BWW Interviews: 2012 BWW Award Winner Emrhys Cooper Releases Hit Single
Actor/singer/dancer Emrhys Cooper, winner of the 2012 BWW Award for Actor to Watch in 2013, has certainly made his mark on the entertainment world. After much TV and film work, the British born performer shifts to singing with his first single "Hypnotized" to be released Tuesday August 20. In our chat he discusses the career move. He also gives us a heads up on his recent trip to Bhutan, the film he made there, as well as other career breakthroughs.
Fill me in briefly on what's been going on for you in film, TV and dance/music since you won the BWW award in January of 2013.
Well it's definitely been a very exciting, incredible journey, with lots of twists and turns I had never anticipated. After Entertaining Mr. Sloane I managed to book some great TV spots. I played Richard in the last season of Desperate Housewives (ABC), and a sharp tongued publicist on Touch (FOX) and most recently I shot a very funny new cable show From Here! On OUT - playing a rather naughty Scottish character named Haggis. I was also very lucky to work on a couple of great indie movies Birthday Cake and Blood Rush. The biggest event since winning the BWW was booking the starring role in the Bhutanese Film Kushutara - Pattern of Love.
Having danced my whole life, I am delighted that I've been given more opportunities as a choreographer and director, and I've been working on several dance videos that tell a positive message through dance. I've really enjoyed the behind the scenes creative process of making a positive difference.
OK... "Hypnotized"... how did this singing thing all get started? Where do you hope it will take you?
It was a chance meeting on the set of a movie I was working on called I want to get married. I met a fantastic song writer named Elaine Macaluso. She had a terrific energy and we clicked from the get go. Elaine heard me sing karaoke one evening at my house and afterwards she told me she wanted to write with me. I wasn't sure I wanted to move in that direction as I wanted to give my all to acting, but after thinking about it for about 6 months I thought... why not? Elaine and I wrote a song for the soundtrack for a horror movie I was shooting at the time and that's how "Hypnotized" was born. Elaine introduced me to a a very talented singer songwriter at the time named Benj Heard - he also wrote and produced "Hypnotized" with us.
I didn't anticipate any of this happening, so I am feeling overwhelmed and delighted at the amount of support and buzz "Hypnotized" is getting. The video is going viral and lots of radio stations have picked up the track on their playlists; it has also just entered the European dance charts - so watch the space! I love performing live and creating new music. I really hope to start doing more live shows and gearing up for my first EP through my record label Inspire U Records.
Tell me briefly about your wonderful experiences in Bhutan.
A few years ago a dear friend Peter Alan Roberts told me he was working on a film for Bhutan as he was the Tibetan translator for the King of Bhutan. I saw photos of the country and was blown away by how unspoiled it was. He mentioned there maybe an opportunity for me to play the lead in the film. Then in mid December 2012 I was contacted by the director Karma Deki to see if I wanted to shoot the lead in the feature film Kushutara - Pattern of Love. The film started shooting on the 1st of Janurary 2013 so I didn't have very long to make a decision. I new I had to do it even though I would be missing some of pilot season.
Going over to film in the remote kingdom of Bhutan was a life changing experience for me, one I will always treasure. I have never been treated so warmly and with such respect. The culture and people blew me away. I had a lot of time to think out there, as I had no phone or internet. The people of Bhutan are voted the happiest on earth and I now know why, they are content with what they've got and not always seeking the never ending rat race that our Western society has built into us. I was the first Western actor to star in a Bhutanse film and that feeling makes me proud - I pushed my self out of my comfort zone as an actor and person. I am really excited for the world to see this film, as hopefully they will discover Bhutan, the country I fell in love with.
Don hails from Holyoke, Massachusetts and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Education and Bilingual Studies. Don is a teacher of foreign language and ESL.
Don is a member of the prestigious Road Theatre Company in NoHo and is in his fifth year with BWW, currently serving as Senior Editor of the Los Angeles Page.
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