Bradley Cooper & Zoë Saldana Interview For ‘The Words’
A layered romantic drama, ‘The Words’ stars Bradley Cooper, Zoë Saldana, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Ben Barnes, JK Simmons, and Olivia Wilde. The film follows Rory Jansen (Cooper), a struggling writer who aspires to be the next great literary voice. When he discovers a lost manuscript in a weathered attaché case, he realizes he possesses something extraordinary that he desperately wishes he had created. Rory decides to pass the work off as his own and finally receives the recognition he desperately craves. However, he soon learns that living with his choice will not be as easy as he thought as he faces a moral dilemma that will make him take a hard look at the man he has become. Scheduled for a September 7th release, ’The Words’ is the directorial debut of writers Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal (TRON: Legacy).
There’s a lot to ‘The Words,’ I can imagine that’s something that’s always appealing as an actor?
Bradley Cooper: Definitely, it operates on many levels. It’s a tremendous love story between Dora and Rory – which has sort of happened, in the film-making process we were re-writing it as we were shooting it, and it’s more about their relationship than just Rory now. It’s also a thriller in a way. You have The Old Man character played by Jeremy Irons and you’re trying to figure out how far Rory will go before his whole world starts tumbling down. So it operates on a couple different levels. It’s such a wonderful script that Lee and Brian wrote, and it really lends itself for actors to really explore.
Zoë, what was the appeal of ‘The Words’ for you? Was there any things in particular that really resonated with you?
Zoë Saldana: There’s so many things you can take from it. You can take it as a life learned lesson of what happens when you don’t speak the truth, what happens when you want something so bad that you’re willing to do all he wrong things in order for you to get it. What happens when true love is standing there right in front of you, and all you want is something else, you know? Then it’s a little too late to realise what you just lost. There’s so many things. But I really feel that people will be able to identify with something in this story, because it’s such a real story. It’s such a tangible story and it can happen to anybody. It happens to people all of the time – and that’s a very scary reality, but we have to sort of face it, and allow ourselves to be taken for that journey.
When we meet your character Dora, we can instantly tell that she fully believes in Rory…..
Zoë Saldana: Yeah. Dora, she’s sort of like Rory’s northern star. And he is everything to her, he absolutely walks on water, and there’s nothing that she wouldn’t do or give up for him. And she thinks that it’s the same way with Rory to her. The reality is that Rory’s a man who’s wanting to have a name and a presence in life, to the wider world, that supersedes any priorities, or true principles of life that makes life more purposeful. So, here you have Dora who would give up anything – and probably has, obviously he’s the one with the bigger passion, in her eyes he’s probably the one with the bigger talent out of them both. And she gives up her life, whatever talents she had, to be there for him.
What was it like for you working opposite Jeremy Irons as The Old Man?
Bradley Cooper: Working with Jeremy Irons was just one of those moments where….first of all, his voice is just so intoxicating alone. Then his face and his hair, that guys just like an angel almost (laughs). It was wonderful, I was very luck to have the opportunity. And he’s perfect for The Old Man, just great casting. He brings a truth to it, as every other actor does, you know? From JK Simmons who plays Rory’s father, Zoë, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, it’s just a great cast as a whole.
Zoë, going into the film, how did you perceive Rory?
Zoë Saldana: For me, what I think defines Rory is that he’s a man that is very talented, but he doesn’t believe it. And his love for words, his love for writing, it’s much greater than he feels what his talent will ever be. So that said, even though he’s very inspired, he’s also a little bitter and he caves to that fear of failure. But all in all, I think he’s just a human being that’s trying to get by and do something great.
You’ve been friends with Brian Klugman, the films co-writer and co-director, for years. How was working with old friends?
Bradley Cooper: Liam and Brian, the two writers and the directors, they’ve known each other since they were 13, I think. I’ve known Brian since I was 10. He and I grew up in Philadelphia, just outside of Philadelphia, we went to grade school together, we were two people who found each other and became best friends. He was the first person I stayed with when I went out to LA, I slept on his couch. He wrote this script 12 years ago with Lee, they’ve been trying to get it made. And I remember going to a table read for it 12 years ago, Jack Klugman was reading as The Old Man, and Gabriel Macht was Rory. I was sitting far back listening to it and thinking, “What an amazing movie this will be, that I will never be in it.” (Laughs) So you know, you never know what’s going to happen!
With emails, e-books, tweets, facebook, blogs….how was it telling this story in this current world?
Bradley Cooper: I think we live in a world where people read even more and more. I think with social media, we are writing and reading much more than we ever have before. And words are everything, even more so these days, as phone calls are diminishing, and written correspondence is expeditiously increasing. I think words carry even more of an impact than ever before.
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