Interview With Actor Alexander Cooper

By Ruth on September 11, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
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In this realm of interviewing all sorts of people within the film industry. the stories and people never cease to amaze me. There is never one “right” path to becoming an actor and/or filmmaker, and that is absolutely true with Alexander Cooper. Labeling him as merely an actor does not begin to describe his passion for film, and recently he answered some questions concerning his career in the film industry as well as some of his current projects. 

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RH: Why did you decide to become an actor? What kind of training have you had?

AC: I have not had any formal acting training besides drama classes whilst at secondary school.  However, I was on the stage whilst at school and performing amateur dramatics with a Stamford theatre company called Shoestring Theatre.  My brother performed in many roles and played the lead in Macbeth.  My initial intentions were not to get into acting at all.  I had actually gone to law school previously and worked at various firms in London.  However, the cinema bug had bitten me at a young age, and it had always been a dream to make my own films and indeed play a part in them.  A dream that came to be fulfilled by making my own films.  My cousin Vanessa Kirby is  also an actress, so who knows–maybe it is in the blood?

 What was your first professional job? What was that experience like?

Wow, this takes me back.  I believe my first professional job was working as a farm hand one summer with my friend Conor overseeing deliveries of grain.  We had to take moisture readings of the grain before ensuring the grain was stored safely under cover, and free of vermin, etc.  The job was dull and the grain was itchy; we even spent a day pulling weeds out of a nearby field where the farmer’s horse was.   Would you believe I spent my earnings on building my own home cinema?  Another dream achieved!

You have gotten to work as an extra/background actor for quite a few top films. Tell us about your most memorable ones and what your experience was and/or what you learned from them.

Once I was working on War Machine, a feature with Brad Pitt, where I got to run around a track with him with a group of other runners.  Having seen Pitt in movies such as Fight Club, this was a pretty cool experience for me.  I was also on the recent Jason Bourne project, and I’ve also seen a lot of Matt Damon’s movies over the years, so that was also quite memorable.  Another nice one was the Infiltrator, where I got to be an undercover agent and play with guns and listen to Bryan Cranston giving tips on how to strangle someone (or be strangled!) on screen.  These experiences stayed in my mind and got me more excited about doing my own productions and getting bigger roles.

parallel_poster.jpgIt looks like you have been involved with a lot of independent films in which you acted as producer, director, writer, etc. parallelWhat was your first independent film where you were more than an actor? What were your roles in that film, and how did that experience go for you?

For my debut production Parallel, not only did I take a supporting actor role, I was also producer, casting director, driver and too many other roles to mention!  The experience was a mixed one; we faced some challenges working with our crew, but overall I am satisfied with my first attempt to produce a feature film.  As Ricky Gervais said, “It’s always better to create something and have others criticise it than to create nothing and criticise others’ work.”  Parallel is now available for viewing on Vimeo at www.parallelthefilm.com ; please take a look and let me know what you think.  🙂

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You have several upcoming works from what I can tell. Please tell us what you can about these works.

trailer-best-score-fifftrailer-best-editing-fiffMy next project and my directorial debut is my period sports drama Sandow, which is loosely inspired by the founding father of bodybuilding Sandow and Launceston Elliot, who was Britain’s first Olympic Gold Medalist.  I play the role of Elliot, who narrates the film.  The film is heavily influenced by my own life experiences and memories of my father.  My father was no bodybuilder, but I can always remember him building something.  I believe it’s a story that many will be able to relate to at some level–everyone who wanted to build something or be a part of something bigger than themselves.

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What are the benefits and challenges of indie films? 

The benefits of indie films I would say are that indie filmmakers will do whatever it takes to tell their story in the best way they can at the time.  So stories which otherwise would not see the light of day can ultimately find their way to the screen and get an audience.  So indie filmmakers get my respect for doing that.

However, clearly indie filmmakers face all sorts of limitations, so you have to be very creative to find ways to get your story told.  If you really don’t have much of a budget to play with, you are going to have to rely on a good story rather than big budget actors or costly setups.  But who knows…if you focus on those things, maybe the end result is going to be even better than if a big studio tried to do the same thing.  We see that all the time now in Hollywood’s endless remakes that often fail to hit the mark.

If you could work with anyone in the industry that you haven’t yet, whom would you choose and why?

Tough to pick with so many talented people out there but…right now I would say…

On the directing side, I would love to be directed by Steven Spielberg because he is such a legend in the filmmaking world, and I’m sure I could learn a lot from him and get a lot from the experience.

On the acting side, again that’s tricky, but of the big names, {Leonardo} DiCaprio would be a standout for me, because as we see in films like the Revenant, he has real dedication to the method, and I have a similar approach, at least in how much effort I am prepared to put in to get into character and give the best performance I can.

 How can someone who is not in the industry help promote indie films?  What are the best things they can do to help?

I think that possibly the best way is if you find a producer/director whose works stay with you to tell your friends and family, etc. and promote them online through Facebook and Twitter, etc.  Perhaps petition your local cinema to screen their work.  That kind of thing.  From acorns, big things can grow.  Sometimes 🙂

 When you do have free time, what do you like to do?

When I have free time, I would enjoy a trip to the cinema with a friend! Who knows…maybe go to a film festival even? I always loved trips abroad ever since I was a little boy.

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I am one who consistently recognizes and appreciates those who are willing to step out in faith and attempt things that everyone else is not necessarily doing. In Alexander’s case, he has decidedly done just that. He could have taken the “safe” path and just continued to be only an actor without following his aspirations for creating his own content. While he has reveled in some outstanding experiences in “big name” films, there is not doubt where his heart lies–with the indie film industry. Moreover, he is yet another in this bustling universe who is willing to invest the time, resources, and whatever else is needed to cause his visions to come to life on screen. In my opinion, Alexander has only begun to scratch the surface of his innovation and resourcefulness, and in the months and years ahead, I believe that we will see even more extraordinary and entertaining content from him as he gains more experience and perseveres in refining his style. I entreat each of you to follow Alexander and his films at the various links below (indie filmmakers always treasure the support of people like you and me) so that you can track the progress of this talented man as he and his films grow and thrive.

FOLLOW ALEXANDER

Website

Linkedin

Twitter

Casting Call

IMDB

FOLLOW/SUPPORT ALEXANDER’S FILMS

Sandow

http://bit.ly/sandowgogetfunding

http://interurbanfestivals.com/sandow/

http://bit.ly/sandowimdb

www.sandowthemovie.com

http://bit.ly/sandowmovieprotein

www.facebook.com/sandowthemovie

https://twitter.com/sandowmovie

Parallel

www.parallelthefilm.com

https://www.facebook.com/ParallelTheFilm

 

 

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

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