Moviegoers are buzzing over American Sniper, but not just because of its six Oscar nominations, record-breaking box office sales, and Bradley Cooper‘s acclaimed performance as the late Chris Kyle. No, the thing that has everyone talking — or, rather, joking — is the fake baby that fills in as Cooper’s on-screen child with his movie wife, Sienna Miller.
The obviously inanimate doll makes at least one very glaring appearance in the film, in a scene in which both Cooper and Miller cradle the child in the nursery. It’s an emotional interaction, but critics and viewers alike have mocked the scene for its use of a plastic baby.
“I couldn’t tell you much about their conversation, but that’s because I get so distracted by the baby, which is obviously a dummy that has mechanics to work the hands and to move the head,” Hitfix writer Drew McWeeny noted of the scene.
Added the UK’s Sunday Times critic: “I have never seen so many terrible fake babies in one film.”
Moviegoers poked fun at the doll, too, with some joking that the fake baby was the real star of the Clint Eastwood-directed film, which racked up an estimated $90.2 million on its opening weekend.
The fake baby game is American Sniper is on point.
— Charley Koontz (@charley_koontz) January 19, 2015
I don’t get all the American Sniper love. But I do understand Bradley Cooper’s nom.He had to hold that fake baby and not laugh.That’s skill!
— Ruth (@BabyRuthCT) January 15, 2015
I know everyone is down on the fake “American Sniper” baby but I’m just glad it was able to get some work after “Trainspotting”.
— Leonard Pierce (@leonardpierce) January 20, 2015
Halloween ’15 idea: the obviously fake baby in American Sniper. pic.twitter.com/mWIhKeDBRF
— Ryan (@rjhugs) January 19, 2015
#AmericanSniper goes wide today aka now all of America can join together in being like “WTF was with the fake baby?”
— Mystery VP (@MysteryVP) January 17, 2015
According to The Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter/executive producer Jason Hall offered an explanation for the fake baby in a since-deleted tweet this past December. In response to journalist Mark Harris, he wrote, “hate to ruin the fun but real baby #1 showed up with a fever. Real baby #2 was no show. (Clint voice) Gimme the doll, kid.”
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