Next on my list for interviewing is Scott Cooper.
Now living here and working in the film and theatre industries, Scott hails originally from East London.
He’s lived in South Africa all his life but also lived for two years in London, six months in Wales, one year in Vancouver and six months on a cruise liner (whoa, impressive!)
He studied at AFDA where he did a B/A in Live Performance and has also trained under critically acclaimed actress Aletta Bezuidenhout at the Screen Actors Studio in Cape Town.
He’s done tons of commercials – including for Nivea, Ritters Sports chocolate, Pepsi, Spur and more.
He’s won awards and received praised reviews for his roles in theatre performances – such as for his role in Agatha Christie’s Appointment with Death as well as for his portrayal of ‘Mr Darcy’ in the first ever stage production of Pride & Prejudice in South Africa.
In 2007 he was involved in a film called The World Unseen and he has the lead role in a trilogy of films coming up called Second Son, not to mention 3 episodes of Smallville that he’s done.
He’s also the lead role in a movie being shot next year called On Her Day as well as having a supporting role in another film, Vinegar Blues.
We meet at Melissa’s in Newlands and the up-beat atmosphere of the coffee bar matches his personality.
We do our greetings, I order my double strong filter coffee and get right to work as an interviewer (cue for spectacles and notepad please………….!)
Tamika: So you’re from East London! What is your fondest memory from there?
Scott: Yes that’s correct. My fondest memory….hmm…that would have to be going to Buffalo Park cricket ground with my dad – that’s where I learnt my love for cricket.
Tamika: And after school, what did you do?
Scott: Six months after I left school I went to London. One GAP year turned into two!
Tamika: You worked on a film called The World Unseen – what was that about and what was your role there?
Scott: It’s a film set in Apartheid South Africa and it centers on forbidden relationships… namely the lesbian relationship that develops between two Indian women.
Tamika: You’re attached to many projects, one of them being the lead role in a trilogy of films called Second Son (based on the novels by Glenn Grant), which will start shooting in 2012? Tell us about it.
Scott: The script grabbed me. It’s a South African production even though it’s set in many places around the world. It’s to do with cloning and also touches on themes of spirituality and abortion. My character is Sven Granger who is anti-cloning and anti-abortion. A few A-list actors have actually been approached for the role of the lead protagonist, for instance Sam Neil and Anthony Hopkins!
Tamika: You lived in Canada for some time, what was it like and how does the industry there differ from ours here?
Scott: It was an awesome experience. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. It’s actually known as the ‘Hollywood of the North’. The industry there is very similar to ours here in terms of the fact that a lot of U.S. productions get shot over there.
Tamika: How long are you planning on staying in South Africa – do you have plans to move to another country?
Scott: I used to be among those who just wanted to leave and go abroad. But let me say this; the grass here is greener than I thought it was. One day of course I would love to go to New York and even perform on Broadway, but for now I really feel we are approaching a Golden Era in our film industry in South Africa. For me, now, here is the place to be.
Tamika: I understand you’re also very talented in the theatre? What were some of your most memorable and rewarding roles?
Scott: I haven’t done a lot, but portraying Mr Darcy in Pride & Prejudice was a rewarding experience for me.
Tamika: You’ve done numerous TV commercials for the USA, UK, Germany, Russia, and the Netherlands – which was your favourite experience?
Scott: Pepsi Max was awesome! It was for Russia and I got to drive a Russian Lada on dirt roads surrounded by hot blondes! Very nice…….. (this was followed by a big grin as he took a sip of his green tea)
Tamika: Haha! So who is your agent here in Cape Town?
Tamika: Do you ever go back to East London to visit?
Scott: I go about once a year to see my family.
Tamika: What’s in the pipeline for you at the moment, what films or theatre pieces are you working on?
Scott: There’s a BBC docu-drama called Mankind which I’m shooting next week. I’m the lead in a Canadian film called On Her Day which shoots next year in Canada and the supporting role in a South African comedy coming up called Vinegar Blues. Then of course there’s the trilogy Second Son which I’m playing the lead in that starts shooting in 2012. I’ve also been cast in a supporting role for the film Black Jesus (working title).
Tamika: Do you also model?
Scott: Not particularly. I’ve never been into modelling but I just recently joined DNA Models here in Cape Town. I thought ‘why not!’
Tamika: What are your favourite South African films?
Scott: Yesterday, Sweet & Short, Paljas, District 9 and The Gods Must Be Crazy.
Tamika: Where do you party, usually?
Scott: Wherever the wind blows me. I like Kalk Bay side because I live there; so Cape to Cuba is one of the places I enjoy. I also like Zula Bar here in Cape Town.
Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?
Scott: A box of tricks.
Tamika: Do you have siblings?
Scott: Yip. Two sisters and a brother.
Tamika: What does your family do – your mom, your dad?
Scott: My mother is…. let’s just say, a socialite 🙂 And my dad works for the Twining’s Tea company. They live in Nigeria.
Tamika: What’s your health routine like – Diet, gym etc.? Do you do anything interesting like yoga or boxing on the side?
Scott: I like to gym regularly and I eat very healthily…
Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
Scott: Married with kids. Country doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I have a very successful career and am working with the best of the best consistently.
Tamika: What’s your favourite work or pet project right now?
Scott: I’m writing a screenplay… but I can’t say anymore, hehe! I try to find time to work on it in between auditions, shooting for films or commercials and my work as a drama teacher at the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy.
Tamika: What is one interesting thing about you that your followers don’t know?
Scott: I have a complete fascination with magic… so I love the circus. I also love cricket – but hey, that’s no secret. Ummm…. I love Westerns…. And another interesting passion of mine is looking up where famous movies were shot and making a point of going there when I travel. For instance, when I was in San Fransisco I made my way to where Mrs Doubtfire was shot and knocked on the door of her house! I’ve also been to Bridget Jones’ flat in London and I’ve touched the blue door from Notting Hill. Next month I’m taking a road trip through the U.S, through the Midwest, so I’m hopefully going to get a chance to visit some more places from films that have been shot up there!
Tamika: Name a place you love – Can be in Cape Town, Canada, or even in the good old Eastern Cape, South Africa!
Scott: I love Noordhoek beach and anywhere in the Eastern Cape is special for me.
Tamika: Do you do any charity work?
Scott: I don’t do any charity work per se, but I like to think I practice charity-giving every day in my own small way.
Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you walk out of an audition?
Scott: I say; “I want that!” and then I move on.
If you want to follow him on Twitter, he goes by @scottcooper_
You can also check him out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/scottcooperActor