Emrhys Cooper is doing things most actors would love to do. His new film Kushuthara is making waves. One, it is filmed in the Himalayas, which is highly restricted for foreigners. Why is that important? Because Emrhys Cooper is the first western actor to star in a Bhutanese film. We got the chance to talk to Cooper about this groundbreaking role and incredible film. See what he was able to tell us.
KRISTIN: You have a great career so far. What made you get into acting?
You and your very loyal readers must know the expression, “The apple does not fall far from the tree.” I started out a very young apple. My wonderful parents in my small home town of Totnes, England were the solid, experienced tree. They were both active in performing arts, both as actors and teachers in the only drama school for children in that village.
If anyone can believe it, I was doing local plays at age 6. I unambiguously believe that other aspiring actors and actresses start early, as well. This is an entirely useful story for parents, who sometimes are unfairly criticized for setting lofty goals for their children at an early age. When a child actor acts well, they react to situations spontaneously. There’s scant history, after all, to fall back upon.
KRISTIN: You are the first Western actor to star in a Bhutanese film for your project Kushuthara. Does this put a lot of pressure on you to be the best you can possibly be?
That’s an insightful question. You are 100% correct. To be, as it were, the first UK actor “import” in Bhutan makes one feel like a representative of Western culture and society in its entirety. The pressure in other words was enormous. What if I did a poor job? What if utter failure came about? Would Bhutan cut off its ties to the West? That’s utter nonsense of course but to your point, one must be absolutely one’s best to avoid any misunderstandings or misperceptions.
KRISTIN: Tell us about this role?
I play Charlie, an unguarded Journalist/photographer charged with a Bhutan news assignment. In the very beginning, he picks up a ball of weaving thread accidentally left rolling down a mountainside hill. He looks up to see the yarn’s owner. She’s a beautiful Bhutanese weaver. Their eyes lock, although she and he obviously are from different worlds. Only with great pain do they separate and even more painfully, we learn the female weaver is married. This is forbidden love. That’s how the story begins.
KRISTIN: You worked with some incredible people on this film. What was it like for you to kind of immersed in this other culture and having this vision of this film come to life?
The actors may not yet be well known outside Bhutan but hopefully this film will change that. I had a very good connection with my lead actress Kezang Wangmo, and Jamyang Wangchuck (Seven Years in Tibet) was a delight to work with. The other leads, Karma Chedon and Bumpa Dorji, were also incredible. Their warmth and good spirits spread a sense of love throughout the film’s narrative. The culture of Bhutan is too vast to encapsulate right now, but once you see an actual sample of that intricate, beautiful tapestry called a “Kushuthara” you’ll see that this is an ancient and rich civilization.
The vision of the film come to life was represented, in fact, by witnessing for myself an actual “Kushuthara” woven from several threads into an entire robe. It is deserving of any Prince. It is worthy of any Princess.
KRISTIN: Why are viewers going to watch this film? What is going to catch their attention?
This is a love story. Simple enough, you would think. There are many love stories and numerous movies about love. But few are from the perspective of Karma. When we do fall in love do not feelings stir inside of, crying out “This is what I was born for! This is what I live for!”
But why? Why do we want to fall in love? This is the question whose answer we seek every day. This will show everyone a pathway to love based on Karma not as mere repetition, but as destiny.
KRISTIN: When and where will we be able to see this film?
This is now available world-wide via iTunes & Amazon’s Video-on-Demand service. It currently showing in selected theaters in the USA & UK.
KRISTIN: Now that this project is launching, what are you working on now?
My next movie out will be “Nosferatu,” a re-make of the classic vampire horror/love story which was an unauthorized adaption of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I play Thomas Hutter, who was the love interest of Ellen and the bloodlust interest of Count Orlok (Dracula).
After that I will appear as Montgomery Clift in the drama “Frank and Ava,” which reveals the explosive, long relationship between Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, and who eventually married.
KRISTIN: Where can we keep up with your work online? Twitter/Instagram/Facebook?
Check out Emrhys Cooper online at his above listed social media sites. Also make sure to check out Emrhys Cooper in his film Kushuthara to see groundbreaking art at its finest. We are looking forward to seeing what other greatness Cooper can bring to the big screen in the near future.