Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   November 10, 2020

SQUAREMILEOlivia Cooke has established herself as a star of film and TV on both sides of the Atlantic – and she’s still only 26. With two new films out this winter, the Oldham actress sits down with Max Williams to talk politics, lockdown and hangovers

Olivia Cooke in the laundry when Steven Spielberg called. An actual launderette – she was living in New York City at the time, 21 years old, starring in the TV series Bates Motel. And her phone went off and the most famous director in the world – history? – was on the other end.

‘Hi Olivia, Steven here…’

“It’s just mad,” recalls Cooke. “You’re just doing the most normal stuff and then you get a call that could potentially change your life. It’s never the environment that you imagine it to be in. It’s so exciting and so surprising, but also quite mundane as well.”

Spielberg was calling to tell Cooke that she had landed a lead role in his giddy love letter to 1980s’ pop culture Ready Player One, a CGI extravaganza that would gross nearly $600m worldwide. The film came out in 2018, the same year Cooke won plaudits for her Becky Sharp in ITV’s much-ballyhooed adaptation of Vanity Fair. Roll out the red carpet? Not quite.

“My life didn’t really change,” says Cooke, cheerfully. “It helped me get other jobs and things but it was quite humbling in a way as well. You’re still out there, you’re still auditioning for things. Your life doesn’t suddenly change because you’ve been in a Steven Spielberg movie. You’ve still gotta prove yourself. To teach me that at a young age was probably quite good.”

She’s been proving herself ever since she caught the acting bug after school at Oldham Theatre Workshop north east of Manchester.

She later dropped out of sixth form to play Christopher Eccleston’s daughter in the 2012 drama Blackout, landed the Bates Motel role a year later, and has racked up a string of critically acclaimed films including Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015), The Limehouse Golem (2016), and Thoroughbreds (2017), Oh, and that one with Steven what’s-his-face. Put colloquially, she’s been smashing it from day dot. Aged 26, there’s plenty of smashing still to come.

Short term, Cooke has two films out in consecutive months: October’s comic-thriller Pixie followed by December’s Sound of Metal. The former sees Cooke’s titular protagonist pursued by gun-toting priests across the Irish countryside; she describes it as “a fun bit of escapism. It’s a bit of a ride”, and if you haven’t yearned for some escapism these past months then congratulations on your new home on the moon.

Sound of Metal is a darker affair. Cooke plays Lou, the partner of Riz Ahmed’s tormented heavy metal drummer, a former drug addict in the process of losing his hearing. (Fewer gun-toting priests in this one, an omission generally to the detriment of any narrative but Sound of Metal pulls it off.) Both fantastic for different reasons, the two films serve as a perfect one-two demonstration of Cooke’s versatility and ever-increasing star wattage.

And make no mistake, Olivia Cooke is a star, although she certainly wouldn’t consider herself one. “I know my career’s successful and stuff, but I don’t hang around in those circles,” she says at one point. ‘Those circles’ being the glossy haired, gleaming toothed denizens of the Hollywood Hills. “I very much live in reality. Apart from my job, my life is very normal.” Read More

Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   November 10, 2020

In the latest issue of Heroine Magazine (Issue #13 with Dakota Fanning on the cover) : “Olivia Cooke has swerved conventional pathways for lived experience, portraying almost a decade’s worth of characters by the age of 26, whether lusting after Norman Bates as wide-eyed Emma Decody in Bates Motel, or gallivanting through a virtual universe in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. For this issue she is in conversation with friend and fellow actor Paapa Esidou (who joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2012 and received rave reviews for 2020’s BBC series I May Destroy You).”

Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   November 10, 2020

1 portrait of Olivia for The Glass Magazine has been added to the gallery ❤

Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   October 03, 2020

6 HQ stills from PIXIE have been added to the gallery.

Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   September 24, 2020

VARIETYIFC Films has nabbed Chad Hartigan’s “Little Fish,” a love story set in a post-pandemic world that will have an eerie resonance when viewed in light of the coronavirus crisis.

The deal is for North American rights. IFC, which has remained active during COVID-19, releasing films such as “The Nest” and “The Trip to Greece,” will debut the picture on Feb. 5, 2021. “Little Fish” stars Olivia Cooke (“Ready Player One”), Jack O’Connell (“Unbroken”), Raúl Castillo (HBO’s “Looking”), and French singer-songwriter Soko. “Little Fish” boasts a screenplay by Mattson Tomlin based on a short story by Aja Gabel.

According to the official log line, “Little Fish” unfolds in a world where a pandemic has broken out. The disease causes its victims to lose their memories. Newlyweds Emma (Cooke) and Jude (O’Connell) have to grapple with this painful new reality. After Jude contracts the disease, the young couple struggles to hold onto the memory of their romance.

“Chad Hartigan’s prescient and deeply felt love story blew us away on every level,” said Arianna Bocco, EVP of acquisitions and productions at IFC Films. “The stellar performances and gorgeous cinematography complement Chad’s unique and beautiful vision. This is the love story for this moment – bring tissues.”

Hartigan is best known for directing “This is Martin Bonner,” which won Best of NEXT Audience Award as well as the John Cassavetes Award at the Film independent Spirit Awards. He also directed “Morris From America,” which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. “Little Fish” was expected to debut at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. However, the annual film gathering was upended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, Hartigan said he was happy to land at an indie distributor like IFC, citing the company’s penchant for backing unconventional films.

“’From ‘Me and You and Everyone We Know’ to ‘Hunger,’ IFC has released countless films that have inspired and shaped me over the years and as the challenges of 2020 have proven again, they remain one of the most adept and adaptable distribution companies in the business,” he said. “I can think of no better partner to bring this pandemic love story to audiences.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Bocco for IFC with CAA Media Finance representing the filmmakers. Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films has rights to the film outside of the U.S.