American Sniper, Clint Eastwood’s film about the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his multiple tours in Iraq, features a fake baby that sticks out like a sore thumb in the film’s quieter but equally tense moments in the military man’s domestic life.

‘American Sniper’s Fake Baby

Bradley Cooper, who plays Chris Kyle, and Sienna Miller, who plays his wife Taya, bounce around a baby doll, pretending that it’s their crying child in multiple scenes in American Sniper. The doll’s face is only shown in profile with its plastic eyelids shut and squinted, or held and bounced against Cooper’s chest.

It shocked many critics and casual moviegoers that Clint Eastwood would opt to use a doll in the pivotal scenes that shone a light on the Kyles’ home life – particularly in a movie that seemed dedicated to show the stark realities of war and the consequences of it on its soldiers.

“I am amazed at one scene between Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, in which they have a conversation about his desire to go back to active duty while they each take turns holding their baby,” wrote HitFix’s Drew McWeeny. “I couldn’t tell you much about their conversation, but that’s because I get so distracted by the baby. The entire rest of the scene, that’s all I can look at. It’s so obvious, and neither one of them looks like they are comfortable holding it.”

Responding to a mocking tweet from another writer, screenwriter Jason Hall explained the use of the doll in a since-deleted post. “Hate to ruin the fun but real baby #1 showed up with a fever. Real baby #2 was no show,” Hall wrote. “(Clint voice) Gimme the doll, kid.”

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