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 47)
Abingdon, Virginia, U.S.
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 director, screenwriter, producer and actor. He is known for writing and directing Crazy Heart (2009), Out of the Furnace (2013), Black Mass (2015) and Hostiles (2017).

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. 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, and their two daughters, Ava and Stella.


Cooper spent a decade working as an actor in film and television.[3]

He made the switch to directing with 2009's Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film, released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, received widespread critical acclaim and a number of accolades, including the Academy Awards for Best Actor (Bridges) and Best Original Song.

Among Crazy Heart's fans were director Ridley Scott and producer Michael Costigan, as well as executives at Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way. Cooper was offered the opportunity to develop The Low Dweller, a spec script written by Brad Ingelsby that had DiCaprio and Scott attached, as actor and director respectively. Cooper rewrote the script, drawing on his experience of growing up in Appalachia and losing a sibling at a young age.[4]

Relativity Media put the film, now titled Out of the Furnace, into production in 2012, with Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson and Casey Affleck leading the ensemble cast. Cooper directed the film, and shared writing credit with Ingelsby. DiCaprio and Scott remained as producers.[5]

In January 2014, Cooper became attached to rewrite and direct Black Mass, a crime drama based the book of the same name by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, 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] Barry Levinson had previously been involved with the project.[7] Johnny Depp, who had been on and off the project for a number of years, came back on board to play the infamous Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger, alongside Joel Edgerton as Connolly and Benedict Cumberbatch as Billy Bulger.[8] The film was released in 2015.

Cooper wrote, directed and produced the 2017 western Hostiles, based on a decades old manuscript by the late screenwriter Donald E. Stewart.[9] The film reteamed Cooper with his Out of the Furnace star, Bale, alongside Rosamund Pike. It had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, with US distribution rights picked up by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures.[10]


Thomas Wolfe and William Faulkner are literary influences.[11][3]

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.[3] His 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.[12] 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
For Sale by Owner Yes Yes
2013 Out of the Furnace Yes Yes
2015 Black Mass Yes Yes
2017 Hostiles Yes 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), in the seventh season episode 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. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Scott Cooper '92 Awarded Honorary Degree". 
  3. ^ a b c Profile,; accessed October 5, 2016.
  4. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (2013-11-20). "Fleming Q&As 'Out Of The Furnace' Helmer Scott Cooper". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-12. 
  5. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (2012-03-06). "Casey Affleck Frontrunner to Join Revenge Thriller 'Out Of The Furnace'". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-12. 
  6. ^ Cappadona, Bryanna (June 20, 2013). "Who Should Play Whitey Bulger in Black Mass?". Boston. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (2014-01-14). "'Out Of The Furnace' Helmer Scott Cooper In Talks For 'Black Mass;' Johnny Depp Talks To Play Whitey Bulger Reignite". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-12. 
  9. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (2018-01-04). "'Hostiles' Scott Cooper On Directing Christian Bale, And The Strange James Earl Ray Tie Behind His MLK Film". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-11. 
  10. ^ McNary, Dave (2017-10-03). "Christian Bale's 'Hostiles' Acquired by Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios". Variety. Retrieved 2018-01-11. 
  11. ^ Anthony Kaufman (2010-01-20). "Variety, Jan. 20, 2010". Retrieved 2016-10-05. 
  12. ^ "INTERVIEW: Scott Cooper and Robert Duvall". Retrieved 2016-10-05. 

External links[edit]