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Ludivine Sagnier

Dominic Cooper Biography


Home > Actors > C > Cooper, Dominic > Biography


Birth Name: Dominic Cooper
Born: 06/02/1978
Birth Place: London, England, GB


Born on June 2, 1978, Cooper grew up in the East London borough of Greenwich. He began acting while he was a student at the Thomas Tallis School, where his valuable addition to drama productions like "Cabaret" offset a lackluster academic performance. He went on to train with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and began landing stage work relatively soon after graduating in 2000. Cooper jumped right into the bawdy role of a male prostitute in "Mother Clap's Molly House," a Nicholas Hytner-directed production which had runs at the Lyttleton and Royal National Theaters. He then had the opportunity to make his onscreen debut in a small role in "Band of Brothers" (HBO, 2001), HBO's Emmy Award-winning WWII miniseries filmed in England. Following a run as Puck in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in 2002, Cooper spent the next several years in a Royal National Theatre production of "His Dark Materials," playing a 12-year-old in director Hytner's adaptation of the popular children's book.

Cooper teamed with Hytner a third time, creating the role of Dakin in Alan Bennett's "The History Boys." The play followed a group of North London schoolboys - including Cooper's cocky, self-assured Dakin - as they prepare to take college entrance exams amid classroom anarchy and staff rivalry. It was a rousing success that carried Cooper from the Royal National Theater to stages in Hong Kong, Sydney, New Zealand and New York, where the play won Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Director, and Cooper took home a Drama Desk Award for his performance. The play went on to become one of the rare examples of a stage to film adaptation (2006) that utilized the original cast and director, which resulted in the stage actor suddenly finding himself in front of a worldwide audience. The British Film Critics Circle nominated Cooper for a Supporting Actor Award, while the British Independent Film Awards nominated him as Most Promising Newcomer.

After finally retiring his school uniform, Cooper landed a supporting role in the well-received British comedy, "Starter for Ten" (2007), playing the college student friend of an aspiring quiz show contestant. He went on to appear on American public television in two BBC productions; playing Byronic John Willoughby in Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" (PBS, 2008), and a leading role in "God on Trial" (PBS, 2008), set in a Nazi concentration camp. Cooper's performance as a newly incarcerated inmate involved in an ambitious prison break plan in "The Escapist" (2008) was seen at the Sundance Festival in 2008. That same year, he enjoyed a different kind of role in a genre he was not as accustomed to - that of big screen musical in one of the favorite films of the summer, "Mamma Mia" (2009). Based on the campy stage show inspired by the songs of 1970s Swedish pop icons, ABBA, the movie was a huge hit, especially stateside. In his final film release of that year, Cooper starred alongside Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes in the 18th century costume drama, "The Duchess" (2008).

Back on the independent film circuit, Cooper was seen in a supporting role in "An Education" (2009), a Nick Hornby-scripted drama about a young woman (Carey Mulligan) facing a crossroads in 1960s London. He also appeared in the ensemble cast of "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" (2009), a Sundance-screened dramedy based on the writings of mourned novelist David Foster Wallace. Cooper returned to the London stage the same year, starring opposite Helen Mirren at the National Theater in Jean Racine's 17th century tragedy, "Phedre."