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Barry Seal’s story finds new audience as Tom Cruise movie soars on Netflix

Barry Seal’s story finds new audience as Tom Cruise movie soars on Netflix
BATON ROUGE – Millions of people are learning about infamous Baton Rouge drug runner Barry Seal for the first time thanks to a 2017 Tom Cruise movie that’s found new life on Netflix.
‘American Made,’ the crime thriller loosely based on the true story of Seal’s run-ins with law enforcement and a Columbian cartel, has skyrocketed to the top spot on Netflix’s streaming list this week.
While the film was positively received by critics and audiences upon its initial release in 2017, it flew under the radar for many as it closed out its quiet but respectable box office run.
The film’s sudden success on Netflix has drummed up interest in Seal’s real life, and his assassination, all of which admittedly differ quite a bit from how it’s portrayed in the movie.
“There’s no physical similarity between Tom Cruise and Barry Seal,” chuckled John Camp, a former investigative reporter for WBRZ who knew Seal. “Cruise did kind of capture the smile a little bit and maybe some of the arrogance in Barry’s personality, which is what got him killed.”
Camp met Seal in the 80s and profiled him in multiple documentaries for Channel 2. Camp, who covered the Seal saga extensively, admitted that he had a hard time sitting through Hollywood’s interpretation.
“My wife had to keep grabbing my arm to stop me from leaving,” Camp told WBRZ shortly after the film’s debut. “It’s difficult to sit and watch a movie that you know the real facts.”
Watch WBRZ’s full interview with John Camp here.
You can also watch Camp’s archived documentaries on Barry Seal here.

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