After seeing their chemistry on screen in the action drama American Sniper, it is surprising that Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller didn’t know each other prior to filming as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his wife, Taya. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, centres on the hardship of returning to civilian life after multiple tours of duty and sees the two actors engaged in a very intimate relationship - one in which they relished.
“For me, it was one of the most creatively enlightening experiences to be around Bradley playing this part,” Sienna explained at a press conference in New York. “I’ve always been an enormous fan of his.”
Bradley’s feelings were mutual, with the award-winning actor saying, “I was always a massive fan of hers and was shocked that she even came in on it.” The American Hustle star, also a producer on the film, continued, “When watching the audition, it took 50 seconds before I realized it was Sienna Miller.”
The blond beauty also had a few jabs for her costar. “Having seen American Sniper and Elephant Man in the same day, there is just no way that that man is the guy from The Hangover," said the mother of one. "He has the charisma of a movie star, but he is a character actor of the highest order.”
The mutually enamoured duo's conference banter even had the real Taya Kyle joking, saying, “See, they are like a married couple - the dynamic.”
But without her openness, Bradley, 39, and Sienna, 32, both acknowledge they would have been lost when portraying the real-life couple. “We didn’t have to create anything with our imagination,” said Bradley. “Literally, all we had to do was soak in what she gave us.”
Taya spent countless hours with the stars and director Clint Eastwood, and even shared email exchanges with her late husband while on his four tours in Iraq. In addition, Bradley and Sienna watched videos of the pair to get a handle on their interactions and mannerisms to carefully embody them.
Chris Kyle, a hero among his peers, was murdered by a veteran in 2013. In the process of making the film, Taya became extremely close with the cast and ensured that the story was a real portrayal of Chris's life and loss.
“The first thing that Taya said when she [first saw the film], she was crying and she said 'you brought my husband back to life,'” said writer Jason Hall.
American Sniper opens in Canadian theatres on Jan. 16, 2014.