Interview Words About His Film "The Words"
of CBS FILMS
radley Cooper's professional career was launched playing opposite
Sarah Jessica Parker in the hit television series "Sex and the
City," but his breakout role was in the highly successful "The
Hangover" which catapulted him into one of Hollywood's most sought
after actors. He reprieved his character of Phil in "The Hangover
Part II" and is currently filming "The Hangover Part III.
He also had a co-starring role in "The A-Team," and recently
co-starred with Robert De Niro in David O. Russell's "Silver Linings
Playbook." Voted the "Sexiest Man Alive 2011 by PEOPLE, Cooper
recently participated in a press conference to promote his latest film,
"The Words," a story about a writer who steals another man's
manuscript and passes it off as his own. The film co-stars Jeremy Irons,
Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana, and Ron Rifkin.
The following has been edited for content and continuity
for print purposes.
Bradley Cooper as aspiring author Rory Jansen discovers
something hidden away in an old briefcase. Photo: Courtesy
of CBS FILMS. Photo by: Jonathan Wenk.
You seem like a really nice guy. How did you go
about developing the slime bag side of your character Rory Jansen?"
Cooper: Maybe I failed you because I don't see Rory
as a slime bag at all. I see him grappling with what it is to be a man
and I think his Achilles Heel is impatience. The thing that I really
liked about the script, and the hook for me, was the fact that he is
actually a good writer. He's not a poor writer looking for any way to
get success. He's a writer that has talent, but he's preoccupied with
living up to some idea of what he thinks he should be, and that's his
fatal flaw. I don't think that makes him a slime bag.
Bradley Cooper's character of Rory in an intense
scene with the Old Man character played by Jeremy Irons. Photo:
Courtesy of CBS FILMS. Photo by: Jonathan Wenk.
You're such a regular guy so were you nervous
about working with the most elegant Jeremy Irons?
Cooper: My excitement of working with him superseded
any nervousness. I don't know if you've met him or not, but he's a very
welcoming individual and like a lot of great actors, he makes you feel
comfortable. The same can be said about Robert De Niro and Liam Neeson.
All of these icons that I've worked with had one thread in common, and
that's normalcy. These are very normal guys. I mean as normal as very
awesome looking men with voices like God, could be. (Laughter)
Bradley Cooper on Jeremy Irons: "Jeremy Irons
shows up and he makes everybody feel completely at ease." Photo:
Courtesy of CBS FILMS. Photo by: Jonathan Wenk.
These two guys had never directed a movie before (Writers/Directors
Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal) and Jeremy Irons shows up and he
makes everybody feel completely at ease. I mean he could have just come
in like a wrecking crew and destroyed everything, but he didn't. It
was quite the opposite. We had to do it in twenty-five days and he had
tons of dialogue. It's not like it was 'let's talk about the scene and
let me take my time and figure out where I want to sit on the bench.'
It was like we have to do this now and boom, we'd shoot the scene and
he was game. Everybody was game, which is why the movie worked.
This is a very different kind of role. Did you
find it challenging?
Cooper: I was very scared that I was going to fail these
two guys (referring to Klugman and Sternthal). When they asked
me to do the role, I said yes. It was a week before shooting and I was
reading the script one last time. They knew I was worried and I called
them and they helped me sort of get the hook. I loved the fact that
he was a good writer; otherwise he would be delusional, but the fact
was he was just impatient. That's what I liked about the script. It's
so complicated. It's not like he set out to plagiarize at all.
Bradley Cooper's Rory with Zoe Saldana who plays
his wife Dora. Photo: Courtesy of CBS FILMS. Photo by:
The only reason why he downloads the script as written
was he wanted to feel what it was like washing over his fingers and
it's not until his wife (Zoe Saldana) looks at him the way he
wants her to look at him for the first time that he's seduced by that.
He's not man enough to say that's not me. And then his publisher, (Ron
Rifkin) when he does come clean, which is a wonderful aspect of
the script, says keep lying. He doesn't say you're right, you have to
take your name off the book and we'll suffer the economic consequences.
He actually says no motherf
.., you have to deal with it and she
(his wife) has to deal with it too. Then when he goes to the
old man (Jeremy Irons) and wants to give him the money back,
he says no, keep doing it. So it much more complicated than just a plagiarist
who wants success. His goal is not to be a famous writer. His goal is
to meet the expectations he has of himself.
I'd like to go off topic for a moment and ask
you what are the pros and cons of being voted the Sexiest Man in America?
Cooper: Oh me too. I want to talk about that. (Laughter)
Could we dim the lights? (Laughter) What's the question again?
The pros and cons of being voted the Sexiest Man
in America - now don't blush.
Cooper: It was very shocking and I think someone made
a mistake, but, yeah, it's very nice and fun.
Is there a downside and what did your family say?
Cooper: There is no downside and my family was thrilled.
Do you try to capitalize on that?
Cooper: I try to. I start every conversation with, 'You
" (Laughter) I started a web site and have
a blog too and a weekend retreat next Sunday and if you want to come,
just leave your address. (Laughter)
"I love the character of Phil!" Courtesy
Are you excited about "The Hangover Part
Cooper: Yes. We have great actors coming aboard this
third one. I love Phil. I love my character.
Going back to the beginning of your career, did
you audition a lot before you landed a role on "Sex in the City?"
Cooper: I was working the graveyard shift at the Morgans
Hotel on 38th and Madison Avenue. (New York City) You guys need
a taxi? (Laughter) I still got it! (Laughter) Anyway,
I was doing one audition after another and I auditioned so much that
I didn't believe you could actually book a job. (Laughter) If
I got a couple of callbacks, that was a very successful week, but I
always had another job.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Bradley Cooper in an episode
of "Sex in the City" entitled: "They Shoot Single People,
Don't They?" Courtesy Photo
With "Sex in the City," I was actually very
frightened because I didn't know if I could do the job. I didn't really
understand the concept of actually booking a job. So for me rejection
was normal and getting it (the part) was odd. (Laughter)
Do you feel pressure about what you are going
Cooper: Honestly, I don't really look at it that way.
My goal is to grow as an actor and that's what I look for in a script.