Scott Cooper (director)

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Scott Cooper
Scott Cooper at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards.jpg
Born (1970-04-20) April 20, 1970 (age 52)
Alma materHampden–Sydney College
Occupation(s)Actor, screenwriter, director, producer
Years active1998–present
SpouseJocelyne Cooper
RelativesTodd Cooper (brother)

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).

Early 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.[2] He received both his undergraduate degree in 1992 and his Doctor of Humane Letters in 2014 from Hampden–Sydney College in Hampden Sydney, Virginia.[3]


Cooper spent a decade working as an actor in film and television.[4]

He made the switch to directing with 2009's Crazy Heart,[5] starring Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal.[6] 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.[7] Cooper rewrote the script, drawing on his experience of growing up in Appalachia and losing a sibling at a young age.[8]

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.[9]

In January 2014, Cooper became attached to rewrite and direct Black Mass,[10] a crime drama based the book of the same name by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill,[11] 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."[12] Barry Levinson had previously been involved with the project.[13] 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,[14] alongside Joel Edgerton as Connolly and Benedict Cumberbatch as Billy Bulger.[15] The film was released in 2015.[16] In 2016, he sold his home in Brentwood for $3.6 million and it was widely covered in the media.[17][18]

Cooper wrote, directed and produced the 2017 western Hostiles, based on a decades old manuscript by the late screenwriter Donald E. Stewart.[19] 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.[20] Cooper's next film was the supernatural horror story Antlers, starring Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons and co-produced by Guillermo del Toro, which was released in 2021.[21][22]

In 2019, actor Christian Bale announced that Cooper will direct his upcoming Valhalla, which Joel Edgerton might star in, as well as the film adaptation of Jess Walter’s Over Tumbled Graves.[23][24] He has also started a scholarship program for students to access high-quality education in the US and Canada colleges.[citation needed]


Thomas Wolfe and William Faulkner are literary influences.[25][4]

Films that have influenced Cooper include: Robert Altman's Nashville, Terrence Malick's Badlands, John Huston's Fat City and Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show.[4]

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.[26] The two appeared together in Broken Trail and Get Low, and Duvall produced and appeared in Cooper's film Crazy Heart, along with an appearance in The Pale Blue Eye.

Personal life[edit]

Cooper is married and lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jocelyne Cooper, and their son Aria and two daughters, Ava and Stella.


Year Title Director Writer Producer
2009 Crazy Heart Yes Yes Yes
2013 Out of the Furnace Yes Yes No
2015 Black Mass Yes No Yes
2017 Hostiles Yes Yes Yes
2021 Antlers Yes Yes No
2022 The Pale Blue Eye Yes Yes Yes

Acting roles[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Dry Martini Robert
1999 Perfect Fit Guy in bar
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Klansman's Son – Bobby
2000 Takedown Jake Cronin Also known as Hackers 2: Takedown
2001 Bill's Gun Shop Dillion McCarthy
Rain Pvt. Holland
2003 Gods and Generals Lt. Joseph Morrison
Save It for Later Jake O'Connor Also known as Water Under the Bridge
Attitude Rails
2009 For Sale by Owner Will Custis
Get Low Carl


Year Title Role Notes
1999 The X-Files Max Harden Episode: "Rush"
2001 The District Michael Barrett Episode: "Lost and Found"
2006 Broken Trail Gilpin Miniseries

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ IUTech (2019-07-31). "Scott Cooper Miami Fan Club Profiles A Successful Journey In The Movies And Entertainment Industry". Indiana Tech. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  3. ^ "Scott Cooper '92 Awarded Honorary Degree".
  4. ^ a b c Profile,; accessed October 5, 2016.
  5. ^ "Remarkable Celebrities That Have Outstanding Business Skills". Latin Post. 2019-11-05. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  6. ^ "Bridges shines in 'Crazy Heart'". Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (2013-11-20). "Fleming Q&As 'Out Of The Furnace' Helmer Scott Cooper". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (2012-03-06). "Casey Affleck Frontrunner to Join Revenge Thriller 'Out Of The Furnace'". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  10. ^ Gettell, Oliver. "'Black Mass' trailer: Johnny Depp sinks teeth into Whitey Bulger role". Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  11. ^ "Depp On His 'Comeback' As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass'". 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  12. ^ Cappadona, Bryanna (June 20, 2013). "Who Should Play Whitey Bulger in Black Mass?". Boston. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  13. ^ 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. p. 27.
  14. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (2015-09-15). "Black Mass Is Strong, but Johnny Depp Is Not Back Yet". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  15. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (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.
  16. ^ Stern, Marlow (2015-09-20). "Whitey Bulger's Enforcer Slams 'Black Mass': 'The Movie Is Pure Fiction'". Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  17. ^ "'Crazy Heart' director Scott Cooper sells his home in Brentwood". Los Angeles Times. 2016-09-21. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  18. ^ Leitereg, Neal J. "'Crazy Heart' director Scott Cooper sells his home in Brentwood". Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  19. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (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.
  20. ^ McNary, Dave (2017-10-03). "Christian Bale's 'Hostiles' Acquired by Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios". Variety. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  21. ^ "'Antlers' First Trailer: Scott Cooper and Guillermo del Toro Bring Supernatural Terror to a Small Town". Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  22. ^ Club, Scott Cooper Miami Fan (2019-08-20). "Antlers by Scott Cooper Releases Trailer". Scott Cooper Miami Fan Club. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  23. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 21, 2019). "John Lesher's Le Grisbi Sets John-Eric Capps To Head TV, Elevates Dylan Weathered To Head Movies". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  24. ^ Sneider, Jeff (June 21, 2019). "Christian Bale, Director Scott Cooper May Reteam for Secret Project 'Valhalla'". Collider. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  25. ^ Anthony Kaufman (2010-01-20). "Variety, Jan. 20, 2010". Retrieved 2016-10-05.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "INTERVIEW: Scott Cooper and Robert Duvall". Retrieved 2016-10-05.

External links[edit]