Saturday, January 09, 2010

Scott Cooper & Me (& Bobby)

So I don't really know Scott Cooper, and I can't even say I 'met him' but I did see him and listen to a question and answer time at a local press screening for the film Crazy Heart where Cooper, the films writer/director showed up at the end to answer some questions.

Cooper is pictured above with Jeff Bridges and Robert Duvall...Scott Cooper looks pretty happy in the picture. He seemed pretty happy at the screening too.

Talk about a dream come true for a debut film. Sure, no box-office explosion (especially with it's hyper-limited-release schedule) but Oscar buzz and general praise, what more could this non-household-name-Actor want?

Cooper loved talking about Robert Duvall. He said him and Duvall are close "buds" more or less in 20,000 different ways:
  • Duvall produced Crazy Heart.
  • Duvall and Cooper have been in films together (most notably the award winning mini-series Broken Trail, as well as Gods and Generals, and the upcoming Duvall film Get Low).
  • Cooper was married at Duvall's house
  • Apparently they like the same sports and music.
  • Cooper and Duvall talk on the phone two or three times a day.
  • Cooper wrote Duvall's film role with him in mind, even applying his cadence of speech to the words in the script.
  • Cooper calls Robert Duvall, "Bobby."

You could tell this all was a point of pride for Cooper.

Honestly, Scott Cooper seems like a nice enough guy, who's humble in praising his performers (Duvall and Bridges primarily) as well as his behind the scenes talent (T Bone Burnett primarily).

Scott Cooper also seems to value a different type of aesthetic, perhaps that what leads him to make a film with more of a country-western slant? Who knows how the book Crazy Heart got in his hands, and why this was the project he chose to adapt for the screen?

In the question and answer time most people seemed curious in knowing what Jeff Bridges was like on the set, and how he was acquired to work in this film. Everyone, had curiosity in the mystique of "The Dude." Scott Cooper admitted he had never seen The Big Lebowski. I suppose the Coen's may not be voting for Cooper on their Academy Award ballots.

Scott Cooper for whatever reason mentioned two or three times that his dad studied under William Faulkner. It usually didn't seem to have relevance to what was being discussed, so this must be meaningful to him.

Cooper seemed to view himself as a culture and art sponge who had in childhood absorbed a variety of music, books, and other culturally relevant pieces of America.

He's reading Charlotte's Web to his daughter.

I for one, am really glad that Scott Cooper made this film. It's a creation, and I think for some people in the creative field this film will truly be an inspiration to create. Out of art springs art, I suppose...and I sense if that is the case Scott Cooper will be honored.

I'm interested in seeing where he goes next. Will he write more? Direct more? Star in minor roles along Duvall (or shall we say, Bobby) more?

I imagine if he wants to make a film and align his cast it might be easier a second time around, although he said the script for Crazy Heart took three to four years, so if he's going to write at that pace, we might not see his name for awhile.

I suppose we'll see. It was good to spend some time with you Scott Cooper.


Andrew K. said...

OT, but I just gave you an award over at my blog, so head over there and spread the love. Please/

Anonymous said...

Since I was at the same event with you, I will say that I think Scott Cooper seemed like a great guy who is passionate about his work and who is greatful that "Bobby" decided to mentor him.

And, I believe the interviewer lady is the one who brought up the fact that his Dad studied under William Faulkner. I think she brought this, and other random facts about Scott, up because she has a bit of a crush on him :-)

Great film comprised of excellent acting, fun/quality music and an interesting story.