By now most of the world has been inundated with commercials and ads for the new Summer movie “Maze Runner,” a young adult novel adapted for the big screen. Today’s post-apocalyptic flicks tend to focus on teens coming to age and trying to survive in cruel worlds, but Maze Runner also includes a 12-13 year old boy named Chuck, a character much younger than what we’re used to. While the character himself is fascinating, I found the story of another person who was just as fascinating, if not more, than the Chuck himself: the actor playing Chuck, the young up and coming star Blake Cooper, whom I had the pleasure of conducting a phone interview with.
A child from a Georgia farm near Atlanta (where he tells me there’s a really cool aquarium I should check out should I ever be in the area), or the boonies as he called it, was cast in one of the most unheard of ways: through Twitter. He tweeted (from his handle @followblakecoop) to director Wes Ball “I’m Your Chuck.” This landed him the opportunity to audition and in a final decision was cast as the young Chuck for this role. When I asked him what it was like, he responded “It’s crazy. You think it can’t happen, but it happens.” Today he’s working on another project called “Cocked” about a dysfunctional family struggling to stay together, but with a twist: they’re running a gun manufacturing company. Blake enthusiastically spoke of how great the cast and crew is to work alongside, explained the shows premise and told us to be on the lookout for the pilot on Amazon.
I asked him what other actors and directors he’d like to work with, he said the number one director he’d love to work with is Wes Anderson, of Life Aquatic, and more recently, The Budapest Hotel fame. He spoke of how he really admired his work, the story and visuals of the movie. Upon asking him which actors he’d like to work with he mentioned Gary Oldman and Tom Hanks. Considering he wants to make a career out of acting, how about it? Maybe another tweeting campaign can get Wes Anderson to sign up Blake Coopers for a movie with his dream actors. Blake’s certainly proved that he can achieve and attain what’s impossible, and this writer would certainly line up for the movie.
Finally, we got to talking about one of the aspects of him that I found most intriguing: his outspoken attitude against bullying. “Unite Against Bullying with Blake Cooper”. Blake is one of nearly 20 celebrities and athletes who are working with CustomInk on the “Be Good to Each Other” campaign benefiting PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center he tells me that this is one of the issues he feels deeply and strongly about, and that any opportunity he gets he’s going to use it to speak out against bullying. The campaign will be running through the end of October which is National Bullying Prevention Month. Blake’s shirt is still available here.
Blake Cooper came off as a good hearted kid, very awesome and easy to get along with (we both laughed every time we stumbled on each other’s words and then would politely start over), and that he’s using his new found fame to speak out against bullying is something I personally found very admirable about him. In fact, be on the lookout for his role as Xander in the upcoming pilot for Amazon “Cocked” that will explore some aspects and effects of bullying around his character. Be on the lookout for Blake Cooper this Friday when Maze Runner opens in theaters here in the United States, and be on the lookout for all his upcoming projects as he takes Hollywood by storm, already there was people lined up to take pictures with him at the first screening event and his rocket to stardom is only going to soar higher.
After reading James Dashner’s international bestselling adventure story, THE MAZE RUNNER. thirteen year old Blake Cooper related so well to the character of ‘Chuck’ that upon discovering a big screen adaptation in the works, he took to Twitter to voice his case to play the role. The book’s rabid fan base took it from there with a passionate grassroots casting campaign, ultimately convincing director Wes Ball to audition the young actor. Blake landed the role of Chuck, and the rest is history, as THE MAZE RUNNER (20th Century FOX) opens nationwide on September 19th, effectively launching the career of this Boy Scout from an Atlanta-area farm to the Hollywood limelight.
2014 is proving to be a life-changing year for Blake who has also just been chosen to star as Xander Jaxson, the son of Sam Trammell, and grandson of Brian Dennehey in Amazon Studio’s new series, COCKED. An hourlong dramedy, COCKED follows an estranged son (Trammell) who returns to work with his family at their gun manufacturing company. Blake’s previous film and TV credits include PARENTAL GUIDANCE with Billy Crystal, USA Network’s NECESSARY ROUGHNESS, and THE GAME (B.E.T.).
When he’s not acting, Blake and his three older siblings enjoy doing the Brazilian Martial Arts form, Capoeira. Talented in music as well as acting, Blake plays the guitar, and has won two awards for his singing. He enjoys Queen, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Mumford & Sons, and One Republic.
A huge video game fan, Blake’s current favorites include The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Halo: Combat Evolved, and Castle Crashers.
Blake and his family live on a Georgia farm complete with horned Jacob Sheep, two French bulldogs, a Jack Russell, a Pomeranian, five cats, a mule named Holder, a donkey named Diamond, and a flop eared bunny named Charlie Pat.