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'Deep Water' actor Alistair Cooke talks juggling between films, TV and commercials
Incredible is a word that comes up a lot when one assesses Alistair's career, which began with an incredibly key role in the Channel Seven comedy hit series, "Last Man Standing."

“That was a great start to the screen industry,” Alistair comments, who originally started acting in successful stage productions like “Spotlight” directed by Loren Johnson, and Michael Gow’s “Away.”

“I’ve been very lucky.”

He’s continued the career since with national commercials, like his highly paid and eye-catching turn in Perth Stadium’s campaign, and judging for acting competitions.

“I was a judge for the annual Acting competition at “Stage Co. Studios - Sydney” in April 2017. I have been a guest educator at this Performing Arts establishment in the past. It was fantastic to see some students I had taught in the past and how far they had come.”

The latter speaks to Alistair’s generosity and desire to give back, a responsibility that’s helped him continue to juggle the many projects on which he continues to play lead roles.

It’s exceptionally rare for an actor to book a regular role on an award-winning show for a high-brow network. It’s even rarer for that same actor to have also juggled roles in national commercial campaigns and film projects too.

For Australian star Alistair Cooke though, it’s become something of the norm, as he has recently completed a scene-stealing critical arc on the critically acclaimed series “Deep Water” for Australia’s SBS Network opposite “Orange is the New Black” actress Yael Stone. Alistair's profile in the US has continued to grow as a result of the role too, as the show screens on Acorn TV alongside Oscar-nominated actors.

When asked about how he’s been able to build a career that continues to generate critical acclaim, from audiences and critics alike, the award-winning actor points to his varied life experiences as an explanation for how his skills have refined over time.

“With an above average range of emotional life experiences, I have an emotional depth that isn’t common amongst most male actors and I have the empathy, passion and love for each role I play.”

“Deep Water” was an undoubtedly a career highlight for the trained actor.

Alistair elaborates. “It was an experience that I learnt so much from and I discovered new things about myself as an actor.”

What’s most reflective of the inextricable nature of Alistair’s role in the series is how he played the younger version of the character “Hammers” in crucial flashbacks, with the older version played by household name and Logie-award-winning actor, Craig McLaughlin.

“It was my first time sharing a role, so it as an enriching challenge figuring out with Craig how he portrayed his version of the character 20 years later, and how my take was different but still representative of the same person.”

In a series about the evolution of isolated characters and how they evolved into their present day form, there’s absolutely no doubt Alistair therefore delivered a performance that allowed an audience to invest and understand the role of Hammers in a indissoluble manner. The character had a troubled youth. In flashbacks to his teen years the audience saw the horrific things he got up to, including leading a gang of troubled teens in Bondi who regularly visited gay beats, to “do the community a service” by bashing and killing gay men in the area.

The role called for Alistair to deliver a performance which has been hailed by the industry as deeply committed and intimidating, serving the TV series in an unforgettable manner.

And what about working with “Orange is the New Black” and “Picnic at Hanging Rock” star, Yael Stone?

“I had been a fan of Yael Stone for several years…Watching Yael work was so rewarding... Yael treated everyone with respect and got along with the cast on crew so genuinely. I was truly blessed to see her work, Yael’s transformation from script to screen was inspiring and refreshing.”

Alistair clearly holds a respect for his fellow performers, something that’s undoubtedly helped him garner respect in return.

When asked about award-winning co-star Noah Taylor, Alistair exclaims “that he’s a force to be reckoned with.”

For the most part though, it’s industry insiders who are claiming that Alistair himself is the force to be reckoned with, for his sensitive and vulnerable performances in films “The One” and “Richie’s Shift” juxtapose the compelling intensity of “Deep Water.”

“Richie’s Shift” was…by far one of my favourite films to work on, a dark comedy with a unique concept.”

Alistair quickly adds, “I fell in love with the script as soon as I read it.”

“Richie’s Shift” sees the central protagonist Richie, played by Alistair, working a shift at a country road house on a regular day until an unusual customer arrives, things quickly get out of hand and Richie’s entangled in guns, police and an assault.

Alistair reflects on the shooting experience with detail and gratitude.

“We got to shoot in a rural location that really brought the film to life; that, coupled with an incredible crew and a stellar cast, made for an incredible experience.”

The film, which enjoyed a sold-out screening at Curtin Razor Film Festival at Cygnet Cinemas in W.A, continues to generate positive responses. There’s speculation that it will hit it incredibly big when it comes to awards season.

As we said at the beginning of this article, incredible comes up a lot when describing Alistair Cooke’s career. Look out for Alistair in the second season of the Funny or Die series, "Unverified."

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