Dominic Cooper Online
Dominic Cooper Online

Dominic Cooper on nicknames, on-set injuries and the upcoming World Of Warcraft

Your new film Dracula Untold mixes vampire mythology with the true story of Prince Vlad The Impaler (played by Luke Evans). Do the lines of history and fiction blur?

Yeah, pretty quickly. It’s good preparing for a role and learning everything you possibly can about who this person is [Cooper plays Turkish sultan Mehmed II], what he’s capable of, what lengths he was prepared to go to achieve world domination. But in terms of how much of that is mentioned in the film – not much.

If you know the history of these people, then you understand at what point it all is. It just gives me a clear understanding of who he was. Is it fun playing the villain?

Yeah. Mehmed is a terrifying man and desperate to take over the world. I learnt a lot of Turkish – it’s an amazing language. I’m not sure how good I became – it’ll probably be laughable, but I can pretend. I love parts like this because you can be daring and they’re quite eccentric and over the top. And I’m wearing golden armour.

You’ve got a lot of armour on. Did that make filming the fight scenes difficult?

Yeah – all that stuff is pretty hard work. You train and train and then, because of the way the film works or how things can change on the day, more often than not the sequences change. You just have to adapt, and that’s tough. After you’ve trained, you try out all the armour and putting that on f*cking changes it again.

What can we expect in terms of epic battles?

There’s a huge fight sequence at the end between me and Luke. You want it to look real, so it’s worth working on. There are always great stuntmen, but you also want to do as much as you can yourself. The scale of [the battles] is what’s exciting – they’re huge. We filmed in Belfast so tried to use the environment and as little green screen as possible.

Did anything go wrong on set?

I nearly poked Luke’s eye out with a sword. We were trying to be careful and not use metal swords, and I think because of movement within the sword it bounced back into his eye – so I don’t take full responsibility. It was pretty terrible.

The character of Dracula has appeared in almost 200 films over the years. What makes this one stand out?

I suppose it’s the idea of why he became the man he did. The competition between the two so-called brothers and their separate need to finish each other off to gain power again is interesting. We got rather immersed in vampire films. There was a moment when everything was like that and it was definitely one of my concerns – but it was quite clear [the director] Gary Shore wasn’t setting out just to make another vampire film.

Who is your favourite screen vampire?

The Lost Boys were always my favourite. I thought that film got the balance of comedy and terror just right.

Talking of terror, you spoke recently about how your former flatmate James Corden used to come into your room naked to wake you up. Does that still give you nightmares?

Never. Absolutely not [laughs]. It’s the best alarm bell you can imagine. It gets you running out of bed in the morning.

If you could choose to be any fictional monster – vampire, werewolf, ghost – what would you be?

Something invisible, I always thought that’d be quite handy. Is there an invisible terrifying monster? Very handy.

You’re set to star in Duncan Jones’ World of Warcraft, which is out in 2016. What’s that like?

Amazing. At the Comic-Con events you realise what impact those characters have on people and what they mean to hardcore players of the game. It needs to be something even more special because those people play that game interactively – but it also has to entertain people who don’t know what this world is. So you need balance. My character is very different to the one I play in Dracula Untold, because he’s actually a very good man who wants what’s best for his people and kingdom.

What question are you bored of being asked?

“Was it fun filming in Greece?”

Finally, do you have a nickname? Preferably an embarrassing one, like ‘Pooper Cooper’…

I have a few. The boys in History Boys used to call me ‘Dirt Box’, but I’m trying to get rid of that one now, because it wasn’t very pleasant. ‘Pooper’ was definitely there in primary school when they invented that Pooper Scooper thing. You know, that sucky thing that sucked up poo? ‘Raisin’ [was another] – I’m not sure why. Oh, and ‘Little Sh*t’. That really annoyed me because I used to be smaller than a lot of my friends. Luckily I grew. All nicknames are horrible really, aren’t they?

Dracula Untold is at cinemas nationwide from 3 October




Posted on 10/02/2014 by Hannah with 0 Comment(s) Filed under: Dracula Untold, Press

ACTOR Dominic Cooper, who’s facing off against Dracula on the big screen admits he’s no tough guy in real life. He talks to JESSICA BRINTON.

I just saw a teaser for Dracula Untold – tell me about your role.

I’m playing the evil bloke, Mehmed the Second, who did exist and at one point was very close to taking over the entire world.

We fiddled with history a bit and said that he comes across the guy his father once chose over him to fight in the army.

All of his resentment and jealousy comes from knowing his father believed more in the other boy than in him.

When you were playing that role, did you have any of your own experience of jealousy to tap into?

Yes, and it’s one of the worst emotions. It snowballs, doesn’t it? It’s completely self-defeating and so shameful, you can hardly admit to it. It’s that realisation there’s nothing you can do to change how things are, no matter how much power you have. It can drive you mad.

I’m not a jealous person at all, but I have been, and will never go back there.

Do you feel more secure in yourself now you’ve achieved a certain level of success?

Absolutely. I know that’s a bad thing to say, but it’s true.

Well, you’re wearing some eye-catching bling on your wrist.

It’s an Omega. It is a bit blingy, isn’t it? I’ve never had one before. I’ve always worn really small watch faces.

This one made me feel a bit worried for a while; it felt a bit showy.

Do you spend a lot of money on fashion, or do you get lots of freebies?

I do get things for free sometimes. It’s all quite glaringly obvious – it’s all money, money, money. If you’re going to be seen at an event, brands will send you things to wear. It’s really nice to look smart, though. Anything that makes you feel a bit more confident than you would normally feel is a good thing

What makes a man feel the most confident?

It’s weird – you can only work that out for yourself. You just feel like you look nice. You feel right in whatever it is you’re wearing.

Dracula Untold is about being a hero with heart. Do you think that’s what being a modern man is all about?

I do, actually. What makes a modern man is being an equal one. For me, that whole masculine thing has always been a bit of a… I’ve never quite got it, really.

Amanda Seyfried, whom you dated after meeting on the set of Mamma Mia!, said recently that she was too uptight for your relationship to work in the long term. What do you do if agirlfriend is highly strung?

She said that, did she? Well, I like to think I’d deal with it very well. I’d be very caring and try to find out why she’s upset, get to the bottom of it and make her less upset.

It’s an age-old discussion, though – the sexes trying to figure each other out. There’s only two of us in this, that’s all we’ve got. So, are we very similar or extraordinarily different?

What’s your home like?

I live in London’s Primrose Hill, and I love it. It’s got a reputation for being the home of the “Primrose Hill set” [a group of young British actors and models, including Kate Moss and Sadie Frost, who found fame in the ’90s and were known for their tabloid scandals], and really poncey SUVs. But it has all the old eccentrics, too. I know almost all my neighbours. I’ve never had that before.

Are you part of the new Primrose Hill set?

Oh god, I hope not.

You’ve always been open about how comfortable you are getting naked on film. Do you wish people would be naked more in general?

I was just on holiday somewhere that I’m not going to name – somewhere in Spain – and everyone was rollicking around naked. You had all these totally different bodies, different shapes and sizes, wandering around at ease, in a nice secluded environment.

Were you naked yourself?

No, I was modestly covered. It’s definitely something to do with British upbringing that makes us shy about our bodies. I think it will take years for it to change, especially now, when we’re

told to look ways that are impossible to achieve.

That part’s terrifying, because we’ll all be very hungry, and then we’ll disappear.

It’s another thing on film. If you wobble your bits around on film, it’s there for all eternity.

Dracula Untold is in cinemas on October 2.

Read the rest of the interview here

Posted on 09/26/2014 by Hannah with 0 Comment(s) Filed under: Dracula Untold, Press

Dominic Cooper’s Mehmet has some serious sibling rivalry issues in Dracula Untold.  As inspired by the real history of Mehmet II and Vlad III (Luke Evans), also known as Vlad the Impaler, Mehmet becomes enrage when his father takes Vlad in, raises, trains and then favors Vlad over him.  Even when Vlad heads off to lead the people of Transylvania and attempt to leave his violent past with the Turks behind, Mehmet is still hell-bent on punishing Vlad, so hits him where it’ll hurt most; if Vlad wants to keep the peace between the Transylvanians and the Turks, he’ll have to give up 1,000 boys to Mehmet’s army, including his very own son (Art Parkinson).

It’s harsh stuff, but while on the film’s Belfast, Ireland set, Cooper admitted, it’s quite fun to play the villain, especially when the villain is so well written.  Hit the jump for the details on Mehmet’s resentment, how Cooper mixed the historical facts with his own take on the character, what will make this a standout Dracula film and loads more.

Question: We hear you’re doing a really big stunt today.

DOMINIC COOPER: There’s a big one I’m training to do.  In fact, I just tired all my armor on.  I’m training to do a big stunt towards the end.  I call it a stunt, but it’s a fight.  [Laughs] It’s a big, big, big fight between Vlad and myself.  You do these things and this always happens and I never learn when you’re doing an action based film is that, you spend weeks learning these fights and then you try on this armor and you realize you can’t move in it, so then the whole thing probably has to be changed.  But it’s an incredible costume.  It’s a very over-the-top, but beautiful piece of golden armor.  It’s all frilly gold and it’s got the Battle of Constantinople on the front of it and on the arms.  It’s incredible, but it’s so heavy I can’t move.

What’s the evolution of the relationship between you and Vlad?  What’s the arc of the relationship

COOPER: Well, they have a history as kids and my take on it is that he’s always been terribly envious of this boy who is pulled into his father’s palace.  I think I like the relationship to be based in envy, jealously, and resentment, and I think that he saw Vlad as being a better fighter, stronger of mind and physically, and I think his dad always was aware of this.  So this is something that is sort of ongoing and is punctuated in the story itself, and that comes to a head.  We’ve kind of put these extra ideas in that, on my father’s deathbed, it was Vlad who he chose to speak to because I think he trusted him more as a warrior and as a future leader.  It’s a clever bit of writing they came up with very close to the beginning of shooting, and I loved it actually when I read it.  It was about him desperately trying to understand or find out what it was that the father shared with Vlad and not himself, and he can tell he’s being lied to when Vlad comes out with these elaborate, over-the-top, kind words that he knows are not true.  As revenge, I do to him really in a way what my father did, which is to ask and insist upon taking his son into battle.  And I only do that for one reason, which is to anger him and upset him.  And that’s the basis of where the beginning of the story unfolds and the big battle begins.

So is your character the villain of the piece or, if we look at it from his point of view, it makes perfect sense in terms of his motivations?

COOPER: Yes, exactly.  It makes perfect sense for him as any villain, you know?  It has to for a well-written villain.  It can’t just be villainous for villain’s sake.  Absolutely it comes from a place of jealousy and resentment, not that as an audience member you would care.  He’s evil and he does things not for the good of his country or his people, but to seek revenge, in my opinion, but it comes from a very, very real place.  He’s an incredible warrior, but this particular part of the story, he ruins himself because of letting this jealously eat himself up, and he makes all the wrong decisions.  Everything that he chooses to do from this point ruins him.  It would all be fine.  He could continue to take on Europe and take over the rest of the world, but he decides that this one thing that has been killing him since he was a child, he decides to pursue.  So that’s his downfall.

So if not for your character, Dracula wouldn’t exist?

COOPER: Yeah, exactly.

Is it fun to play a villain?

COOPER: It’s always fun.  They’re great.  If they’re well written and like you said, as long as there’s a real place that you can relate to – not relate to, but that you understand where their hatred comes from and it’s not just an out-and-out villain, and that they’re believable and that this person existed.  The clever thing within this is that from his childhood, what [Vlad] was capable of and what he did, he is a villain in a way, and he’s trying to cover up a past. I mean, the impaling of people, that’s very poignant in one of the scenes that I try and unveil to others what he is capable of and actually how evil he is because I know the true him that he is trying to cover up.  And yes, he’s become a good man and yes, he loves his people and he cares for his family, but he watched him survive what my father put him through.  He was a killer, a volatile, dangerous, awful, evil, killer, and I think that’s quite a clever confrontation between the two of them.  You don’t have one good guy; they’re quite dark.

Vlad goes out on this journey and encounters Caligula and stuff like that.  The air of the supernatural is all around.  For your character, are people aware of the supernatural in this land or is this something that they don’t believe in?  Is there a belief system in the supernatural?

COOPER: No, there’s not, but we become more and more – actually, we’re like the audience, I suppose in that we see these rather strange things happening and we have to take note of them, but we’re of the real world and we have belief this could possibly be true, but by the end of the film, we’re starting to go, ‘Do you believe this guy has supernatural powers?’  But no, it’s not a world in which we exist where it’s the norm if that’s what you mean.

Do you have characters around you?  Maybe a family or a right hand man?

COOPER: Yes.  I have one that I confide in, one that I kill.  [Laughs] So there are, but he’s not particularly pleasant to them and they’re all, again, another way to highlight the terror he spreads among people is that those people that are close to you are very much fearful of you in the way that they behave around you, in the way theymollycoddle you, in the way they treat you is another representation of how dangerous [he is].  And that really helps me as an actor.  We had a huge scene the other day where I have all my people around me and he comes into the tent.  It’s a very long scene.  It’s very rare to get a scene, it was five or six pages long, of good really well written clever dialogue.  It’s wonderful cause all of my people are around me although they’re very timid and threatened and worried about seeing this situation unfold.  And it’s when I reveal to them that this person who enters the tent, I know very well, or who is one of my closest, oldest and dearest friends from childhood, which is the way in which he begins it, but it’s very unsettling the way in which everyone is behaving around me.  It’s so fun to play off that energy because you’re immediately in that position of power and you don’t have to do anything aggressive or dangerous.  In fact, the more you play against that and the kinder you are, and the softer you are, the more, I think, terrifying it is.

Can you talk about how your character learns about the supernatural elements or does he learn a little too late?

COOPER: He learns too late and he thinks he can overpower him.  Well though, no, he does use it to his advantage when he finally believes in it.  He uses tricks that he knows will affect and weaken, but it takes him a long time to be convinced.

When we were on set yesterday we were talking to everyone else about, not like the negative stigma, but that people could be skeptical about another vampire film or a different take on Dracula.  What was it for you that attracted you to the project and also what would you tell people who might say, ‘Oh, it’s just another Dracula film?’

COOPER: I keep forgetting.  I keep having to be reminded that it’s actually a Dracula film.  For me, it was very much a film about history and Vlad the Impaler and where that story came from.  It’s a very different take on it and a really clever twist on the story.  It’s going to look completely epic and beautiful.  They’re shooting it on film and there were some very distinctive characterizations within it, and I think it’s unlike any other Dracula.  I find it amazing that they’re actually calling it that, I mean, that’s my opinion, because for me, it felt like something very, very different.  I like the idea that they’ve chosen where he comes from and who he was and why he came from that world and why he was part of the Turks’ world, and then what he became.  I think it’s a really clever take on it.  Within that story, I’m the one who, I suppose, gives all the exposition of why that’s taking place.

Coming into this film were you able to offer any useful vampire advice to your costar, like dealing with fangs?

COOPER: It’s quite funny.  No, but yeah, there are things that I overhear that are the same problems that I’ve dealt with.  I don’t have them this time, but I’ve had to do the prosthetics and the teeth and the biting and how that looks good and how painful it can be if you get it wrong, and you can take chunks of people’s face out if you’re not careful.  But I kept quite.  I quite like to see those things happen.  I tell them afterwards, ‘You know, I could have told you about that.’  [Laughs]

What’s one thing you’re really excited for people to see in this movie?

COOPER: I’ve shot a few scenes.  I haven’t been around for the entire thing.  I think from reading it and from seeing what I have seen, I think the dynamic of the relationships.  Action is one thing and if you love that then great; this is gonna have plenty of it, really big, brutal, dangerous, great set pieces and fights.  They’re gonna all look amazing.  But I think more than that, if that tires you or if that’s not just enough, then at the heart of it, I think there’s actually a brotherly relationship that comes about and that breaks down at the center, and a beautiful love story and a story about a family and a man who tries to defend his family.  And then you have the mystical world and actually, the prosthetics and the way they made those characters look is extraordinary.  There’s a combination of lots of things, but essentially, and the reason I’m always drawn to anything is there has to be an intriguing story at the middle of it, and it can’t just be about explosions or car races or whatever it is.  There has to be a story for me because that’s what I like and I think that that’s what people will be drawn to.

Is there a chance for an ongoing rivalry between your character and Vlad if there are future films or is this a definitive end to your character?

COOPER: I’ve heard before it’s a definitive end and then I find myself, a few years down the line, there again.  [Laughs] So, I don’t know.  I think there’s lots of possibilities with that as there always is now, you know?  People never know where they’re going to take a story, which makes it terribly exciting – unless you’re dead dead, but in a film with this title, you’re never dead dead, are you?  Who knows?  We’ll see.

Did you a lot of research into the history of your character, the actual man?

COOPER: Yeah, I mean, I did.  It’s kind of endless and fascinating and admittedly, I knew very, very little.  And all that stuff is great and you’re learning so much; how helpful it is, I’m never really quite sure because you’re developing or creating something that needs to function within what you’re making.  Of course, it’s good to have this wealth of information to understand where he comes from and how powerful he was and how determined he was.  I mean, he threw his dad off the thrown, he demanded that his dad stand down and took over and was a much more military capable man than his father.  All that stuff is helpful, but actually you have to create something that works within the framework of the story.  Now when you play people or do something biographical, you can watch stuff of them and you know that you’re getting quite close, you know that you sound like them or something.  With this, I just have no idea, you know?  Absolutely none, which is comforting in a way because you start from scratch and you can make him whoever you really want to be most effective.  Maybe he was outwardly just chilling and horrible and nasty, and actually we’re giving him an element, hopefully, of sort of charm or kindness in the beginning so then, was he really like that? Probably not, but you can do what you like, really.


Posted on 07/15/2014 by Hannah with 0 Comment(s) Filed under: Dracula Untold, Press

Whether he’s co-founding S.H.I.E.L.D., training former presidents to hunt down the undead, or oozing evil from every pore while sitting behind the wheel of a $500,000 luxury spots care, Dominic Cooper is fast becoming one of the go-to actors for high-octane genre cinema. With upcoming roles in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Warcraft, and a rumored part on the Agent Carter series, the charming British actor is becoming a staple amongst Comic-Con-ready properties. Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Cooper before the Need For Speed premiere in Los Angeles where we discussed the specialty sneaker market, driving like a maniac in Need For Speed, what draws him to these genre roles, and much more.

Dominic Cooper: I really like your trainers. Where did you get them?

Nerdist: eBay, actually. I used to own a pair in 2007, but I wore them into the ground. I had to use eBay because they only made a certain amount of them.

DC: How much did you pay for [them on] eBay?

N: I paid $60, which was around what I was willing to pay.

DC: Do you remember Reebok Pumps?

N: Of course, yes! They even brought them back. They’re making new ones.

DC: Oh, really?

N: They’re making designer editions now, because there’s a huge market for throwback sneakers.

DC: You get addicted to that.

N: Exactly! I know.

DC: “Oh, I remember those! ’82 Michael Jordans.”

N: Yeah. [laughs] It was a bit of a problem, I was running out of closet space. I had to limit myself a bit.

DC: Yeah.

N: So, I saw the film and it was one of those things where when I left the theater last night, I was like, “Oh shit, I can’t drive like a maniac. That was onscreen.” They put that disclaimer in for a reason! Did the experience affect you at all as a driver? Do you find you’re more confident now? Are you like, “I can take that turn!”?

DC: Ha! I’ve always loved driving. I mean, that’s always been a massive passion of mine, always, since I could remember. It’s all I ever really wanted to do. But yeah, there’s a temptation once you have been with professionals and learned properly how to handle a car. I was very tempted to just start using my handbrake almost…

N: Oh, of course!

DC: But you just have to go, “That is really stupid and can only lead to disaster.” And you do – you just go, you know what? If you really want to, you can go a track where you can do that thing. You can’t do that sort of stuff; You also learn how quickly things can go wrong. How unbelievably dangerous it is.

N: I feel like the issue is more like, you might know what you’re doing, but everyone else doesn’t know what they’re doing.

DC: Exactly.

N: And that is definitely the case here in Los Angeles. 

DC: Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s everywhere. Every major city, you are constantly amused by what people are capable – how little people have any inclination of what’s going on around them.

N: Some of these people should never be allowed to see a car, let alone get behind the wheel of one.

DC: I’m still amazed that people are allowed to take this huge chunk of metal…

N: Right? [laughs]

DC: They have this mirror that is pointing towards their face, just to do the make-up or to do whatever they’re going to do to their face. And the texting that goes on now!

N: It’s horrifying!

DC: I’m just, like, I can’t quite believe on the freeways, what I see.

N: I saw a gentleman reading a novel, and I….


N: Yeah! And I was like, this has to be a joke! This has to be a joke.

DC: That’s what worries me. I wonder, is that a lack of understanding what can possible wrong in any given moment. How it takes 1 millisecond for the whole thing to become a catastrophe.

N: I think it’s just a profound lack of self-awareness.

DC: Yeah, it just really heightens-it really heightens how self-important people feel they are in cars.

N: Yeah, you feel like you’re invincible.

DC: People feel like they’re invincible-they have no acknowledgement of anyone else. It’s quite astonishing.

N: Yeah, it’s mildly terrifying. 

DC: It is, actually.

N: And speaking of mildly terrifying as I segue this back into this movie, did you also have to go through a rigorous sort of stunt driving crash course, for lack of a better term?

DC: Yeah, well, we did, yeah. We went out to a track and it was such good fun! I just loved every bit of it! We just learned how to skid into a stop, how to donut the car – all those sorts of things. But they will end up being in a safe way, when there are cameras, when there are people, when there are crew around. But the truth was, even as we had those early conversations about how this would be filmed for real, and it would definitely be us driving them a lot of the time, it was never going to be us, really driving the cars at full speed. Near the end of the race, it just wasn’t going to be the case. So we had a lot of fun doing it, but it was naïve to think it would ever be us. But I loved all that stuff.

N: Cool. It definitely looks awesome up on screen. I feel like this is the kind of film that you have to see up on a big screen.

DC: Yes.

N: Just to really appreciate some of those breathtaking moments. Your character had this sort of like modern Snidely Whiplash quality, which I really liked. He was decidedly villainous. He’s a bad guy – he’s very slick, but he’s a bad guy. I’m wondering if there’s something – do you prefer playing these characters with a villainous side to them?

DC: I just get asked to play them. It’s always a big worry. But you do have a lot of fun playing them, because you’re playing in opposition to what you’re revealing, which is always fun. So you’re saying something to a character on screen, you’re thinking something completely different, and the audience is implicit in that, in that they know, they’re kind of understanding what is behind your thinking. They know you’ve got a business falling to pieces, for example, yet the person who you’re in the scene with doesn’t, so there were lots of layers to be.

You still have to make it – and I read that guy, read about him and saw what he was capable of, and found that I could no sympathy or empathy for anything, any of his decisions, but yeah, I had to find a route in – I had to work out why he was prepared to do this. To just create something that I could at least acknowledge where it all stemmed from. And that’s satisfying in itself. You know you are there with necessity. You know that you are there to heighten your hero, innovate him into this.

N: Yeah, you need to give them an appropriate foil to throw them into sharp relief.

DC: Exactly. But you still can have a lot of fun with it.

N: Of course!

DC: You still must realize that’s actually our job within this huge, elaborate car race scene, with these incredible, high-performance, very expensive vehicles around the country, and that’s what people are looking for. That needs to be supported by content and story and relationships.

N: Yeah. You need to care about who is inside the vehicle.

DC: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.

N: So tell me a little bit about working with director Scott Waugh. I know he has a stunt background, which I would imagine is something that you would want in a director, especially with a production like this.

DC: Yes. I thought he – I loved what he was saying about how he wanted to shoot it, and I loved that he just missed watching car racing, how he remembered his dad’s – the films that his dad worked on and was in. And I loved that he knew exactly what he was doing, and how he was going to shoot it.

What I was really mesmerized by – and amazed that other directors don’t do something so simple – was that at the beginning of each day, he’d bring everyone together, and just explain what he needed to achieve. Because it was so dangerous, but it made everyone feel that whatever they were doing was completely relevant and very important that everyone got it right, and everyone would do anything for him. And having that support and that focus was priceless, and I’ve never seen anyone have that kind of support from the entirety.

N: That’s nice.

DC: It was amazing, and everyone was doing it. You just watch that and go, what does it take? 15 minutes?

N: Yeah, exactly. Just get everyone on the same page.

DC: Instead of being this sort of misty figure in the distance.

N: Just lurking behind the monitor. 

DC: Yeah, go talk to everyone. They’re all here. They’re all here to do a job, and they all want to do the job to the best of their ability, and he completely and utterly got that out of them, and that’s what made – because the stunts were terrifying to watch, and those guys were putting their lives completely at risk, every time they got into a tin can surrounded by explosives. And there was something quite mesmerizing about the silence and the focus that took hold over there, like we were moving into the forest, and they would hug each other, and they would go in and you knew, every time they did this, it could be – because it happens. Daily, those cars were traveling at those speeds, and at a certain point, a car had to hit that car at exactly that time, to set off an explosion that flipped the car – I can’t believe it. These people are mental.

N: Yeah. [laughs]

DC: They are a different breed.

N: They definitely have a certain boldness of character that you’ve got to admire.

DC: Yeah!


N: So between films like the Captain America franchise, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,Warcraft, and Need for Speed, it seems like you’re doing a lot of projects, genre projects that kind of make the rounds of Comic-Con. Are these projects that you seek out? Are they something that appeal to you more than others, or are you taking them on a role-to-role basis?

DC: I don’t know why it has happened that they seem to have been there when I have been available, and I have been excited by them. It’s absolutely not a choice of – I was in a position where I only did it from reading the scripts, where they were really exciting and I would love to be a part of them.

N: Nice!

DC: And you have a huge responsibility to – often the fan base already exists, and they’re cool films! They’re fun! They’re great fun to watch. Of course I’d love to be doing a black-and-white artistic piece set in the outback of Iceland, and which I hope to continue to do in between them. But these movies are exhilarating fun to watch, and they certainly – Warcraft, the movie, is a really exciting story.

N: I am super excited about that because I played those games for years and years.

DC: Yeah, yeah. And so it has to be something very, very special. They tapped into Duncan Jones as the director.

N: A brilliant choice. I was so excited when that news broke that he was going to be tackling this.

DC: It will be really – it will be something very special, I hope.

N: Is there anything you can tell us about your role at all?

DC: I can’t say anything.

N: OK, I know. I had to ask. 

DC: I can’t. We had a memo. I was prepared to talk almost all about it extensively.

N: Yeah! [laughs] “You guys aren’t going to believe what happens!”

DC: Yeah, I think they just want to be really careful with how they release the information. I think especially because it has such a huge fan base, it’s going very, very well. What I’ve seen looks amazing and wonderful to feel like you’re – and the guys who created the game, you’ve watched them coming to set and watch them be in awe of this. For this to have been in their brains for however many years, you feel very proud and privileged to be part of it.

N: Yeah, exactly. Especially because it had such a robust online community, all over the world.

DC: 60 million online at any one time sometimes.

N: Are you a gamer?

DC: No, like that? No. I had to – you should probably try to stop yourself from doing it, because you do find that your life is ebbing away, even with Need for Speed, I went back to play. I got involved in it again, because I hadn’t for so many years. And I could sit in front of that for just days.

N: [laughs] Yeah.

DC: It’s such good fun! So I have to just stop myself. I just can’t. I just can’t.

N: Yeah, it can be a real time sink.

DC: Not if I want to achieve anything in life.

N: I know Captain America: The Winter Soldier is coming up around the corner. I was very excited to hear that you would be back for that, because I really liked seeing you as Howard Stark. It’s important to see the hero’s past so you can understand them and how they came to be in the present. Can you tell us how big is your role?

DC: There’s a bit of confusion – we were filming a short film, and I think they were doing a little flashback scene, where you see the character.

N: Gotcha.

DC: We’re not very present, because we’re frozen. But we will be, but they mention a way in which they can possibly come back. And I’m terribly excited to imagine that there is a possibility. I think – I’d love it. I even given up opportunities to do that short film, it’s so much fun.

N: Awesome. That’s cool. I have one more question. What would be inside your ideal burrito?

DC: Inside my ideal burrito? Do I have to have a normal burrito?

N: It’s your ideal, man.

DC: I guess something very hot. What’s in there normally?

N: You might get some rice, some beans, some cheese, a protein.

DC: It’s a tough one. I don’t – some sort of – something that would be good. Kangaroo!

N: Kangaroo sounds tasty.

DC: It’s not tasty. It’s horrible.

N: It has the consistency of steak but the taste of chicken.

DC: Can’t you make something up? Something hot. A hot fish.

N: Seafood burrito? Nice. They’re tasty.

DC: A seafood burrito – very spicy.


Posted on 03/18/2014 by Hannah with 0 Comment(s) Filed under: Need For Speed, Press

We caught up with Need for Speed villain Dominic Cooper in the most un-villainous of places… the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown Hollywood.

Movie Fanatic found the UK actor eager to explore the dark side of playing a villain as he does in Need for Speed, and also the joy this lifelong car aficionado had getting behind the wheel and learning to drive at breathtaking speeds.

As our Need for Speed review stated, this is one fun ride and it seems no one had more joy making it than Cooper!

Movie Fanatic: I bet when you got into acting you never thought you’d get to go to driving school. What was it like?

Dominic Cooper: That was a joke! I got called up, told I’m going to LA and that I’m going to go to one of the most amazing racing tracks outside of LA and go and take a Mustang around a track and learn to how to handle the car safely and properly. I grew up loving cars. I grew up imagining doing what I was doing there on that track. I was a dream — to be behind the wheel learning it, so it would look like I was doing it on film, I cannot not do this.


Posted on 03/18/2014 by Hannah with 0 Comment(s) Filed under: Need For Speed, Press

When you’re watching an edge of your seat, racing film like “Need For Speed,” your first impression of the film is molded by the hero. What truly motivates the hero isn’t anything that he did, but what the villain did in order to crush him. It’s easy to figure out who the antagonist is – just look at his all-black wardrobe – but actor Dominic Cooper’s slick interpretation of the character is the kind of villain that’s fun to hate.

Dominic Cooper didn’t just climb onboard “Need For Speed” because of the character, but a number of other reasons that includes getting behind the wheel of some fantastic sports cars. I recently got the chance to speak with Dominic Cooper about learning how to speed down the freeway in the attractive cars, working with the director and the latest on “Warcraft.”

I heard about the training process, and you’re with the best people and you’re driving these sweet, sweet cars.

Dominic Cooper: The training was really fun, but it became kind of apparent rather quickly that there’s no way they’re going to let a bunch of actors drive at those speeds, racing really. They worked out ways to shoot us so we looked… and it was just scary, actually driving, and some of the scenes we are driving, but a lot of the big races were being driven by a mad ex-stunt man/racing driver from a cage above your head going at those speeds, which is quite possibly one of the most terrifying things that I had to do. But getting to actually drive that mustang around the race track, there’s nothing quite as fun. I loved every bit of it.

Read the rest of the interview here

Posted on 03/16/2014 by Hannah with 0 Comment(s) Filed under: Need For Speed, Press

Was it fun playing the villain in Need For Speed?

When you have baddies in these type of movies, you don’t just want them as a way to highlight the good side of the hero – our director knew who these guys were. The character is an ex-NASCAR driver and he’d go to any lengths to succeed.

Is the plan to start a rival franchise to The Fast And The Furious?
I’m not sure what the plan is but those films have been extraordinarily successful. I spoke at length with [director] Scott Waugh and learned about his background in stunts and his father’s connection to the stunt world – he worked on Bullitt. He wanted to make this a film in which the racing was believable. It was about being exhilarating but without any CGI or effects. That’s why this is very different from those other films. We’re not the kind of actors you’d expect to be in something like this and it isn’t explosions all the time. I loved his connection to the crew and the stunt people. There was this silence and concentration between the takes where these guys did those incredible stunts – it was extremely dangerous for them and could only have been achieved with a director who really understood it.

Read the rest of the interview here

Posted on 03/14/2014 by Hannah with 0 Comment(s) Filed under: Need For Speed, Press

Dominic Cooper (Captain America) had experience driving fast cars but still wasn’t completely prepared for slipping behind the wheel for DreamWorks Pictures’ Need for Speed. In the action movie based on the addictive video game series, Cooper plays Dino, the villain of the film whose narcissistic, overly competitive nature results in a tragic accident. Because of his family’s connections and wealth, he’s able to avoid being connected to the accident, setting up a showdown with Tobey (Aaron Paul), a decent, hard-working race car driver.

Cooper’s character is reckless in the driver’s seat, but in real life Cooper has a tremendous amount of respect for fast cars and for the stunt men who made the cast look authentic behind the wheel. And in our exclusive interview in support of the film’s March 14, 2014 theatrical release, Cooper talked about learning specific skills that would help him portray a race car driver as well as playing a guy who can best be described as despicable.

Read the interview here

Posted on 03/14/2014 by Hannah with 0 Comment(s) Filed under: Need For Speed, Press

In theaters today as Dino Brewster, the chief antagonist of director Scott Waugh’s Need for Speed, Dominic Cooper is rapidly proving his acting talents with a diverse range of roles that have already stretched from his incredible dual performance in The Devil’s Double to his potentially ongoing role as Howard Stark in Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe.

In the below interview with, Cooper discusses finding the humanity of Dino, driving fast cars and his British perspective on a film rooted in Americana. He also offers a brief update on his future in the MCU and teases that his upcoming role in Duncan Jones’ Warcraft may not be a character destined for more than one franchise film.

Read the interview here

Posted on 03/14/2014 by Hannah with 0 Comment(s) Filed under: Need For Speed, Press

Based on the hugely popular video game series, Need for Speed chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey that begins as a mission for revenge, but ultimately proves to be one of redemption. When Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is framed for the death of a friend, his focus on vengeance leads him to want to tear down his enemies, at any cost. From director Scott Waugh, who pulled off some incredible practical car stunts and race scenes, the film also stars Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Ramon Rodriguez, Rami Malek, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, Dakota Johnson and Michael Keaton.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, actor Dominic Cooper (who plays the wealthy and pompous Dino Brewster) talked about what made him want to sign on for the film, the excitement of living out a childhood dream by getting to drive fast cars, how he could never personally own a car as expensive as the ones in the film, and the stunts that were scariest for him. He also talked about the crazy but fun experience he had on the mini-series Fleming, playing both the leading man and the villain, at this stage of his career, what drew him to director Duncan Jones‘ Warcraft, and how accurate and responsible they’re being with the world from the game.

Read the interview here

Posted on 03/14/2014 by Hannah with 0 Comment(s) Filed under: Fleming, Need For Speed, Press, Warcraft

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