NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A former Navy SEAL from Connecticut has made it big in Hollywood. Kevin Lacz is from Middlefield. He went to Xavier High School. He then went from being a decorated sniper to playing one in a blockbuster movie.
The hit movie “American Sniper” stars Bradley Cooper as famed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, but it’s also got a real Navy SEAL from Connecticut in it. Kevin Lacz stopped by Good Morning Connecticut to talk about how a medical student ended up in one of the world’s most elite military units.
“The attacks of 9/11 really catapulted me to that next decision and risk which was to join the Navy,” Lacz remembered. “I went to the recruiting office in Middletown and told them I want to go downrange and jump out of airplanes and dive.”
Which brought him to the SEALs where he served alongside Chris Kyle, the sniper with the most confirmed kills in history.
“He was the guy that we looked up to because he was very accomplished and he brought us under his wing and kept us in check when he needed to,” said Lacz. “But he really was the guy we aspired to be and the guy we wanted to be next to when it got hairy out there.”
He went to Iraq twice with Kyle, and when Clint Eastwood started making a movie based on Kyle’s book, Kevin Lacz started out as a technical advisor, helping turn Bradley Cooper into a sharpshooter. It was Cooper who suggested Lacz play himself in the movie
“And the next night he said, ‘I’m going to tell Clint you have to be in the movie,'” remembered Lacz. “So I auditioned, Clint saw the video, liked it, said, ‘Boy’s damn good.’ – his words exactly.”
Lacz says Cooper got damn good, too, hitting 10 inch targets from 600 meters away. The movie took three months of filming in Morocco and California. While he’s not ruling out more acting, Lacz is a physician’s assistant now, and that’s his priority.
“We work with active duty guys and veterans in the rehab process,” said Lacz. “We make sure they’re feeling well and that they’re able to rehab a lot quicker and get back into fighting shape.”
Although he could have a future in television, too. He stopped by Good Morning Connecticut and finished off a weather forecast with Gil Simmons. Simmons is the Emcee for a fundraising event Lacz is having on Sunday. The event is a private screening of the film “American Sniper” in Berlin, followed by a reception and auction in Cromwell. All the money goes to charities that help veterans. For more information, go to http://www.kevinlacz.com/