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Veterans Day: Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun,’ Bradley Cooper in ‘American Sniper’


People across the nation will honor military veterans for their brave and honorable service to the country Friday, including some of the top actors in Hollywood who have taken on movie roles that have portrayed military figures.

Bradley Cooper portrayed late U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in “American Sniper.” The actor revealed he “had an appreciation for veterans” before he filmed the movie but was unaware of the toll it took on the servicemen and women’s families. Mark Wahlberg had been a longtime supporter of military veterans before his 2013 role in “Lone Survivor.”

Here is a look at other Hollywood stars who have portrayed both fictional and non-fictional military figures. 

Tom Cruise and Bradley Cooper have portrayed military figures during their acting careers.

Tom Cruise and Bradley Cooper have portrayed military figures during their acting careers.
(Getty Images)

‘TOP GUN’ STAR TOM SKERITT EXPLAINS WHY THE ORIGINAL MOVIE WAS ICONIC, DETAILS FILMING WITH TOM CRUISE

Tom Cruise, ‘Top Gun’ franchise

Tom Cruise portrayed fighter pilot Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the original “Top Gun” film released in 1986 and its sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” in 2022.

Cruise earned the biggest movie launch of his career with “Top Gun: Maverick,” bringing in an estimated $151 million at the box office during Memorial Day weekend.

Tom Cruise played Maverick in the 1986 movie

Tom Cruise played Maverick in the 1986 movie “Top Gun.” 
(CBS via Getty Images)

Cruise first starred “Maverick,” a young naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, in 1986. He worked with Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins and Anthony Edwards.

Bradley Cooper, ‘American Sniper’

Bradley Cooper portrayed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in “American Sniper.” Chris’ 2012 autobiography “American Sniper” detailed how he became the most prolific marksman in the U.S. during the Iraq War. Kyle died in 2013 after he was fatally shot at a Texas shooting range.

In 2015, Cooper shared in an interview with People magazine that he is a longtime supporter of military veterans.

Bradley Cooper attended the

Bradley Cooper attended the “American Sniper” New York premiere in 2014.
(Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)

“I’ve always been interested on a personal level in helping our vets. I’ve been a part of USO [United Service Organizations] on tours for over eight years,” he shared. “”I had an appreciation for veterans before this, but what I definitely did not know is the toll that it takes on the family,” Cooper added.

‘AMERICAN SNIPER’ WIFE TAYA KYLE RECALLS HOW SHE LEANED ON FAITH AFTER CHRIS KYLE’S DEATH: ‘IT WAS A JOURNEY’

After the film was released in 2014, the actor hosted private movie screenings, inviting military veterans. He also visited several hospitals to show his gratitude to those who served.

“People were willing to express themselves in a format that they would never do normally,” Cooper shared. “But because they saw Chris’s story, they were willing to say, ‘Thank you for putting a guy I can relate to up there and have it be something right away that I know is…



Read More: Veterans Day: Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun,’ Bradley Cooper in ‘American Sniper’

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