War hero walks red carpet with the stars

Hero: Above is Anthony Cooper with his physio and picture below is Anthony with Keira Knightley.
Hero: Above is Anthony Cooper with his physio and picture below is Anthony with Keira Knightley.

A brave war veteran is enjoying a stint on the silver screen - and a red carpet appearance with Hollywood star Keira Knightley.

Anthony Cooper rubbed shoulders with the stars at a film premiere party for new movie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, in London’s Leicester Square.

The hero ex-Kingsman from Chorley, who lost both legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2010, featured as an extra in the film in which Jack, played by Chris Pine, discovers there is about to be a terrorist attack and economic disaster.

And Anthony made sure he wasn’t going to miss the glitzy bash where he also met a host of celebs.

“I was actually in the film,” said Anthony.

“They asked for volunteers for the film because they were just looking for people who had been in the rehab background.

“I went to the film set in north London and did three days of filming and that was all they needed us for.

“We went on our way and kept pestering them for tickets to the premiere.”

Former Parklands High School pupil, Anthony, 26, who lives on Balshaw Lane, Euxton, described the filming as “amazing”.

“I was giving them pointers on what they were doing on set,” he said

“We met all the celebs, Kevin Costner and all of them and they talked to us like they knew us.

“You just buzzed off that.”

And Anthony could get used to going to premieres, he reckons.

“It was a proper buzz,” he said.

“I went down the red carpet, we all went down that and there were lots of fans watching it and I said, ‘Oh yeah, I’m on the posh side!’”

He added: “I met most of the celebs - Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley.

“I actually spoke to her in an after-party, that’s where I got the picture. It was just general chit chat.

“She said, ‘Were you actually on the set?’

“I said, ‘Yeah, I was stood directly behind you.

“She said, ‘Oh yeah, that was you?’

“She’s a really nice lady.”

Anthony hopes his film career hasn’t ended there.

“Hopefully if they need any extras for other films they will ring us,” he said.

Anthony, who lost both his legs from the knee down, his right eye, two fingers, and also suffered brain damage in the blast, is currently training for the 100k London to Brighton 24-hour walk in aid of Blind Veterans UK on June 21.

Next month, he’s off on a skiing holiday to France.