Whether because of the movie's incredible box office run, its polarizing politics, its several Oscar nominations or its tremendously fake prop baby, "American Sniper" has easily been the year's most talked about film. Now, there's something else to talk about: a Milwaukee connection.
As it turns out, Taya Kyle – the widow, played in Clint Eastwood's film by Sienna Miller, of U.S. Navy SEAL and the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history Chris Kyle – spent several years during the mid-'90s living in Milwaukee. From around 1993 until a few years after, Kyle – at the time Taya Studebaker – worked at Elsa's on the Park, which the restaurant and bar confirmed to OnMilwaukee.com.
After work, Kyle and some of the staff from Elsa's would go over to Vitucci's, where Mike Vitucci at the time served as manager. According to Vitucci, between his visits to Elsa's and her visits to Vitucci's, the two became good friends during her brief time in the city.
"She was very cool," Vitucci said. "She was a very nice girl."
The two didn't keep in touch much after her time in Milwaukee. However, Vitucci, now the owner of Whiskey Bar, recently remembered the local connection when he recognized Kyle on the cover of a magazine and posted to Facebook with his realization.
"I saw People magazine at the airport, and I'm looking at the picture on the cover, and I said, 'I know that girl!'," Vitucci said. "I never knew she was married to that guy."
Taya would later meet Chris in 2001, and the two would get married a year later. After his death in 2013, she established the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, which works to strengthen support networks and family relationships for those on the military frontline and first responders.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.