Cooper Friedman: More to the Story

Taylor Harrington 9/8/2021 2:02pm EST

Photo Credit: Denise at Demarest Photography 

Cooper Friedman’s resume could very well one day be a contender with comedic greats such as Adam Sandler and Jerry Seinfeld. At only 13 years old, Friedman has already been the star in HBO’s Perry Mason, Togetherness, and the feature film, Small Town Wisconsin. The future is bright for Cooper, and getting to know him better was such a joy!

We are so excited to be speaking with Cooper Friedman. Thank you so much for being here today, Cooper!

Thank you so much for having me. I’m very excited!

Of course! So Cooper, can you tell us, when did you first get into this industry?

Actually, funny story, my Uncle’s friend’s Mom was a manager, so I’d say about 13 years ago when my brother was around three or four, he would always go to my Uncle’s football games. His friend was also in the football game, and so that friends mom would be at the games watching her son play. That mom, the manager, saw my little brother at the games and saw how he was so energetic and how he would talk a lot. He was so mature at the age of four, that that mom got him to acting. When I was born, I got into acting, too. Then when my sister was born, she was acting. So it’s kind of like a family thing.

That is so much fun! Have you ever acted with your siblings?

Oh, yeah. A bunch of times! Actually, my first ever project was on a show called Togetherness on HBO and it was me and my brother, which was pretty cool.

That is so cool! What’s your process to get into character and embody those emotions for whatever kind of role that you’re playing?

Well, first, I memorize my lines and then I would go over them with my dad. I’d let him take in the role and see how he would play it. Sometimes my dad would have a different idea for how to play a certain character, and maybe I will have a different idea. We have to go through my manager sometimes and then we have a good basis of how we think this character should be played. When it comes down to shooting it or auditioning for the character I have in the back of my head, if for example, it’s a drama, I’d have this character in the back of my head, how he has very hard memories, maybe some stuff he went through. I always keep their emotions and story in the back of my head to actually really play into the character and role so that I can honestly feel like I am the person that I’m playing.

You must be a really big empath, then which is an amazing quality for an actor to have. What’s your favorite kind of role to play?

I actually love to play comedic roles. I love watching comedies and I love auditioning for comedies.

Who are your favorite comedians that you’ve watched growing up?

Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, all the big ones. All of them are so good.

I love Adam! Adam Sandler’s “Ode to Chris Farley” is beautiful. I sat there and I cried watching it thinking, ‘You’re such a great comedian, but you’re also able to bring all of this wde range of emotions.’ I can see that in you too, Cooper. You’ve got this depth of being able to play versatile roles but also really encapsulate the emotions when it comes down to it. It’s very special quality. So what can you tell us about your latest movie?

It’s called a Small Town Wisconsin. It’s really about the relationship between a son and a father and their hardship together. I don’t want to have any spoilers, but it’s the dad trying to become sober, and dealing with divorce issues in the home. It’s a really, really amazing story between a father and son and how the father wants to take the son on one last trip before they move away. It’s a really heartfelt story with amazing actors.

When and how can people watch Small Town Wisconsin?

You can watch it on streaming broadcast, and then you can also maybe try to see it in some of the film festivals it’s playing in all around the country.

That’s exciting! What was your time throughout quarantine like when it comes to rehearsing or getting new roles?

It was sometimes a little slow during the pandemic and during quarantine overall. We got to audition at home either through Zoom or by just sending in a tape. It was definitely a good time for me and my siblings to train. It gave us a lot more time to really focus on the character we’re playing, and it really got me to learn how to be in other person’s shoes.

Amazing. Where would you like to see yourself in the next five years, both personally and professionally?

Personally? Well, in five years, I’d be 18. Hopefully, maybeI’ll have a girlfriend by then and have my driver’s license. I’ll get to vote then too, which is pretty cool. Hopefully I’ll figure out what I want to be when I grow up and how I want to live my life. I hope that’s still acting, which would be cool. Professionally, I’d like to have a couple other movies, TV shows, and theatricals out there. I’d really like to work in a Disney project that being either part of the Marvel Universe or Star Wars Universe. That would be really cool.

Hey, there’s nothing like setting these goals because, who knows? It really is just the beginning of your journey. How can our audience follow your journey and keep up to date with any new projects that you might be working on?

You can find me on Instagram at @CooperJFriedman. I post on there pretty regularly, and you can look back and see how my journey has been throughout the past couple of years and the years to come.

Exciting! If you had any kind of advice to give to another young actor trying to break into this world, what advice would you give them?

Always have fun with it. Don’t make it feel very professional, just have fun in the room. Pretend that you’re just talking to these people and always have a smile on your face. Something that really helped me that I’m so happy that someone told me in the first few years of acting ,and I’m so grateful for it because it really changed my perspective on how acting works, ‘You’re going to get a lot of No’s before you get aYes. You might audition hundreds of times, and you might only book maybe one of those.’ It’s just really about having fun with it. Don’t get upset about not getting a specific job because there’s always going to be another one out there for you. They didn’t book you because they don’t think you’re the right character for it, not that you’re doing it wrong. The world is so big out there that there’s always going to be one role that’s specifically going to be for you.

That is wonderful advice, Cooper! It was seriously such a joy to get to know you a little bit better. We are very excited to share your story and continue to watch your journey unfold. Thank you so much for joining for joining us!

Thank you so much for having me! I’m very excited for my future, too! .

Originally from Edison, New Jersey, Taylor won the 2005 “Middlesex County Caring Award”, and hasn’t stopped caring since. When she is not writing or hosting More to the Story, Taylor can be found chasing her two mutts around Athens, Ohio where she currently resides with her husband. Moving to Appalachia has made a huge impact on her life, and she can’t wait to share some of her stories, laughs, and (mis)adventures with you!

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