was an honor to go ahead and live those experiences with Chris Kyle. Mark Lee, Ryan Job, and it was a privilege to help tell it. And the story about Chris -- most movies end when they come home – and where Chris is different is he’s a character study, which follows Chris from the early days through his deployments, so you get B-side of what goes on in the personal relationship and also transitioning back.”
“American Sniper” and Kyle’s stories are important story for Americans to know, according to Lacz.
As a veteran, he said he’s always appreciated people thanking him for his service, but there are stories behind every veteran and people are opening up their eyes because of the movie and seeing that, he said.
“It’s really important for us as a nation and also us going forward,” Lacz said.
When it comes working with Bradley Cooper, he said the actor was a natural.
At first, they started doing some basic weaponry and shooting the movie, but Cooper spent hours preparing and exhibited talent, according to his co-star.
“So he’s got talent," Lacz said. "He’s good.”
Cooper was also a nice guy and there could have been no better acting coaches than working alongside Cooper and Clint Eastwood, Lacz said.
Lacz will attend a special screening of “American Sniper” at noon on Saturday at the Berlin Starplex in Kensington. It’s in honor of the Chris Kyle Memorial Fund, the Heroes Project and Connecticut Trees of Honor.
When he’s not starring in hit movies, Lacz works as a physician’s assistant in Florida, and does good work for veterans through the Eagle Fund, which serves active duty military and retirees.
“I’m in a great place. I’m very happy. The service has been great to me, but now I’m able to give back and work with veterans and work with active duty guys in a way that I’d never dreamed of before.”