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Veterans Day: Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun,’ Bradley Cooper in ‘American Sniper’ headline iconic military movies

People across the country will respect military veteran Friday for their brave and honorable service to the nation, which includes some of Hollywood’s top actors who have played film roles that portray military figures.

Bradley Cooper portrayed Late US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle In “American sniper.” The actor revealed that he had an “appreciation for veterans” before the film was filmed but was unaware of the toll it would take on the families of soldiers and women. Mark Wahlberg was a longtime supporter of military veterans before his role in “Lone Survivor” in 2013.

Here’s 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 throughout their acting careers.

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

‘Top Gun’ star Tom Skerritt explains why the original film was iconic, details filmed with Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise, ‘Top Gun’ franchise

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

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

Tom Cruise played Maverick in the 1986 film "top Gun."

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

Cruise first starred in “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” describes how he became the most prolific shooter in America during the Iraq War. Kyle died in 2013 after being 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 "American sniper" New York premiere in 2014.

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

“I have always been interested on a personal level in helping my veterinarians. I have been a part of USO [United Service Organizations] Over eight years on tour,” he shared. “I had an appreciation for the Giants before, but I certainly didn’t realize how much it affected the family,” Cooper said.

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After the film’s release in 2014, the actor hosted private film screenings inviting military veterans. He also visited several hospitals to express his gratitude to those who served.

Cooper shared, “People were more inclined to express themselves in a format they would never normally do.” “But because they saw Chris’ story, they were more than willing to say, ‘Thanks for having a guy out there I can relate to and have it be something immediately that I know is accurate.'”

Cooper said playing Chris Kyle was “life-changing.”

Brad Pitt, ‘Fury’

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The film’s producer David Ayer is a Navy veteran.

Brad Pitt attended "Fury" Photo call in France.

Brad Pitt attends “Fury” photo call in France.
(Stephen Cardinal/Corbis)

The Hollywood Reporter reported that in 2014, the Newseum in Washington, DC hosted a gala for the film, where the US Color Guard presented the American flag and the national anthem was performed.

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Three World War II veterans – Amy Pascal, Doug Belgrade and Michael De Luca – accompanied Pitt on the red carpet.

There was also the opportunity for guests to write personal letters to active military members, and Pitt reportedly wrote his own message thanking them for their service.

Chris Pratt, ‘The Terminal List’

One of the most recent TV war series, “The Terminal List,” stars Chris Prato As James Rees, a Navy SEAL commander.

The series, which aired on Prime Video in July, showcased Reece’s ability to overcome his entire team’s defeat in order to locate targets and carry out missions.

Prior to the series premiere, Pratt spoke to The Associated Press about the importance of military veterans being part of Hollywood’s production teams for war films.

Chris Pratt attended "terminal list" Los Angeles premieres in June.

Chris Pratt attends the Los Angeles premiere of “The Terminal List” in June.
(Excel/Bauer-Griffin/Film Magic)

Pratt shared, “Action movies have turned Navy SEALs into superheroes over time. I think when actual SEALs look at that stuff, they’re like ‘Nah, that’s Hollywood.'”

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The actor shared that the goal was to “respect that community and try to make it for that community, so they’ll look at us and go, ‘Wow. That’s actually pretty accurate.”

Pratt shared that it makes a lot of sense to hire military veterans in Hollywood.

He shared, “I love that transition for people exiting the service and joining the film and television industry.”

“It’s a really great place for them. It’s very similar across a chain of command. You have departments, and you have initiatives that come from top to bottom. We had people in the prop department, we had wardrobe guys. We had people, we had hair and makeup people, we had extras, we had location people, we had actors, writers, producers who were ex-military.”

Tom Hanks, ‘Saving Private Ryan’

twenty four years ago, Tom Hanks Played the role of Captain John Miller in “Saving Private Ryan”.

Captain Miller leads his team behind enemy lines to rescue Private James Ryan, played by Matt Damon. The film was nominated for several Academy Awards and received the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture in 1999.

Last year, on Veterans Day, Hanks worked with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation in a video “virtual parade” that honored those who served.

“Let’s raise our voices and thank these heroes for their service and their sacrifices,” Hanks said in the clip.

Mark Wahlberg, ‘Lone Survivor’

In “Lone Survivor”, Mark Wahlberg portrays Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. The star-studded cast also included Dan Bilzerian, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Alexander Ludwig in a 2005 film based on Afghanistan.

The team’s mission was to kill Taliban leader Ahmed Shah.

Mark Wahlberg attended "lone survivor" New York premiere in 2013.

Mark Wahlberg attends the New York premiere of “Lone Survivor” in 2013.
(Gemal Countess)

In a 2016 interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Wahlberg admitted that his role in “Lone Survivor” was “more difficult and more meaningful” than other acting roles in his career.

He shared that while watching the film, which is based on a true story, with Marcus Luttrell, he could only think of “what he was doing”.

Earlier this year, Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum opened in West Seville, New York. It is the first military museum of its kind in the Northeast. Murphy, portrayed by Kitsch in the film, was killed on June 28, 2005, when his team was compromised and surrounded by Taliban forces. The fight, of which Luttrell was the sole survivor, was remembered in the 2013 film.

John Krasinski, “13 Hours”

John Krasinski portrays Jack Silva in the 2016 film “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”. The film is about the events that unfolded on September 11, 2012. Four Americans were killed during an attack on a US diplomatic post. Benghazi, Libyatriggers a complex sequence of events that led to years of political debate.

In 2020, the “The Office” star spoke to Esquire about his unwavering support for military veterans.

“I will always respect those who laid down their lives for people like me,” he shared.

John Krasinski as Jack Silva "13 hours: Benghazi's secret troops."

John Krasinski as Jack Silva in “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”.
(Getty Images)

Speaking on the criticism he received for playing a military role, Krasinski responded, “When people look for something they want to see, I can’t stop them from having a subjective belief in something.

“I have 11 aunts and uncles and cousins ​​who have been or are still in the military. So that was a big thing on my list to do a military movie or show or something.”

In 2018, the actor spoke to Fox News Digital about his time in the 2016 Michael Bay film.

He was unsure what he would come up with from his conversations with the CIA other than the sensational Hollywood account of what was shown.

“To be honest, I think I went there the same way as in ’13 Hours.’ I think I went there with a more Hollywood version of what I was hoping for and what I wanted out of it , “They said.

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“So, for ’13 Hours,’ I was really there to learn about Warrior, and I was really proud of what I got to know about these guys.

“And I think that’s the way I feel about going to the CIA. I went there to meet spies and meet officers, and instead I met incredibly dedicated people and very respected people and people who Putting my life on the line. An entirely different approach. And, if selfishly chosen to do so – I don’t know, nothing is more heroic to me than that.”

Josh Hartnett, ‘Black Hawk Down’

In the 2002 film, Josh Hartnett portrayed “Black Hawk Down” War Hero and retired US Army 1st Sgt. Matt Eversman.

Josh Hartnett during "black Hawk Down" Los Angeles Premiere.

Josh Hartnett during the “Black Hawk Down” Los Angeles premiere.

The film tells the story of the painful 1993 battle of a United States Special Forces team, including Eversman, sent to Somalia via Black Hawk helicopters.

After two helicopters went down, a fierce battle ensued in which 18 American soldiers lost their lives in the line of duty. This is known as the Battle of Mogadishu.

Eversman was on location while the cast and crew filmed the film.

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Andrew Garfield, ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

“Hacksaw Ridge” starring Andrew Garfield as Pfc. Desmond Doss, who won the Congressional Medal for his time fighting in World War II despite not firing a single shot during the Battle of Okinawa.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2017, Garfield broke down his experience filming the film and convinced him to take the role.

Andrew attends a special screening of Garfield "Hacksaw Ridge" in 2017.

Andrew Garfield attends a special screening of “Hacksaw Ridge” in 2017.
(David M. Bennett/Dave Bennett)

“The fact that this is a story about a young man who, against all odds and a terrifying tide of rejection, clings to himself and stays true to his inner values,” Garfield shared.

“I just wanted to get to know this man deeper and try to express his essence and share his story with as many people as possible,” he explained.