Exclusive: Interview with writer/director Alex Cooper

Alex Cooper B&W headshotForeword by Adam Brannon. If you’ve ever wondered what it would take to get in to the film industry, whether that be acting, directing or even writing your own screenplays, then this is the interview you should read.

In this cutthroat industry, it’s increasingly difficult to get on that bottom rung of the Hollywood ladder.

I spoke to actor and director Alex Cooper about his career in the industry and he shared some top tips on how to breakthrough and get involved in the art of film-making. Read on for the full interview.

1. What made you decide to get into film-making and acting? 

It is something that I had always wondered about, dreamed about, ever since I was taken to the cinema by my parents as a child.  I saw some great films, and often asked myself, can I make my own film?

I acted in some plays at school.  It wasn’t until many many years later that I did a bit of study of Dov Simens 2 day film school and found a suitable script that I realized that this is something I can achieve for myself.  I had done some SA/extra work on large productions and had a hankering to do real acting but I wasn’t getting cast in proper acting roles.  I wanted to create and act in my own project and see it through from start to finish.

2. What has been the highlight of your career so far? 

I would say the highlight of my career so far has been completing Parallel and releasing it to a paying audience.  I consider completing a film is a great achievement in itself, something many people want to do and never do, and that is something I am very proud of.

Parallel by Alex Cooper

© Alex Cooper

3. Tell us more about Parallel. What can audiences expect?

Parallel is a high concept indie thriller in which a couple’s whirlwind romance is threatened when they meet a mysterious medium with a unique ability. Expect thrilling, lustful and erotic psychological drama with a distinctly new approach and a killer twist. A sort of Hellraiser minus the coenobites and hell itself.

4. What was it like working on the set of Assassin’s Creed? 

As usual, there was a lot of waiting around for the filming to take place.  The filming was outside in the evening time, so it was nice that we had a holding place inside with hot drinks and food.  I didn’t see any stars or talk with any crew.  This particular shoot for me was actually pretty dull.

5. Do you have any memorable stories from your career so far? 

I remember on the set of The Infiltrator, Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad was explaining how to act convincingly that one is being strangled by someone, by holding their hands and controlling how hard they strangle you.  That was a good tip. I am confident that I can do it too, and it looks very convincing.

6. Which has been your favourite film to work on? 

That would possibly be The Imitation Game, where I briefly met the director Morten Tyldum who I greatly respect having seen his thriller Headhunters which had a very memorable scene where the protagonist hides in sewage in a toilet.  Very original and edge of seat stuff.  Audiences loved it.  I watched Imitation and think it looks great.

Brian from Parallel by Alex Cooper

7. One we ask everyone, what’s your favourite film? 

Very tough to choose as there are many great films, and many I have never seen.  But I will go with Rocky, the great underdog story that I watched countless times along with the sequels.  Often preposterous, but great fun.  Rocky had a million to one shot, and I can relate to that idea, since starting out producing films can feel like all the odds of ever succeeding are against you.  But those who are willing to go the distance are the ones who will make it work.

8. What’s your favourite cinema snack?

Oh that would have been salty popcorn, it’s what I would always choose as a boy.  For sweets it was Maltesers.

9. If you could work on any franchise, what would it be? 

I’m realistic and I would be more likely to win the lottery but that would be Bond. Dapper clothes, beautiful ladies, sports cars, luxury watches, I mean, what’s not to like?  I met Sir Roger Moore briefly online at Twitter and I think he must have had the best time making those films.

10. Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline? 

My directorial debut Sandow is in post production now.  I hope that it will be ready by the end of the year.  It’s totally different to Parallel.  It’s a sports drama inspired by early bodybuilders which in a way is a homage to films I enjoyed growing up such as Rocky and Chariots of Fire.

11. What advice could you give to young people who are wanting to break into the film industry? 

I would say that you have to be very persistent to succeed in this industry.  If no one will give you a chance, you’re going to have to create your own opportunities.  Find a great script, or write one yourself.  Beg borrow or steal what you need to make a film.  Act in your own films.  Direct your own films.  Believe it’s possible and don’t give up.

I’d like to thank Alex for taking the time out of his busy schedule to take part in this interview. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing him the very best success with his career and upcoming projects. Check out more interviews on Movie Metropolis.

If you have a story to share, why not get in touch: adamjebrannon@hotmail.co.uk

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