He may play Shevan of Raxnavov in the dramatic show but in real life, Terrell Cooper brings the laughter to set. From stage to screen, Cooper has earned his place in the limelight as being one of the shows most impressive actors to date. Find out more about the man who holds the axe.
So what was it like to shoot season 2?
Overjoyous! It felt like a breath of fresh air after i've been drowning for so long. Before this show I wasn't doing any acting recently so to go out to the places that we did and to go through some of the scenes was very refreshing. I have gained so much insight on my own life and the world around me by doing this. I think everyone should do a fox season 2!
Was this your first acting project?
I've done plays and a couple of films but none with the weight of this show. i've played soldiers, a Capulet (Romeo & Juliet) a cracked out dealer and now I can add a family murdering body guard to the list I really feel accomplished.
So what inspired you to pursue acting?
Well my first time was when I was younger, like 9, it was very dramatic- no pun intended, the director made me cry so I stayed away from it for a while. I started acting for real because I was cut from the football team in high school, I had a very special friend offer me an opportunity to join her in a play for our school she must have thought that I was outspoken enough to be entertaining to people. Ever since that point I was bitten in a good way! I think that I was meant for this though, as we all are. I loved playing role playing video games when I was younger like Final Fantasy and watching TV shows like Power Rangers and all that thinking to myself I would give everything of the nothing that I had to do what they were doing and going on the adventures they were a part of. Honestly I'm not doing doing anything other than just living life in another body which I believe we all want to do otherwise why would we watch the shows that we do?
What inspirations did you take to create Shevan?
Mainly experiences from my life. For the roles I take, I try to apply them to who I currently am or have been and there is a lot of relation between us. I'm pretty sure Monroe was stalking me throughout my life because this character was made for me. When it comes to outside sources, Morgan from the Walking Dead was a great reflection. Shevan has had a lot happen to him as we all have, and I wanted to do my best in delivering an experience we could all relate to- even if we haven't killed a family member like he did. We all know what it's like to be seen as the bad guy with good intentions. Life doesn't play favorites and sometimes the good ones end up pulling the short straw.
What was your favorite scene to shoot?
Aw man this is tough! Its between the Flarista scene and the finale but if I had to choose one, I gotta' go with the finale. We worked so hard on it! It was awesome to have everyone that I previously worked with around as well as some new characters. I could tell we were all pumped to deliver a piece of art that would keep viewers locked to the screen and I believe we did that. So much was done behind the scenes you will never know! Unless Monroe releases stuff.
Speaking of everyone- what about the cast and crew? How was it like to work with them?
Its always a treat when you come across a cast that gets along so well. I have picked up some legit friends from this and learned from them too. From the fight scenes to Liz in make up, I had an awesome time getting to know my fam, and what got them to do this. I remember watching Steve act in a scene from the Big Lebowski and wondering to myself, how in the world is this going to be the bad guy for the series? To my surprise, he became what he was meant to be and in the truest fashion too! I really enjoyed watching the work done in the other world as well. All the actors did a phenomenal job and made the characters they played their own. Take a bow!
You and Monroe have been praised for your performances, how is it like to work with her as a costar and as your director?
Frightening and Fantastic! I have never come across a woman like her. She's a quiet storm of passion! It throws me off how she can be deadly serious about her business and then, at the next moment, we're goofing off re-enacting moments from Star Wars. When you hang out with her it's obvious why she is so desirable. She's really easy to get along with and she listens! more people need to do that. If I wasn't committed to Rihanna, I would definitely marry her. [Laughs] Being around someone like her has made me a better person and actor because I watch her live life and not apologize for any of it. Every time we're on set it's like being around Tom Brady (because I know what that's like). I have to bring my 'A' game because I know that she will.
Learn anything new?
So many things- it isn't just one. I have never been one for make- up and after this, I understand why! It takes time to make it right and to keep it on! The show has grown my discipline to new levels. When you are working with an expansive cast, you learn that people really depend on you. I was raised as an only child so I'm not really used to that many people counting on me, but I saw it as motivation to be at my best on set and off because those actions determine your condition when it's game time. The story was written so well! I loved discovering these characters and their stories. It's shown me that not everything is cut and dry and that we all have our problems as well as our joys. Both are a natural part of life as we should embrace them but not dwell on them as time doesn't stop for those moments.
Any advice to other actors?
Talk to other actors. Be around all the things that keep you motivated. Life is long as so are the days, it's easy to feel like things aren't moving fast enough but if you are around the things that excite you, then it will reflect in your acting. Have a passion for passion. Make sure to form relationships with your cast and crew as you never know who is doing what. In the acting world right now, we all need people and just by doing this I've had puzzle pieces picked up by getting to know my cast and applying that to my life. Be opportunistic.
You can watch Terrell in 365 this Christmas on SkySoft!
Interview by Liv Borromeo
Photos by Monroe Hayden