Scott Cooper (director)

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Scott Cooper
Scott Cooper at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards.jpg
Cooper at the 25th Independent Spirit Awards
in March 2010
Born (1970-04-20) April 20, 1970 (age 45)
Abingdon, Virginia, United States
Alma mater Hampden–Sydney College
Occupation Actor, screenwriter, director, producer
Years active 1998–present
Spouse(s) Jocelyne Cooper
Children 2

Scott Cooper (born April 20, 1970) is an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He is known for writing, directing and producing the 2009 film Crazy Heart starring Jeff Bridges. The film, released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, has received a number of accolades, including awards presented by the Chicago Film Critics Association, the Independent Spirit Awards and by the Writers Guild of America. He received his first film credits as an actor in projects like Gods and Generals and the TV miniseries Broken Trail.

Personal life[edit]

Cooper was born in Abingdon, Virginia.[1] He is a 1988 graduate of Abingdon High School. Cooper trained as an actor at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City, N.Y. He received both his undergraduate degree in 1992 and his Doctor of Humane Letters in 2014 from Hampden–Sydney College in Hampden Sydney, Virginia.[2] Cooper is married and lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jocelyne Cooper. He has two daughters, Ava Cooper and Stella Cooper.[3]


At one point, Barry Levinson was set to direct a film based on Whitey Bulger, the Boston crime boss.[4] In January 2014, Cooper became attached to re-write and direct the film, Black Mass, which was released in 2015.[5] The film, script by Jim Sheridan, Jez Butterworth, and Russell Gewirtz, was based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, and was described as the "true story of Billy Bulger, Whitey Bulger, FBI agent John Connolly and the FBI's witness protection program that was created by J. Edgar Hoover."[6]


Cooper's influences come from life experiences of growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and stories of the human condition. Besides the music of Ralph Stanley and Bill Monroe, Cooper has been influenced by singer-songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Merle Haggard, and R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe.

Thomas Wolfe and William Faulkner, who Cooper says taught his father as a student at the University of Virginia, are literary influences.[7][8]

Films that have influenced Cooper include: Robert Altman's Nashville, Terence Malick's Badlands, John Huston's Fat City and Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show.[8]

Cooper's principal film-making mentor has been veteran actor, producer and director, Robert Duvall. He and Duvall met on the set of Gods and Generals and struck up a friendship. Cooper was married on Duvall's 300-acre (1.2 km2) Virginia estate.[9] The two appeared together in Broken Trail and Duvall produced and appeared in Cooper's film Crazy Heart.

Filmography and career[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Producer
2009 Crazy Heart Yes Yes Yes
2009 For Sale by Owner Yes Yes
2013 Out of the Furnace Yes Yes
2015 Black Mass Yes Yes


Year Film Role
1998 Dry Martini Robert
1999 Perfect Fit Guy in bar
1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Klansman's Son – Bobby
1999 The X-Files Max Harden (TV, 1 episode), also known as Rush
2000 Takedown Jake Cronin (also known as Hackers 2: Takedown and Track Down (DVD))
2001 Bill's Gun Shop Dillion McCarthy
2001 Rain Pvt. Holland
2001 The District Michael Barrett (TV, 1 episode, 2001) (also known as "Lost and Found")
2003 Gods and Generals Lt. Joseph Morrison
2003 Save It for Later Jake O'Connor (also known as Water Under the Bridge)
2003 Attitude Rails
2006 Broken Trail Gilpin (TV mini-series)
2009 For Sale by Owner Will Custis
2009 Get Low Carl

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ Cooper has mentioned this in interviews, including the Roanoke Times, Feb. 5, 2010. See the full article
  2. ^ "Scott Cooper '92 Awarded Honorary Degree". 
  3. ^ Roanoke Times, February 5, 2010
  4. ^ Rottenberg, Josh (February 22, 2013). "Hollywood Insider: What's Going on Behind the Scenes: Boston's Bulger is Now Hollywood's It Gangster". Entertainment Weekly (New York: Time Inc.): 27. 
  5. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (14 January 2014). "‘Out Of The Furnace’ Helmer Scott Cooper In Talks For ‘Black Mass;’ Johnny Depp Talks To Play Whitey Bulger Reignite". Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Cappadona, Bryanna (June 20, 2013). "Who Should Play Whitey Bulger in Black Mass?". Boston. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ Variety, Jan. 20, 2010
  8. ^ a b L.A. Times, Dec. 22, 2009
  9. ^ Interview

External links[edit]