The Words is an actor’s film. It’s a picture that relies heavily, not so much on story or radical plot developments, but on a simple terse look, a wayward glance, an unspoken conversation. Bradley Cooper stars, in one of three interlocking stories, as Rory Jansen – a struggling, good-but-not-good-enough writer, who discovers an unused manuscript that could be the next great American novel. He, of course, then attempts to pass the book off as his own and the resulting tribulations threaten to tear him and his life apart. Cooper’s never been better than he is here – and one can’t help but think that must in some small way be attributable to writer/director Brian Klugman. Klugman and Cooper have been friends for years – and there’s an honesty and vulnerability to Cooper’s work here that can only come from complete trust in one’s director.
In the following interview with Klugman and Cooper, I attempt to get to the bottom of their actor-director relationship, discuss the influence of Ernest Hemingway and challenge the balance between reality & fiction in the film. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Bradley Cooper and Brian Klugma:
- 00:00 – Klugman and Cooper on their actor-director relationship
- 01:13 – Cooper on his penchant for playing struggling writers (in The Words, Limitless, Alias…)
- 01:34 – Cooper on balancing his role as actor and executive producer on The Words
- 02:12 – Why the focus on Ernest Hemingway and his novel The Sun Also Rises?
- 02:57 – What is the balance between reality and fiction in Klugman’s work?
- 03:32 – Klugman on his co-directing relationship with Lee Sternthal
- 04:05 – How Klugman and Cooper’s friendship helped ease the performances