Dominic Cooper Video Interview On 'Tamara Drewe,' Gemma Arterton
He was the object of Amanda Seyfried's affection in Mamma Mia! Now, Dominic Cooper plays a bad boy rocker in the hilarious Tamara Drewe.
- Q: Hi Dominic. This is Natt from Syracuse, NY. Working with Stephen Frears, who directed 'The Queen,' did he give you a strong direction or did he let you craft the character yourself? - Natthakan Garunrangseewong
- A: Absolutely he never said a thing. Occasionally he whispered some incoherent nonsense into my ears, which made sense somehow. He's a brilliant director; he's completely inspiring to work with, and he doesn't actually waste any time. Most of what he shot is in the film. There's no extra. He doesn't do loads and loads of coverage. He allows you to be very playful and just to go as far as you like with the character, which is very important in a film like this, especially if you're taking risks comedically and being a bit over the top or kind of creating almost caricatures. He'd always rein it in or, as I said, whisper incoherent nonsense into my ear, which eventually turned into a different performance. He's brilliant.
- Q: Working with a character based off a graphic novel, did you refer to the source material a lot? - Natthakan Garunrangseewong
- A: I didn't, because I just took it--you know, it was wonderful to have it; it was wonderful to see it, but I wanted my character to be very different from the one which I saw in the graphic novel. Although it was great to understand what the purpose of the character was and where he stood amongst everyone else and the route he took and what sort of made him take over. But I wanted to make him something much more colorful, much more of a frontman of a band rather than a drummer. You know, he needed to be kind of -- to visually look very different, like a rock 'n' roll star with the hair and the eye makeup and the sort of distinctive silhouette. I wanted it to be very different from what I saw on the page. Drummers, essentially, are the guys behind the drum kit who you don't ever really recognize. I'm sure a drummer from your favorite band could walk past you in the street and you'd never recognize him. But I think I needed--or, I wanted this to be much more colorful character than that.
- Q: Hi Dominic, this is Elena from Binghamton, N.Y. Your character in 'Tamara Drewe' is the ultimate bad boy, and I was just wondering if you empathized with your character at all. - Elena Cox
- A: There's always something you have to find in a character that you play like this that you like, and actually on paper I found him despisable and so arrogant and egotistical and full of himself. I kind of -- I hated him. But I think his stupidity is what gives him charm. He's a very simple guy that likes his music, his dog and his car, and perhaps a girlfriend if he can hold onto her for longer than a week. So, yeah, he has a great life. You know, he's a famous rock star. He plays live gigs and writes music. He has a great time.
- Q: You also play a drummer. I was wondering if you had ever played the drums before you took the role. - Elena Cox
- A: I didn't really know how to play them, but I've always -- in the appalling bands that I was in growing up -- I would have a go on them occasionally. But I got some lessons and loved it, to my neighbors' despair, because I was asked to leave the building by the local authorities on several occasions, playing into the late night. But I love it. I think it's really -- I realized how incredibly important the drummer is in a band; that just holds absolutely everything together, and how exhilarating it is to play them on a live stage in front of an audience. Because all the music I did with my brother, who wrote all the tunes for the band. So we got to perform together; it was great.
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