Interview With Christian Michael Cooper, “When Calls the Heart” and “Prison Break”

By Ruth on April 3, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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Those who have followed my work for a while know that I am one who believes strongly in highlighting young people in the entertainment industry. During season three of When Calls the Heart, I had the opportunity to briefly interview both Ava Grace Cooper and her brother, Christian Michael Cooper. While both were featured on the show, my chat with Christian happened before his character, Timmy, even appeared on the show. As a result, I was not aware of the caliber of acting this young thespian was capable of. As I watched his performance last season and on to this season, I have been dumbfounded by the maturity and expertise he brings to his role, and very shortly, the world will have the opportunity to witness his prowess in the upcoming Fox reboot of the show Prison Break. Recently, Christian and I had an amazing chat, and we discussed the various highlights of his career, including his two most prominent roles to date.

Photo Credit: Ian Redd Photography

RH: Christian, it’s so nice to talk to you again. 

CMC: Nice to talk to you again too, Ruth.

Can you remind me of how old you are?

I’m ten years old.

Ava and Michael with Erin Krakow

If I remember right, you are the oldest in the family, right?

Yes, I have a younger sister, Ava, who is also in When Calls the Heart. And we also have a half-brother who is way older. He lives in Australia and is getting married. We might even go to the wedding–we’re not sure.

So Christian, when did you first get interested in acting?

I got my first commercial when I was around thirteen months.

Wow, that is amazing, Christian! 

According to my mom, I was a pretty outgoing baby, and it was suggested that she get me into commercials just for fun. My mom got me an agent when I was about seven months old. I kept doing commercials until I was about nine years old. And I got my first TV series at the age of five.

from Cult

with Robert Knepper from Cult

Please tell us about your first series, Christian.

It was called Cult. I worked with Robert Knepper on that series, and I hadn’t seen him in a long time once that series ended. But then I saw him on Prison Break. It was so fun to see him again.

I must admit I am unfamiliar with your show Cult. What can you tell us about the show?

Well, I had a recurring role, and the show only ran one season. I was in eight of the fourteen episodes. What I do remember from the show is walking with my “mom” on the show, and a car came up and I was pulled into this car, and we drove away really fast. I also remember being in a box when I was kidnapped. I remember I couldn’t see out of the box, and I told them that it was too dark. Then they got a tool and cut a bigger hole in the box so that I wasn’t scared.

Christian, that means even at the age of five, you weren’t scared to speak up on set and tell the adults about this potential problem. And they listened to you. That is really a great story. And since that show, it looks like you’ve been booking things pretty steadily.

Yes, I am very happy to do every role I’ve done. It’s been so much fun!

I wanted to take a moment to highlight the short film you did called Sidekick. How did you book this role?

It was quite a long time ago when I first auditioned for it, but I remember that it was a taped audition, and then I came in for a callback. The writer/producer {Jeff Cassidy} had worked with me before. He was the cameraman on Cult. So he really wanted me for this role. And when I found out who the actors were–Emily Bett Rickards is in Arrow!

When did you shoot this film?

It was late spring of last year.

In this film, you play a pretend superhero. What was it like playing that role?

It was really cool. A lot of my friends saw it, and they have said to me, “Oh, you’re a superhero. You can kick someone and they will fly all the way across the football field.”

From what I understand, they had some good special effects in that film. 

Yeah, they really did. I was very impressed with how they made it look so real.

This film deals with very mature topics–a bad diagnosis, finding the superhero within yourself, and being faced with the possibility of death of a loved one. Did you understand the storyline when you were playing your part?

You know, I’m really good with drama. I really felt like I fit the role. As I think about it more, I really feel bad for the people who have that situation. Hopefully the people who do have a chance to watch this short film–it might help them through bad times like that.

With Carter and Erin from When Calls the Heart

Aw, Christian, that’s really nice. {pause} Moving onto When Calls the Heart, if I remember right, your sister booked a role on the show before you did, right?

Yes, that’s right. I originally auditioned for the role of Cody which is Carter’s {Ryan Evancic} role. When I didn’t get that role, I tried out again for another one, and I got that role–Timmy.

I actually remember that story. So last year, you were on two episodes, and the Hearties actually knew your sister, Ava, more than they did you. But that is changing in season four, as we are seeing. 

I am in season four a lot more. I was in the Christmas movie. And I’m in at least five episodes this season–maybe even more. But it is more than season three. And there’s a really good storyline with my role this season too.

Christian, what do you enjoy most about being on the set and filming When Calls the Heart?

The cast is always great. I’ve made a lot of great friends–Jaiven {Natt}, Carter, and all these others. And they always have horses there, which is a lot of fun. The best memory I’ve ever had on this show was this year when we were doing a baseball scene, and I was the batter. The director threw me the ball a few times, and I practiced hitting it in order to give me confidence. One time when he threw it, I hit it. There are two cameras next to each other, and the ball went right through the middle. My jaw dropped when I saw that. I couldn’t believe it.

Daniel Lissing, Christian Michael Cooper, Ava Cooper Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter

We also love Erin {Krakow}, and we love Dan{iel Lissing}. They’re both such nice people. I honestly don’t know what the show would be without them. They’re such great actors. I think they’re amazing.

Prison Break is the next big thing you have coming up. How did you get your role in this show?

I remember it was an audition after school, and it had been a really long day. Of course, I didn’t know how big Prison Break was, and so I was like, “Mom, can I just skip this one? I’m really tired.” So I got into a bit of a fit, and my mom was like, “You need to go to this audition.” So we went, and I got the part.

Well, score one–a big one–for mom on this one! 

My mom said they had actually been looking for the right person for the role for quite a while, so yeah, I’m glad I listened to my mom.

Did you have any scheduling conflicts between Prison Break and any of your other roles?

I was filming Prison Break and Wayward Pines at the same time, but all the dates worked out.

Christian, what can you tell us about your character in Prison Break?

I’m playing Mike Scofield, and he’s a very brave boy like his parents. He’s quite mature for his age. He wants to know why his dad is not around. There’s a lot of running and hiding for my character because he is faced with lots of danger. Family is really important in this show, and Mike always wants to try to bring people together, including his parents. I think I’m in eight of the nine episodes.

What was it like working with the cast of Prison Break?

Dominic {Purcell}, Sarah {Wayne Callies}, and Wentworth {Miller}–they all were just great actors, and they were very down-to-earth. What I remember about Dominic is that he was really funny. In the show, he’s very serious. But when we weren’t filming–there’s actually a picture somewhere around of me punching his face and him punching my face..he’s a really funny guy once you get to know him.

Were you the only kid in this series?

There was a friend from acting class who was in it too. He plays the urchin in the Yemen prison. He actually went to Morocco and filmed there for a couple of weeks.

Do you have any pets?

We used to have fish, but they passed away. Then we got hamsters, and they got a terrible disease, and they passed away. But we have our dog, Jake, and we had him even before we had fish.

With Jake

One last question–what do you like to do when you’re not acting?

Soccer, hip hop, paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming.

Well, of course! You’re multi-talented! You’re an actor. You’re involved in all the sports. Christian, I don’t even do all those things! 

 I have played soccer for five years. Dance for three years.

Christian, you are amazing! You are honestly awesome.

Thank you.

It’s great to talk with you, and I am so glad that you gave me so much wonderful information.

Thanks so much, Ruth. It was fun to get to talk with you again.

With Carter, Christian Convery, and Ava

At the ripe age of ten, Christian is incredibly articulate, indisputably talented, and delightfully gracious. I had the opportunity to meet both Michael and his sister, Ava, a few months ago at the Joey Awards in Vancouver, and I will never forget just how much he impressed me. Some children his age could easily let success go to their heads, but thankfully, Christian is blessed with a mother who set him on the correct path from the beginning, and she continues to ensure that he walks the straight and narrow road that leads him to his dreams while keeping him unspoiled, mannerly, considerate, and “normal,” or as close to it as possible. Christian is entertaining and engaging, but he never forgets the word gratitude. He is aware of the fact that in a heartbeat, this entire career for which he and his family have worked so hard could be snatched from him due to unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, he savors every moment on-set as well as those candid, fun-loving moments off-set. Thanks to the discipline his mother instilled within him from the start, Christian is aware of the proper order of his priorities, and even though his star continues its steady ascent, he never loses sight of what is vital for genuine happiness within this life–family and friends. Without the support of those closest to him, I am certain we viewers and fans would not be the recipient of his glorious talent and insatiable energy. 

More than likely, Hearties are already enjoying Christian as Timmy on the Hallmark Channel every Sunday night as we watch the ongoing saga of When Calls the Heart. What I would ask is that if at all possible, please consider tuning in to Fox beginning Tuesday, April 4th, and let’s support this phenomenal young man in the show that is purported to be THE event of the spring network shows–Prison Break

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FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PRISON BREAK CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE

 

 

 

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

2 Comments

  1. Kathy April 3, 2017 Reply

    Christian is one of my favorite kids on When Calls the Heart….
    he is so complimentary of the fan art I do of him and always sends me a thank you.
    What an amazing young man and a super family!

    • Author
      Ruth April 3, 2017 Reply

      I agree with you completely on that! I can hardly wait to see him in Prison Break!

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