How did you get into the Acting Business?
I started my work on stage at a very young age. If you can believe it, I was no more than 6 years old. I was doing local plays in Devon, England. Shortly afterward, I joined dance arena. That was an area where my sister was already making her mark. My basic schoolwork was suffering at the time. This was due to my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This is a childhood problem which was not well understood at that time. Luckily, however, I was given high marks in performing arts. This provided a “therapeutic training” for which I was grateful. Dance required a certain type of discipline which helped me overcome those problems. Dance can keep one’s mind focused, or to put it another way, “on the straight and narrow.” Surprisingly, one rarely sees dance or movement therapies prescribed for childhood ADHD. Then, a ballet scholarship was awarded. To me! I felt as ecstatic as Billy Elliot. I trained professionally at the Central School of Ballet in London at age 16. After that achievement, my real passion for acting evolved quickly. At age 18 I changed schools to the very well respected Laine Theatre Arts. From there, I graduated and found my first professional job on the national tour of Fame the musical age 19.
What or Who inspires you on a day to day basis?
This may sound like a fateful Charles Dickens tale, but it is true: My family did not have much money. We made do with what we had. What we did have was an incredible amount of love. We also helped each other where help was needed, and where role models were so important. My father, himself, acted on stage as an avocation. I could watch him for free--and was enthralled. My mother often joined in those performances. This was and always is, my main inspiration. To them, I owe everything.
3. What actor would you compare your acting style to and why?
One can definitely emulate other actors if one studies them carefully enough. The details are in the cadence of their voices, and the naturalness of their physical movements. Recently, for example, I’ve been cast to play Montgomery Clift in a new movie. I’ve been studying and researching him extensively. It seems his very soul grew inside of me. I’ve started to “become” him for the sake of the project. “Monty” (Montgomery Clift) had inspired a grand ensemble of actors who came out of the Actors Studio. They really paved the way and change in style of what we call the “method actor.” This means, in part, that the actor develops a complete emotional identification with the required role. This demands (for myself, at least) a decisive change in one’s entire personality. You become the person both on stage and in everyday life.
Do You Have a Particular Style?
No, I don’t have a particular style. I am more like a ruthless sponge. I’ve absorbed many different techniques from great instructors. I then cobble together the techniques that best work for the roles that I play.
What is your dream job?
My passion) is to take on the role that would stand the test of time. The audience would be captive. They would look and listen out of necessity. They themselves will be changed. They would be seduced and enthralled and would learn, deeply, more about themselves afterward. That might be an actor’s dream job, and certainly would be mine.
What has been the hardest thing about your career so far?
Without question: waiting for just the right challenge. You can be really busy with what unfortunately is called “rote” roles, whilst yearning for the part which one can be devoted to, with one’s entire mind and soul.
Wow... You are in super great shape. What are the key top things you must have or do to stay in shape?
Thank you for that nice compliment. Fitness is a lifestyle and a choice. You have to decide you want to change and be healthy--then stick to it. I love working out in the gym or at home. This is not from vanity, but to enjoy that singular feeling of being “fit.” Its impact on self-esteem is immeasurable.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently shooting “Nosferatu.” This is a remake of the classic original Dracula silent film made in 1923. I play the lead role of the hero, Thomas Hutter, who was also famously known as Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker’s version of Dracula. I play alongside a very talented cast including Doug Jones who plays the horrifically dreadful Count Orlok, also known as the “Bird of Death.” He is quite scary.
Any other hobbies fans may not know you have?
Traveling the globe and experiencing other cultures, to parts unknown, have always been glorious compulsions. Anything which is slightly dangerous also beguiles me.
What makes someone attractive?
If you mean what makes someone attractive to me, it would be an unorthodox sense of humor. By this, I mean inventive jocularity, not goofy or silly barbs.
How can fans reach out to you?
Just google @emrhyscooper. I am thrilled to hear from one and all. I attempt to answer many fans personally to let them know how much I appreciate them.