The Words, which stars Bradley Cooper as an overnight literary sensation with a dark secret, has one of the finest examples of whatever the opposite of a meet-cute is called. (A meet-cruel?) The fair-haired young man is catching up on some light reading in the park when a disheveled older man interrupts and starts asking questions. But it’s clearly not a chance meeting; Jeremy Iron’s character has something to say, something he’s aching to say. Watch their introduction below:
“I was worried that this scene would be boring to watch and boring to film — two guys sitting on a bench, you know?” Cooper said earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, where The Words premiered. “But it was great. Jeremy made it so easy. Working with great actors like Jeremy is just like putting on a warm coat or something. Everything’s going to be okay. Just seeing all the choices that he was making, it was perfect.”
Irons was drawn to the role of the Old Man, as he’s identified in the film, a scarred soul with his own demons. “I haven’t played a character like this before, because he was slightly enigmatic which I always liked,” Irons say. “That he was mischievous, that he was storyteller.”
But he was equally drawn to working with Cooper, not only for his onscreen ability, but who he seemed to be when the cameras weren’t rolling. “I thought Bradley would be an interesting man to work with,” says Irons. “He’s going through his sort of trajectorial success pattern, and he’s going up pretty fast, and people deal with that in different ways. He deals with it wonderfully — just sort of shrugs it off.”
Watch the two men discuss the scene and their complicated connection:
The Words, which co-stars Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, and Ben Barnes, opens Sept. 7.