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'Unverified' star Cooper van Grootel on comedy chops and commercials
Australian Cooper van Grootel is a star across all genres, but is becoming a favourite amongst comedic filmmakers.

Australian heartthrob Cooper van Grootel might be known as the bad boy in serious dramas like Acorn TV's Mystery Road (co-starring Oscar-nominee Judy Davis), acclaimed feature film Jasper Jones, and films like Red Dirt. However, anyone that is familiar with this actor's filmography can also see that he has an exceptionally strong sense of comedy and has proven that he has the chops to make just about any audience laugh.

Indeed, one of Copper's earlier earliest screen credits was the 2013 comedy Turkish Delight in which he played the key role of Jack in a story about Australian teens dealing with life after high-school. Cooper delivered a magnetism and screen-presence that blended effortlessly with his spontaneity as an actor and fresh improvisational skills. The result was an impactful and captivating performance.

Cooper found himself sharing screen-time with some fellow Australian comedy stars in Turkish Delight, as he spent much time on set with Nicholas Coombe - star of Syfy's The Magicians, the ABC comedy, Imaginary Mary and Midnight Sun with Patrick Schwarzenegger. Cooper also starred opposite Ethan Panizza, himself known for major appearances in the miniseries The War that Changed Us and the BBC's The Doctor Blake Mysteries. Being a part of a starry ensemble however is not a foreign concept to Cooper, who continues to build a track record of acting alongside only the best in the business.

Writer and director of Turkish Delight, Mimi Helm, also known for her work onthe Netflix science fiction film, OtherLife, was incredibly complimentary when asked about her opinion of Cooper. She heaped praise on the young star, who has been likened to other Australian stars like Emmy-winner Ben Mendelsohn (Netflix's BloodlineRogue One: A Star Wars Story), Sam Worthington (Avatar), and Chris Hemsworth (Marvel Studios' Thor Avengers films).

"Cooper was such a delight to work with and I believe he is very talented," Mimi exclaimed. "He has a great presence on screen. I would love to cast Cooper in future projects."

Of course, Cooper's funny side was developed long before his film career debuted. One of his earliest acting experiences was on the stage for a production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which he portrayed the classic comedic role of the fairy, Bottom.

"I was…obnoxious," Cooper adds with a laugh. "It was a thrill to play Bottom."

While Cooper's description of his experience with Shakespeare might be brief, it goes to prove how he is an incredibly remarkable actor if he's already handling material from 'the Bard' at such a young age. There's no doubt Shakespeare can be intimidating, but when one throws comedic timing into the mix, it becomes a supreme challenge which only an actor like Cooper, with his incredibly fast instincts, can overcome.

Cooper also later appeared in the comedy series Chardonnay Life. In this role that was close-to-home but also a spin on his real-life self, he delivered a parody on the classic high school jock-character that all the teenage girls fawn over.

Creator of Chardonnay Life, Ben Andrews, was enthusiastic when asked about working with Cooper.

"Cooper Van Grootel is the kind of young actor you want on set. On the set of Chardonnay Life he listened well, responded with creative choices and was prepared to go out on a limb for the character, making bold choices while retaining the imagination and ability to incorporate re-direction…Cooper's talent is undeniable…[he has] a tireless work ethic, collaborative nature and commitment to character that distinguishes him" from the pack.

The relatability that Cooper's career in comedic screen performances has developed has earned him a reputation as someone with whom an audience can connect. While he clearly takes the work seriously, he doesn't take himself too seriously.

Shannon Berry, who's currently filming "The Wilds" for Amazon Studios, spoke to Cooper's exceptional talent and authentic personality.

"As soon as I saw Cooper work for the first time I knew he was going to grow into a talented and mature young actor. Cooper has the ability to not only give detailed and well researched performances, but he also possesses a raw natural ability to act that is breathtaking to watch in his characters and work."

Shannon did not stop there when asked about her surfer co-star.

"Cooper is not only a fine actor, but an incredible friend. His warm nature is an absolute delight to work alongside and the laughs are endless. His maturity to acting is well beyond his years and I've never met someone else so dedicated to learning everything they can about the craft they love. Cooper is going to continue to do incredible work and I'm so excited to watch him kick endless goals."

It was this vibe which undoubtedly led to Cooper's casting in multiple commercials for energy company Alinta, one of Western Australia's leading energy companies which enjoys over 800,000 customers around Australia – a sizeable chunk of the population of the land down under. Cooper was asked about his experience working for Alinta and the process of shooting a commercial in between his other film and TV gigs.

"Filming the Alinta commercials was challenging, demanding and hard work," Cooper stated. "Nonetheless, it was also a bunch of fun collaborating and working with some awesome industry professionals."

His next major role is the upcoming comedy feature Go Karts - a family film clearly about go kart racing -where he'll be co-starring with Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge!,Audience Network's Rake), and Golden Globe nominee Frances O'Connor (The MissingThe Conjuring 2). That film is directed by Owen Trevor - famously known for directing many episodes of the British automotive variety show Top Gear.

After that, Connor is looking forward to reprising his role of "Jackson" in the upcoming second season of Funny or Die's Unverified - starring Alex Cubis (Netflix's Dear White PeopleRake).

Cooper's role was incredibly important to the show, which received critical praise from The Daily Fandom, We Are Sensei and Film Ink. Jackson appeared in every episode and represented the Australian point of view in a series about a British writer trying to 'make it' in LA. Given the increasing internationalisation of the American film industry, it's no surprise that an Australian character like Cooper's was inextricable to the plot of the series. Sources advised us that his role will increase in prominence with the second season commissioned by Funny or Die.

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