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Bradley Cooper (with Zoe Saldana in 'The Words') plays
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BY ROGER MOORE
McCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
ORLANDO, Fla.--Bradley Cooper knows something about American culture's fast track. The "Hangover" star has been on it for a couple of years.
But any connection between his own sudden rise and his new movie, "The Words," about a young novelist who swipes somebody else's book and rides that to fame, is circumstantial.
And neither you nor Dr. Freud has any business suggesting that "The Words," or his previous turn as a leading man, "Limitless," in which he played a young slacker who takes a pill to give him the edge over the rest of the world, come out of some sense of "success guilt" he might harbor.
"Whoa," Cooper says, taken aback. At 37, he's paid some dues and earned his breaks. And if he's playing these characters caught up in glory not entirely of their own making, that's just because he's in a position to make interesting choices now, and have those choices become star vehicles.
"The guy in 'Limitless' was able to actually accomplish the things he accomplishes himself--after he's taken the pill," Cooper says, trying to separate the characters. "He kind of deserved it, right?" Rory in "The Words" "didn't do anything to deserve the acclaim he won."
Cooper was drawn to "The Words," he says, because of the murky moral ground Rory stands on. Like generations of aspiring writers, he's taken something he admires and copied it as a way of absorbing the writer's style.
"For me, him copying the manuscript was like a pianist playing a great piece of music," says writer/director Brian Klugman. "He wants to hear it, to feel it."
But that copying leads to a misunderstanding, to publication, to awards and limos and wealth.
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."