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Welcome to Olivia Cooke Fan at oliviacookefan.com, your ultimate online source for everything Olivia Cooke. She is an English actress. She currently co-stars as Emma Decody in the American television series Bates Motel, airing on A&E. Prior to this, she appeared in the British miniseries Blackout and The Secret of Crickley Hall. In 2014, Cooke starred in three supernatural thriller films: The Quiet Ones, The Signal, and Ouija. Her next role is in the upcoming comedy, Me & Earl & the Dying Girl, where she will play the titular female lead. Here you will be able to find the great quantity of information, photos, videos, news and a lot more about the actress. Here is a fact of fans for the fans. Here is NOT an official page neither do not we have contact with Olivia. If you have any questions and/or comments please be sure to visit our contact page and contact us regarding anything. Thanks for visiting.
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Current Projects
The Limehouse Golem (2016)
Olivia as Lizzie Cree
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Status: Post-Production
Release Dates: 2016 (UK)
Information / Photos / Official Site

Katie Says Goodbye (2016)
Olivia as Katie
Genre: Drama
Status: Post-Production
Release Dates: 2016 (USA)
Information / Photos / Official Site

Thoroughbred (2017)
Olivia as -
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Status: Post-Production
Release Dates: 2017 (USA)
Information / Photos / Official Site

Ready Player One (2018)
Olivia as Samantha Evelyn Cook / Art3mis
Genre: Drama
Status: Pre-Production
Release Dates: 2018 (USA)
Information / Photos / Official Site

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Four years ago, those following Olivia Cooke’s career might have thought she was verging on being typecast. The British actor hit the U.S. market at 18 with a turn on the quasi-“Psycho” prequel “Bates Motel” as Emma, the dark show’s shot of empathy offsetting a deranged family dynamic. Even in a supporting role, Cooke was touted as the show’s most underutilized asset and rode the series’ disquieting tone into castings in horror films “The Quiet Ones” and “The Signal.” Within a couple of years, she’d built a “scream queen” reputation that landed her her first lead in a feature with 2014’s “Ouija.” She was a genre star on the rise.

Looking back, Cooke can pinpoint the exact shift that took her career beyond what her résumé credits suggested was possible. “ ‘[Me and Earl and the] Dying Girl’—that was a choice. That was something that was thoughtful,” she says of her breakout performance in the 2015 Sundance hit. At the time, Hollywood seemed full up on “teen cancer dramas” (“The Fault in Our Stars” and “Endless Love” had premiered the year prior), but Cooke received raves as a high school senior who, after being diagnosed with leukemia, develops a deeply loving but platonic relationship with a pair of novice filmmakers.

Until fairly recently, she admits, she’d gravitated toward that sort of sentimental character. “The elements of myself that I was able to give [to those emotional roles]…was something I could offer up really easily. The friendships that were built around that story, that was something where I could easily become that version of myself.”

As an actor, Cooke has no formal training (she auditioned for RADA and made it to the final round), instead using the parts she plays as training grounds. Now, she’s ready to up the ante and play the other side of the coin—in the form of a borderline psychopathic teen named Amanda.

Her character in the forthcoming Sundance hit “Thoroughbreds” is so devoid of feeling that she’s learned to mimic others’ emotional responses so as not to raise suspicions. Out March 9, the noir reinvents the femme fatale trope for a new generation as it follows estranged childhood friends Amanda and Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Witch”) who, after a contrived reunion, hatch a plan to murder Lily’s stepfather. As they begin to develop an adult sense of ethics, Amanda and Lily face off like opposing reflections of a privileged upbringing; as a primped-to-the-nines boarding school brat who looks like she uses “vacation” as a verb, Taylor-Joy’s Lily stands practically glinting opposite the bedraggled Amanda. The two emerge, after wildly entertaining sparring matches, with a cold, calculated execution involving blackmail, a drug dealer (played by the late, ever-brilliant Anton Yelchin), a gun, and, unexpectedly, a lamp.

Set primarily in Lily’s palatial Connecticut home, the film employs long takes that showcase a level of skill Cooke hinted at in the final scene of “Dying Girl.” The tracking shots, courtesy of “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” cinematographer Lyle Vincent, move almost viper-like to craft the film’s gratifying tension-building sequences. (The mansion’s sprawling layout, multiple inlaid fireplaces, and immense wine cellar make for such an intriguing backdrop, one almost wishes for more time to gawk.)

It was after seeing her work in “Dying Girl” that “Thoroughbreds” writer-director Cory Finley offered Cooke the part of Amanda. Impeccable timing and a killer deadpan were required skills for anyone playing a person who says things like “Sometimes I feel hungry or tired, but, like, joy? Guilt? I really don’t have any of those” with a straight face.

“I think Amanda came at a time where I think I was a little bit sick of myself and sick of being so hyper-emotional all the time,” Cooke says. “[She] was the total opposite, and I think that the beauty of doing this film is that on the page it seems really difficult [to play]. The manipulation and the pretense of emotion, it was something…I was really turned on by.” The character’s undiagnosed mental disorder meant Cooke never stuck to any specific illness in her early research and preparation. “I wanted to play various shades—the brain is so complex—and [stay] slightly open.”

Finley worked extensively with his actors to develop the way the characters think and speak—“There are just certain actors who make your dialogue sound really smart,” he says of his casting—but it was the actors who added nuance to their physicality. “In our very first meeting, [Cooke] was talking about how she imagined her posture and her walk,” Finley recalls, “and when I watch the movie now, it’s one of my favorite aspects in her performance: She sort of trudges through rooms. Anya’s character really glides and Olivia is earthbound.”

Very much the opposite of Amanda will be Cooke’s “Thoroughbreds” follow-up: Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated motion-capture/live-action blockbuster fantasy “Ready Player One,” out March 29. Set on 2045’s resource-stripped Earth, where a virtual world called OASIS simultaneously provides an artificially constructed escape and a very real emotional experience, Cooke plays both the CGI avatar of protagonist Parzival’s crush, Art3mis, and the real-life person behind her. The best-selling novel-turned-film follows Parzival’s perilous quest for an Easter egg hidden by OASIS’ creator upon his death; whoever finds it will inherit his fortune and the proverbial keys to the kingdom.

Playing a CGI character proved another acting exercise Cooke had never before encountered. “All I had to do was put a helmet on,” she remembers about one scene in particular, “so, I just went like that”—she demonstrates a slapdash lowering of her open hands on either side of her head—“[I did it like] I was brushing away a cobweb! [Motion capture actor Josh Jefferies] was like, ‘No. No. Imagine holding the helmet and putting your head through it and the struggle to get your head in the helmet.’ And I was just like, ‘Oh, fuck.’ These are things that you just don’t think about! You’re a mime artist, essentially. You really have to study it and think on your feet and understand what your body’s portraying and how that’s going to translate into an animated world.”

Also fresh in her mind is the first note Spielberg gave her on set: “I was trying to do a really nuanced performance, trying to pull out all the stops,” she says sardonically, “and then Steven was like, ‘Olivia, you’re going to have to be a bit bigger because we literally can’t see what you’re doing on the head camera.’

“And then I went to the bathroom and I just couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t pull down my [motion capture] suit because it was so tight. So I ended up being folded over, having nearly a panic attack trying to get out of this thing. I was like, ‘It’s fine. He hates me.’ It was mental.”

The actor’s ability to poke fun at herself while starring in a tentpole film like “Ready Player One” is part of what makes Cooke’s success feel so genuine. Even at this level of the game, she jokes about having imposter syndrome. “I never went to drama school. People just trusted me to do these jobs and I didn’t know anything! People were talking about all these cult classic films or staples of cinema history, and I was lying through my teeth that I’d seen all of them, because for all my life I’d grown up with ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘The Lizzie McGuire Movie.’ ”

Admittedly, she didn’t expect her move to the States and career rise to happen so quickly. “I had no propulsion to come to the U.S. I was just looking for the next job.” Her motivation was always the work, she says, never fame, but it’s an inevitable byproduct of achievements in this business. As we wrap up our lunch in Lower Manhattan, a fan of “Bates Motel” recognizes her and approaches us. He’s sad that the five-season series she’d been on since the age of 18 has ended. “I’m not,” she says. “Now I can live my life and play all the different parts I want.”

Source: Backstage

March 7, 2018        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , Ready Player One , Thoroughbreds





Toronto: Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth, Bill Nighy on Crime, Mystery, Music in ‘Limehouse Golem’ – TIFF 2016

“It’s not glamorous. [Performers of the past] are in such dire conditions. They’re not acclaimed performers like you see now, they are clowns,” said actress Olivia Cooke of playing a performer in period piece ‘Limehouse Golem’ at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

September 11, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , The Limehouse Golem





Twenty-year-old Olivia Cooke has just been cast in Steven Spielberg’s next film, Ready Player One, despite “self-sabotaging” her audition. “He’s really lovely,” the Mancunian gushes, clearly relieved. Filming won’t start for quite some time, but the announcement is placed prominently on her IMDb page, which the very private Cooke finds odd. She “can’t be bothered” with Twitter or Instagram, she says. “The thing with social media these days is you can’t really say what you want. It’s always going to be judged or backfire. I don’t want to be a spokeswoman unless I’ve really got something worthwhile and important to say. Otherwise, it’s just pictures of, I don’t know, fucking lakes and beaches. It’s like a mum showing pictures of her child.”

Technically, and sort of ironically, her breakout role was a nonspeaking part. In a video, filmed to be played behind a One Direction tour, Cooke can be seen gallivanting in a field with the boy band. “That was just half a day of my life when I was 17,” she sighs. “It was 250 quid. They’d only just come out of The X-Factor so they weren’t even known at all. It’s a bit embarrassing that that was, like, the start of my career.”

Next came “screaming at nothing, CGI-ed ghosts” and suffering on-screen illnesses in an array of American and British accents (but never her own rounded northern intonation). She gasps and cries in The Quiet Ones, Blackout, The Signal, Ouija, the forthcoming Limehouse Golem, and in an ongoing role in the TV prequel to the horror film of all horror films, Bates Motel. Here, Cooke’s character is not only dangerously close to the young Norman Bates, slowly discovering his psychotic tendencies, but she often needs a respirator for shortness of breath due to cystic fibrosis.

Arguably, Cooke’s real breakout wasn’t until this year, when she played Rachel, a teen with leukemia, in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, based on the popular Jesse Andrews novel. The screenplay, also written by Andrews, intentionally waffles between sentimentality and distraction through its referencing of classic independent film. The clever format is telling of its characters’ hyper-researched generation and also of the way anyone, young or old, handles tragic loss. Devoted to the role, Cooke opted to shave her head halfway through filming instead of wearing a skullcap for when her character undergoes chemotherapy. (The studio promised to pay for the $10,000 wig she’d need for continuity in Bates Motel, Cooke confides.) Authenticity has no price. “[Rachel]’s a totally real-life character,” says Cooke. “You don’t want her to just be another Manic Pixie Dream Girl that just comes in and changes this guy’s life and then edges away slowly, saying all these really profound things in her last moments of life. She’s human, completely human.”

For her starring role in the forthcoming Katie Says Goodbye, the freedom that came from what she calls “bare-bones drama” (meaning no horror or illness to muddy a character’s emotional distress) completely changed Cooke’s way of thinking. Katie, a small-town Arizona diner waitress, prostitutes herself after hours.

“She wouldn’t call herself a prostitute, though,” Cooke corrects. “Sex isn’t a taboo subject for her. She sees this as a simple transaction—she makes these guys happy and she gets paid for it. I don’t want to go on the bandwagon of how women are perceived in films, but it was so freeing for me to be liberated of any inhibitions, any embarrassment.”

Without having seen a cut of the film, she’s ready to defend its depiction of sexuality, if only for the sake of variety. “You never really see a woman being pleasured in film,” she says. “You see a woman getting raped or beaten, or seen as the jailbait, or she’s the old hag, but you’ll never see a woman in control of all of her sex. It’s a weird thing in America when you’ll see someone’s head being blown off more than you’ll see someone having a loving, intimate sex scene—which actually happens all the time. Rarely does someone’s head get blown off.”

Source: V Magazine

December 10, 2015        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , News , Photoshoots




“I just got off of this big press tour for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which was insane. It was a plane journey every single day and it just knackered me because we were going from city to city in America—we’d be in Chicago for 20 hours and then we’d be rushed off to go to Austin. It was just this weird cycle where you’d wake up and not know what city you were in. Hotel to hotel to radio station. It was hard, but it was exciting—after that tour is done, we’re off to do it in Europe.

When they were auditioning actresses for the movie, it was never said that the actress would have to shave her head—it was like ‘Oh no, you know, wear a bald cap, it’ll be fine.’ But then two weeks before filming, going into production, I sent the director a really panicked email saying bald caps look awful even if you use the best makeup artist and hairstylist in the world. I’ve got so much hair and it’s going to look so bulbous…it’s going to take everyone out of the movie and I don’t want anything that I’m doing to tamper with the honesty of the script. So we shaved my head, and it was the best thing I ever did for the role and for the performance. There’s a scene in the movie when I tell the main character that I just feel so ugly and repulsive and we had just shaved my head the night before—it felt very real. Rubbing your head for the first time and feeling a bald scalp is just…I’ve never experienced anything like it. I didn’t realize how much I needed my hair in order to make myself feel beautiful—it should have just come from me. Also, I think my people skills developed a lot because of the shave. When a woman with a buzz cut comes up to you, you have to start a conversation with her. It was kind of fun breaking that barrier with people.

When I got here for the tour, my eczema was just raging. Now it’s not too bad but I really had to focus on what products I was using. I only wash my face with a blemish controlling face wash and a toner and a moisturizer at night. Then in the morning I just rinse my face in the shower and leave it because I think, for me, less is more. But this morning—because I knew I was going to get pictures taken—I put on this Laura Mercier Caviar Stick that I just smudged on my eyes with a brush and made it into more of a flick. Then I have black Dior mascara on my top lashes and brown eyeliner. I don’t really like to wear foundation, so I just dot concealer on my spots and around my eyes and put a bit of bronzer on for some shimmer. And Glossier Balm Dotcom is really good. I’m replacing my Lucas Pawpaw Ointment with it.

I love Instagram—particularly the fact that I can follow fashion houses and beauty brands and photographers and tattoo artists and also my friends at the same time. Keep it all so close. I have a private Instagram that’s just for me and my friends. I don’t have anything else. I don’t have Facebook, not even a private Facebook or a private Twitter. For me, social media is for stalking my friends and seeing what they’re up to. It’s the quickest way to see if they’re around. I never entered this profession to be a celebrity or to be a spokeswoman or to have my opinion heard. If I’ve got something to say, then I’ll say it, but I don’t think it needs to resonate with millions of people. Also, if I’m not getting work because I don’t have two million followers on Twitter then fuck it. I don’t want to be doing that sort of stuff anyway.”

Source:

October 15, 2015        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , Me and Earl and the Dying Girl , News




Another new scan of Olivia in Elle UK Magazine from October 2015, have added to the gallery. Enjoy it!


Gallery Link
(x1) – Magazine Scans > Magazine Scans from 2015 > October | Elle UK

October 15, 2015        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , Magazine Scans , Photos




Two new scans of Olivia in Marie Claire UK from October 2015 to the gallery. Enjoy!



Gallery Link
(x2) – Magazine Scans > Magazine Scans from 2015 > October | Marie Claire UK

September 20, 2015        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , Magazine Scans , Photos




Her stories make you laugh and her rooted-in-reality performances make you cry. Meet Oldham’s finest, actress of the moment Olivia Cooke…

When it comes to choosing film roles, actress Olivia Cooke has two rules. 1) ‘Would I actually want to watch this?’ 2) ‘Is this a well thought out character?’ Answer no to either and Olivia’s out. ‘I don’t want to be hanging out alone while the boys get all the cool stunts,’ she explains. ‘I’d go crazy. I need a challenge.’

This year, many women have echoed her manifesto with Rose McGowan calling out sexism in auditions, Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech rallying for equal pay for women and Emma Thompson mocking ‘roles that involve saying to a man, “Please don’t go and do that brave thing. Don’t! No, no, no!”’
The difference is, Olivia is 21. She isn’t a household name and she hasn’t experienced decades of inequality, but what she’s saying, in her Oldham accent and through a butter-wouldn’t-melt smile, is “Don’t mess with me.”
Sticking to her guns has paid off. Currently starring in Bates Motel [a TV show watched by millions worldwide], she’s had Teen Vogue editorials and sat front row at fashion week. Her new film Me And Earl And The Dying Girl wowed audiences at Sundance, but it’s taken hard work to be able to call the shots.
In fact, her career used to be more sofa beds and spring rolls than red carpets. ‘My first job was this DFS commercial, I did fuck all!’ she remembers. ‘I sat on a sofa holding a toy. Then I was a background singer to Jason Donovan and Coleen Nolan in an Iceland advert.’
Frozen food’s loss, Hollywood’s gain. In the movie The Quiet Ones she played a girl possessed by demons, and in Bates Motel her character tries to stay afloat while battling cystic fibrosis. But Rachel in Me And Earl And The Dying Girl is her most testing part, playing a student diagnosed with leukaemia.
You might expect what follows – hospital visits, crippling nausea and hair loss giving way to baldness. But then there’s the less obvious, equally crushing obstacles – friends with no clue what to say, unwelcome well-wishers delivering condolence cards, a ridiculous surplus of flowers and grapes. It’s during these moments that her unlikely friendship with Greg [Thomas Mann] turns from comedic partnership to lifeline, although if you’re thinking this is where the romance kicks in, you’ll be disappointed. As Olivia’s proven, she’s not up for playing pretty and falling in love faster than you can say ‘romcom’. ‘It’s not good enough having a “really powerful female role,”’ she says, in a mocking voice. ‘She has to have layers. I don’t want to play anything two-dimensional.’
Rest assured, her performance is far from flat. From getting to know leukaemia patients to shaving her head, Olivia put her all into the role. ‘The hair thing was an easy decision,’ she says. ‘I didn’t want to come across as false. Even with the best make-up artist in the world, you can always tell if it’s not real.’
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl also gained her new BFFs in her co-stars. Away from filming, Olivia, Thomas and RJ Cyler, who plays the ‘Earl’ in the title, took trips around Pittsburgh. Olivia’s favourite was ‘when we hired a boat, but we needed a pee, so we jump in and I’m trying to concentrate when I hear this “Boo!” – I’m like, “Thomas, get away! I’m trying to pee!” He totally ruined my wee!’
These stories come out a lot. From being chased by policemen [‘It wasn’t a good night unless it ended with a police chase!’] to discussing her haunted flat – ‘This guy crawled over me and then introduced me to his friend, a weird, cold girl. Maybe it was a dream?’ – Olivia’s sense of humour is hilarious and unfaltering.
She’s alone in New York for the next month, so I ask her the plan. ‘I’ve been walking around smiling and trying to make friends,’ she says. ‘I’ve got this mentality, it’s like when you start school – if you smile, you become best friends.’
Grinning at strangers isn’t a conventional way of meeting people, but Olivia doesn’t do things by the book, and if she can handle haunted houses and pursuing cops, it sounds like a stellar plan to us.

ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL IS OUT ON 4 SEPTEMBER

Source: ASOS

September 7, 2015        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , News , Photoshoots




Spotlight on Olivia Cooke, star of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

The talented 21-year-old actress from Oldham is a tragi-comic tour de force in the highly acclaimed new comedy drama Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

‘I didn’t ever want Rachel to be seen as a victim or a tragic character – I wanted her to be this beacon of strength and heart,’ said Olivia Cooke of her role in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Who is she? Still only 21, this talented young actress from Oldham has quietly been making a name for herself. After impressing as a traumatised girl alongside Sam Claflin in last year’s horror flick The Quiet Ones, she now plays the female lead in highly acclaimed new comedy drama Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. TV fans will also recognise her from dark drama series Bates Motel, with Freddie Highmore.
Big break Me and Earl was a sensation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, scooping both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. Olivia plays Rachel, an American teenager with leukaemia who forms an unlikely friendship with two boys from her school. The film is quirky, funny and moving – think a platonic The Fault in our Stars meets (500) Days of Summer.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was a sensation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, scooping both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award
The groundwork Olivia researched her role rigorously, meeting with a teenage cancer patient and doctors. ‘I didn’t ever want Rachel to be seen as a victim or a tragic character – I wanted her to be this beacon of strength and heart,’ she says. ‘But at the same time I did want her illness to be realistic.’ Shaving her head, she says, ‘was the best thing I did to get into the character. I thought it would be really disrespectful, because the movie’s so honest, if you saw me wearing this big, bulky bald cap.’
Fast fact Aged 17, she got a piggyback from Harry Styles in a One Direction tour video, making her the envy of teenage girls everywhere – except perhaps her own mates: ‘None of them likes their music, so I think it was more embarrassing than it was cool…’
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is in cinemas now.

Source: Daily Mail UK

September 7, 2015        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , News




Me and Earl and the Dying Girl actors Olivia Cooke, Thomas Mann and RJ Cyler talk friendship, funny film remakes and good deeds with our Jasmine.

August 31, 2015        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , Me and Earl and the Dying Girl , Videos




Olivia Cooke: ‘Mysterious and quirky characters are more alluring’

Oldham girl Olivia Cooke delivers a powerful performance playing terminally ill Rachel in the indie hit Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Here she talks about life in New York, shaving her hair and why she dislikes ‘sexy girl roles’

I walked past a shop the other day, a really beautiful shop, that was dedicated to just hot sauce,’ Olivia Cooke is telling me, in wide-eyed astonishment and a rich, rolling Lancashire burr. The 21-year-old actress, born and raised in Oldham, has been living in New York for only five weeks and is revelling in the randomness of its retail outlets. ‘I love it here,’ she enthuses. ‘But you do see some really ridiculous things.’

You may not yet be wholly familiar with the young Briton, but chances are you very soon will be. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, in which Cooke plays Rachel, a teenager with terminal cancer, premiered to a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and won the Grand Jury Prize, in no small part thanks to Cooke’s powerful but understated performance.

The film’s director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, can’t praise her highly enough. ‘I want the world to know who she is, but at the same time, I want to keep her for myself,’ he gushes. ‘She has an amazing instinct, a naturalness and an authenticity to her performances – I believe everything she does.’

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, as its bleakly irreverent title suggests, is not some predictable, romantic weepie, but a tragi-comic tale of a platonic friendship between Rachel and Greg (played by Thomas Mann). ‘Nearly all my friends are boys, and that’s something I often don’t understand in films,’ Cooke says. ‘There’s always that sexual tension, [as if] the only reason the guy is doing something for the girl is because he wants a gratuitous snog at the end of the film. That’s not what happens in real life.’

It is a hot, humid Saturday afternoon when Cooke and I meet at a restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village. She arrives in Doc Marten boots and a black playsuit, refreshingly unfiltered, straight-talking and self-deprecating from the start. ‘I feel like I’ve gained new sweat pores. I’m sweating in places I’ve never sweated before,’ she laments.

Tucking into a hearty bowl of chicken tagine, she confesses that career opportunities have meant a rather nomadic lifestyle of late, and she had been itching to put down some roots. ‘I’ve never really lived anywhere apart from my mum’s house. And it’s been three years of moving around all the time, living in hotels, and I wanted to settle,’ she says. She decided on Park Slope, a well-heeled Brooklyn neighbourhood, where hot-sauce shops can support a trade. Moving to America full-time was not in her game plan until a few months ago, however, when she filmed the forthcoming Katie Says Goodbye, another independent production, in which she stars as the title character, a 17-year-old waitress stuck in a small Arizona town, who turns to prostitution.

‘Doing Katie Says Goodbye really changed my life and who I wanted to be,’ she says. ‘I’d always thought I’d move to London and make my life there, but everyone I met on that film lived in New York, and they were the most creative, generous people I’d ever met. I thought, if my being in New York helps me meet more people like that, I want to be there.’

Cooke also has a regular television gig, as Emma Decody in the US-made series Bates Motel, and this autumn will be shooting the film adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s novel Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, alongside Alan Rickman and Douglas Booth.

She has a New York-based boyfriend, a fellow actor, but is unwilling to talk about him. ‘I don’t think he’d like that. I’m helping friendly relations between Britain and America though,’ she jokes. ‘But it’s quite hard – he’s in a play at the moment, so we’re on this weird theatre schedule. I see him on Mondays, or at night for nine hours when we are both sleeping.’

To me, she seems admirably self-sufficient, striding around New York solo at 21, but she confesses to finding it lonely. ‘I have a tough time doing things on my own. I get really miserable. I hate my own company,’ she says simply, without self-pity. ‘I came to New York with a seven-year-old’s mentality, thinking that if I just smiled at people, they’d be my friend, like at Kids’ Club in Majorca, and I’d have a whole gang by the end of the week,’ she says, laughing.

Research for her role as Rachel in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl included visiting a cancer ward in Los Angeles, to meet a 16-year-old girl suffering from leukaemia and awaiting a bone-marrow transplant. ‘I didn’t want to go in asking questions like, “How do you feel? Do you expect you’ll make it?’’?’ Cooke says. ‘So we just talked about pop culture. She had all these One Direction pictures on the wall, so I told her about being in this ridiculous video for them [in 2012, she appeared in the video for Autumn Term, as a student getting a piggyback from Harry Styles], and it was her doctors I talked to about the nitty-gritty.

‘I felt like a bit of an idiot,’ she admits. ‘These people are living it, and I was there saying, “I’m playing a girl who has cancer in a film.” It sounds ridiculous.’ She pauses. ‘I suppose everything does when you put it all into context.’

It was the teenage leukaemia sufferer who asked Cooke if she was going to shave her head for the film. ‘I hadn’t really thought about it until that point,’ she admits. After a few days pondering the options, she emailed Gomez-Rejon. ‘I said, “Bald caps look so shit. Let’s just shave my head.’’ It was weird. When I shaved it off I looked like a greyhound,’ she says with a laugh.

‘I thought it would grow back really fast and in five months I’d have a bob.’ She tugs at her still-gamine crop and raises an eyebrow. ‘This is a year on…’ (She does, however, wear a $10,000 wig in Bates Motel, for continuity reasons.)

Growing up in Oldham, with a sister five years her junior, Cooke didn’t see too many films, she admits, apart from blockbusters such as Titanic and teen fare like 13 Going On 30. ‘I didn’t know what the Criterion Collection [a video distribution company specialising in classic and contemporary films] was until I met Alfonso,’ she admits. ‘He’s been introducing me to a lot of films.’

Cooke’s father is a retired police officer now working as an attendance officer at her former secondary school, while her mother is a sales representative for a food manufacturer. She is not entirely sure where the acting gene came from. ‘I tried gymnastics and ballet, but nothing really stuck,’ she recalls. ‘And then, at eight, I found the Oldham Theatre Workshop and [discovered] I just loved performing. That stuck for almost 10 years.’

She makes no attempt to dress up the details of her early CV. ‘I got a local talent agent in Manchester, and did a few cringey adverts and some modelling jobs,’ she says. At 18 she was cast as Christopher Eccleston’s daughter in the television drama Blackout, her first professional acting role. At the theatre workshop, however, her classmates were auditioning for drama school, so Cooke did too, and made it to the final round for Rada.

‘It was a horrible auditioning process,’ she tells me. ‘There was a voice teacher who singled out me and this girl from Wigan because we both had northern accents. He told me to run on the spot while I was reading a monologue, and he was thumping me on the back really hard. I knew then that I hadn’t got in,’ she says.

The day she got her rejection letter, though, she also heard that she had won the role of Jane Harper, a young woman apparently possessed by a violent demonic spirit, in the supernatural thriller The Quiet Ones, alongside Jared Harris and Sam Claflin. It is an intense performance in a film that is as exhausting to watch as it must have been to act in, but Cooke didn’t see it that way.

‘I was 18. It was my first film, and only my third ever job,’ she says. ‘I was barefoot and running around in knickers and a white smock the whole film. In-between scenes, we would sing songs from West Side Story – it felt like we were a travelling theatre company or something.’ She was also made up to be bruised, battered and bloody on a daily basis, and her co-star Claflin has commented on Cooke’s comfortableness with ‘playing ugly’.

There were several further outings in the horror genre – namely Ouija and Bates Motel – and she says she was keen to avoid becoming pigeonholed. ‘When Me and Earl came along, I was so relieved,’ she says. ‘I don’t want to scream at imaginary objects any more.’

Nor, however, is she keen to be considered for what she calls the ‘sexy girl roles’. ‘I’ve never acted in that way, I’ve never been like that. I think characters who are mysterious and quirky are so much more alluring than a girl who has just got it all out on show,’ she says.

There will, though, be plenty on show in the forthcoming Katie Says Goodbye. ‘It was wonderful. I had no inhibitions, and by the end of the film I was like: everyone should be naked, all the time,’ Cooke says. ‘It sounds pretentious, as an actor, to talk about “being in the moment”, but I don’t think I’d ever really known what it felt like until I did this movie and could truly let go of any insecurity or inhibitions I had with my body.’

While Cooke is incredibly proud of the film, she has already warned her mother not to watch it. Has her family always been supportive of her rather non-linear career? ‘Erm… in some ways,’ she says. ‘There was a period of about two months after I got my second job, on [the 2012 BBC television miniseries] The Secret of Crickley Hall, when I didn’t work at all, and my mum was panicking. She understands it all much more now, and is very proud. And she’s the person I call at one in the morning.’

We head to the subway and catch a train back to Brooklyn together, Cooke having eschewed offers of a car service to take her home. ‘I don’t understand why some actors and actresses get too big to do certain things,’ she says. ‘I think it’s really important to do normal things – still go down the shop to get milk – so you can play normal people. How else are you going to be convincing, as a policeman, for example, if you don’t integrate? And no one gives a shit here anyway, about who you are, or what you’ve been in. And even if they did care, they’d never let you know.’

New York, we conclude, is quite like the north of England in that sense. Except, as Cooke points out, her accent seems to give her some currency here. ‘I’ve always felt a bit embarrassed by my accent before, and felt I’d maybe be at an advantage if I was more plummy,’ she confesses. ‘But people here seem quite charmed by it.’
I’d say it is far more than the accent that they are charmed by.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is released on September 4

Source: Telegraph UK

August 23, 2015        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , Katie Says Goodbye , Me and Earl and the Dying Girl




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