Dominic Cooper


  1. Michael Pitt, The Dreamers, 2003.  Cooper was a surprise Brit on Italian maestro Bernardo Bertolucci’s list. The others – Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jake Gyllenhaal – were as American as Matthew. And Pitt proved a more credible innocent than any of them.
  2. Gaspard Ulliel, Hannibal Rising, 2007.     Or Hannibal Lecter: The Teenage Years– more of a revenge trip for the wartime murder of his sister than a cannibal’s apprenticeship. Somehow a French actor beat such potential Lecters as Cooper, Hayden Christensen, Macauley Culkin (honest!), Hugh Dancy, Rupert Friend, Tom Payne, Tom Sturridge to play the  cannibal nephew of Gong Li, no less… in the fifth movie since Manhunter, 1985.   Baby-faced  Cooper broke through the following year  in Mama Mia, 2007,  and TV’sPreacher, 2016- 
  3. Andrew Garfield, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, UK-Canada-France, 2008.    Copper auditioned for director Terry Gilliam as Anton – won by the next Spider-Man.
  4. Josh Dallas, Thor, 2010.    Actor-director Kenneth Branagh chose Zachary Levi for Fandral, but he was committed to his Chuck TV series. Cooper was next choice, then Stuart Townsend was cast – until,  owing to (all together now!) “creative differences,” Dallas inherited the role. (He was unavailable  for the 2012  sequel when Levi finally took over).
  5.  Orlando Bloom, The Laureate, 2011.    Schedules interfered with the original couple cast as UK poet Rupert Graves and his US writer lover  Laura Riding – Cooper and Hayley Atwell. Bloom and  Imogen Poots joined the menage à trois that soon enough became à quatre.
  6. Jeremy Renner, The Bourne Legacy, 2011.    For The Bourne Continuum… Three was enough for Matt Damon. (Until 2015…!)  The studio did not agree and kept the franchise alive by rebooting Jason Bourne as Aaron Cross – “There Was Never Just One.” But who to play him from 20 hopefuls- Erryn Arkin, Adam Brody, Dominic  Cooper, Paul Dano, Luke Evans, Michael Fassbender, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Hartnett, Garrett Hedlund, Oscar Isaac (he was made an Outcome super-agent), Taylor Kitsch, Shia LaBeouf,  Kellan Lutz, Logan Marshall-Green, Alex Pettyfer, Michael Pitt and Benjamin Walker. Plus Joel Edgerton and Tobey Maguire, who were  Great Gatsbying down-under. Renner, Hollywood’s new white hope since The Hurt Locker, 2009, was suggested  for the Mission: Impossible.. if ever Tom Cruise retired.  
  7. Paul Anderson, Passion, 2011.     Luckily for him, Cooper had to quit the, er, “thriller.”  Aka another Brian De Palma mess.

  8. Jamie Dornan, Fifty Shades of Grey, 2013.  
    Mark Wahlberg tried to buy the porno novel.  Social networks were full of weird suggestions for the porn novel’s BDSM lover, Christian Grey. From Robert Pattinson, Matt Smith to Henry Cavill (well, S/M also stands for Superman) and Captain America Chris Evans (as if Marvel would allow that). None led to talks, auditions or tests.  Because the suits had eyes only for Ryan Gosling.  No way, said he. Most wise. Next target was Charlie Hunnam. He agreed and then suddenly quit because of his Sons of Anarchy, series (among other issues), and a second batch of front-runners were seen: Luke Bracey (the inevitable Aussie), Canadians Patrick J Adams and François Arnaud (well versed in jiggery-pokery as Cesare in The Borgias series), plus Scott Eastwood, Theo James, Billy Magnussen – and Alexander Skarsgård, playing Tarzan by then with an Anastasia Steele hopeful, Margot Robbie.   (Hunnam had also been in the ape-man mix). The first group had been  Amell (he preferred Oliver Queen, aka DC’s Arrow, TV 2012-2016), ex-UK model David Gandy (who simply refused) while two other Brits, Christian Cooke (from Love, Rosie with London model Suki Waterhouse up for Anastasia) and Cooper (perfect, surely!), Aussie Daniel McPherson – and Santa Monica’s Ryan Paevey actually auditioned.  And as for the Belgian hunk, Matthias Schoenaerts – he fell asleep reading the scenario.    Oh, and author EL James vetoed any idea of of Dornan’s pal, Eddie Redmayne! They were all lucky to escape the turgid, totally un-erotic enterprise. Only 14 minutes and 17 seconds of sex, no orgasms – and pubes added digitally to actors’ genital patches!! And poor Dornan was a zero without his beard.

  9. Charlie Hunnam, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, 2015.   On Warner shelves almost as long as Justice League, David Dobkins’ Arthur & Lancelot, churned into Guy Ritchie’s Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur as the first of a possible sextet (but there are no Hobbits!). During which time, the guy pulling the sword from the stone was to be Cooper, Sam Claflin, Colin Farrell, Kit Harington, Liam Hemsworth, the Scottish Hans Matheson (from Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, 2009), Jim Sturgess or Benjamin Walker. Then, Hunnam promised Ritchie he’d recover his Sons of Anarchy weight loss and then some. Furthermore, dude, he was ready to rumble with the his final rivals, Henry Cavill (Ritchie’s Man From UNCLE) and Jai Courtney. “Bring ’em both in here. I’ll fight ’em both. The one who walks out the door gets the job!”

  10. Spencer Rocco LoFranco, The Life and Death of John Gotti, 2016.    According to the New York Post, Cooper – the UK’s Mama Mia star, was  set to play John Gotti Jr – after Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, James Franco, Shia LaBoeuf, Jeremy Renner and Channing Tatum withdrew from what was then Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father. Canada’s LoFranco was perfect for Travolta… unknown, far from A Lists or known for  stealing movies. While Juniors, writers, directors and years sped by, John Travolta remained literally The Teflon Don as Gotti Sr, was known when the untouchable head of New York’s Gambino Mafia family.  When the film finally opened in June, 2018, Gotti  was rapidly sleeping with the fishes, roasted by critics and was hit – as in a mob hit – by the public, scoring a mere $1.6m opening weekend. Not the first but the biggest disaster of Travolta’s career
  11. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody, 2017.  After the fall of Sacha Baron Cohen all eyes turned to Cooper, even Johnny Depp.  Then, Ben Wishaw (007’s new Q) became the Queen group’s top choice for the whitewashed Mercury biopic… just as the unknown Malek began a TV series called Mr Robot…  and won an Oscar for his less than mercurial  Mercury.  Cooper was way better in his series, Preacher. “Too well-known to play Freddy Mercury,” saidf guitarist Brian May),





 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  11