Bradley Cooper drawn to moral ambiguity of 'The Words'
Bradley Cooper says he was drawn to "The Words" because of the murky moral ground his character Rory stands on: a young novelist who swipes somebody else's book and rides that to fame.
Rory's chief sin, according to Cooper, is that "He's impatient. He's not willing to wait to get his break. Really, what he does is rob himself of the bliss of creating something really wonderful. He'll never know if he could have made it on his own merits. No matter what great works he could write in the future that will get published, he will never know if he's any good."
Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, who shared directing and writing duties, saw the film as a chance to ruminate on the notion of guilt as punishment. "We talked about the idea of living with guilt, and whether or not you can alleviate that or ever truly escape it," Klugman says. "Guilt is a tough emotion to carry with you. It doesn't help you with anything, near as I can tell."
"We're used to seeing movies and books where somebody faces terrible punishments for their crimes," Sternthal says. "It's almost like guilt has gone out of the conversation. We wanted to reintroduce 'guilt' into the culture, the idea that it can be a punishment in and of itself."