I had a chance to interview Scott McEwen, friend of Chris Kyle and co-author of American Sniper the book. Scott has told me that Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood have been incredible to work with and gone above and beyond to take care in making this movie and in how they’ve treated the Special Operations community. I’m personally a fan of Clint’s all the way back to the early western movies. This movie looks intense and SOFREP looks forward to providing more insider interviews leading up to the December release. -Brandon
Scott, thanks for the quick notice and interview. Can you tell SOFREP what prompted your initial relationship with Chris and ultimatley led to the original book behind the upcoming American Sniper movie?
I met and got to be buddies with Chris though another buddy of mine that used to be in the Teams as well. We both had a mutual respect for the .300 Win Mag, Chris’ gun of choice in Iraq, and my favorite gun while growing up hunting big game in Oregon. I came to know of Chris’ accomplishments, and convinced him that they should be recorded accurately as I felt they were historically important (and amazing). He agreed, the rest is history.
How was it working with Chris on the project/process?
Great guy, fun to have a beer with, and an amazing American Patriot. A lot of Coors Light was consumed in the making of American Sniper.
I know there was some issues behind the Director change from Spielberg to Eastwood, how has the change benefitted the movie in your opinion?
I think Clint was the perfect person to do the movie, and was Chris’ and my choice from day one when we took the project to Andrew Lazar. Spielberg is an Icon for sure; Eastwood is a Legend. I was elated when Clint agreed to direct the movie
You were onset briefly and worked with Bradley and Clint to get our mutual friend and former sniper student of mine Elliot Miller (hit by an IED in Iraq and severely injured) on set. Can you describe this experience for the readers?
Humbling for several reasons. First, it was amazing to see Elliot given the respect he deserved from both Clint and Bradley Cooper-who spent a lot of time conversing with Elliot on set. Second, it was amazing to see the reaction on Elliot’s face when he got to meet Clint Eastwood for the first time-it really made me feel good to have taken him there! Finally, I was told by both Clint and Bradley that my bringing an injured hero like Elliot to the set, really put things in perspective for both of them. Elliot, and his struggle to overcome his injuries, makes us all understand and appreciate what Chis did, and why it was important to him, and the entire country, that they tell his story.
I know losing Chris has been extremely difficult for the family, and America in general after the popularity of American Sniper.What do you think Chris would think of the movie and effort by Cooper and Eastwood on the project?
I think he would be flattered, and frankly a bit embarrassed at all the attention given. Chris was never about the limelight, he was about the support for our troops.
Any surprises we should be looking forward to in December?
I think people will be surprised at how unabashed the support for our military and this country the movie is. There was never any question in the book of the love Chris had for this nation, and there will none in this movie!
Thanks for letting us get an early inside look. Is there any lessons learned you think Chris would want people to walk away with after seeing the movie?
Support our military men and women-both on the battlefield and at home. One Team, One Fight. Chis lived and died for these values.
In case you missed it the first time we posted, here’s the UK trailer from Warner Brothers.