Cooper cracks it

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

Cooper plays down his Han­gover clown­ing in a bid to be a se­ri­ous ac­tor in The Words, about a strug­gling writer who passes off a novel by an old man (Jeremy Irons) as his own. Even though Cooper is rid­ing high af­ter The Han­gover fran­chise and was named last year’s Sex­i­est Man Alive, he says he’s still not the most con­fi­dent per­son. Like the nov­el­ist char­ac­ter he plays, he can re­late to a ca­reer filled with con­stant re­jec­tion. ‘‘I was very scared that I was go­ing to fail these two guys when they asked me to do it,’’ he says of The Words’ first-time di­rec­tors Brian Klug­man and Lee Stern­thal. Cooper says he didn’t crack his char­ac­ter un­til a week be­fore shoot­ing started. Dou­bling his anx­i­ety was the prospect of work­ing with Irons. But the Os­car win­ner turned out to be all charm. ‘‘I re­mem­ber the most ner­vous I’ve ever been was meet­ing Christo­pher Walken dur­ing Wed­ding Crash­ers,’’ Cooper says. ‘‘(But) talk about a guy who puts you at ease. I just kind of fell in love with him – and Jeremy Irons fol­lows suit com­pletely. These two guys never di­rected a movie be­fore and Jeremy Irons shows up and he made ev­ery­body feel com­pletely at ease.’’ This new phase in Cooper’s ca­reer – he’s set to re­turn to Broad­way next year to star as John Mer­rick in The Ele­phant Man – doesn’t mean he’s leav­ing the mis­ad­ven­tures of the Wolf Pack be­hind. The Han­gover Part III be­gan film­ing last month, with the fi­nal in­stal­ment re­port­edly tak­ing the crew to Ti­juana for who-knows-what lev­els of de­bauch­ery. ‘‘Todd Phillips is, in my opin­ion, the best comedic di­rec­tor around, and Zach (Gal­i­fi­anakis) and Ed (Helms) are in­cred­i­ble and Ken Jeong has just grown and grown. We’ve got great ac­tors com­ing aboard this third one, too, so I can’t wait,’’ Cooper says.

opens to­day.

Bradley Cooper and Zoe Sal­dana star in

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