…Building houses for homeless people. I hate it when I see people on the street and realize that they have no place to go home to.
I had the pleasure to interview Cooper Jack Rubin. Cooper has always loved a dramatic entrance, starting with his premature birth three months ahead of schedule. At the age of three, when most children were enthralled by Elmo, this New Orleans native developed an obsession with The Phantom of the Opera. His passion for performing solidified after starring in local stage productions of The Lion King, Seussical the Musical, and Alice in Wonderland. Cooper is taking 2019 by storm with his breakthrough role as Harold, the artistic doted-upon son of Ernie (Mel Rodriguez) and Bets (Beth Ditto) in Showtime’s critically acclaimed comedy On Being a God in Central Florida. Outside of entertainment, Cooper is committed to philanthropic work, supporting St. Jude and NICU. Remaining a kid at heart, he enjoys playing basketball, swimming, riding his bike, going to the theater, and any video game he can get his hands on.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thank you for having me! I was born premature so I had some struggles to start. I grew up in New Orleans and I was introduced to many different cultures. I love food — all kinds of food! I discovered I loved to sing when I was about 3-years-old. I sing and dance just about every day!
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was 3-years-old my parents took me to see The Phantom of the Opera and I immediately was hooked. I learned every song from that musical and any other shows I could watch. I began doing theatre at my school and at Jefferson Performing Arts Society. Fast forward 6 years later, I decided I wanted to learn other aspects of acting, so I took acting classes with Debby Gaudet. She taught me how to transition from stage to screen.
What’s the most interesting story that happened to you since you got into acting?
This just happened! Paula Abdul reached out to me on Instagram. She saw the scene where I dance to “Opposites Attract” in On Becoming a God in Central Florida. It was heartwarming to hear she’s a fan of the show and that I could really dance. I hope to get to dance with her someday! She is the Queen of Dance!!
Can you share a story about the funniest blooper you made when filming? Was there a lesson you learned from that?
There is a scene where my family, Kirsten and I are at the dinner table having dinner together. I didn’t know that I was not supposed to eat during the scene. I kept eating and eating. The crew had to keep replacing my meal. I didn’t realize but everyone else was not really eating. I was so full by the end of the scene! Lesson learned, pace yourself!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m going to be the first ‘Purge Kid’ in season 2 of USA’s The Purge. I’ve been auditioning a lot and continuing with acting classes. On Becoming a God in Central Florida was renewed for a second season, so I’m really excited about that!
What are your “3 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Filming a scene takes a lot longer than you think — When I thought we were finished and ready to move onto the next scene, I would hear the director say, “Let’s do it again.”
There are a lot of people on set — I had no idea that during a scene there could be as many as 30 people on set all looking at you. That took a minute to get used to!
In TV there are a lot of close-ups. The first time I looked at the monitor after a close-up shot, my whole head took up the screen. I was not expecting that!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Enjoy what you are doing every day. If you love what you do you will never burn out!
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Building houses for homeless people. I hate it when I see people on the street and realize that they have no place to go home to.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My acting coach Miss Debby. Not only has she taught me how to act on screen, she helps me understand how to become a character. One thing she does that has really helped is before an audition she will show me a video of an actor to help get me into character.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Never Give Up” I think about that all the time. Rather it be acting or schoolwork, it does not matter. Never give up. I even have a shirt that says it.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
It’s definitely Hugh Jackman. He is a true triple threat and someone I aspire to be! I hope one day to work with him!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
On Instagram I’m @Cooper_Rubin