We were thrilled to have the chance to talk to Cameron Cowperthwaite, and get to know him a bit better. We can now say that not only is he a great actor, he is also a great guy!
If you have watched American Horror Story, and its spin-off American Horror Stories, or DAHMER: Monster – The Story of Jeffery Dahmer, you must have noticed Cameron Cowperthwaite, who has taken on roles in all these shows. Read about him and his take on acting in the following interview.
We are curious to know where you are from and how you decided to become an actor. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today.
I have been surrounded by the business of tv/filmmaking all my life. My parents met at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival as stage managers before they married and moved to LA to pursue a life in Hollywood. My mom is still a script supervisor/director today, working out of NYC, and I think that sort of life feeds you as a kid. I was always so excited to visit my mom at work and be on set, and when my dad used to take me to the movies every weekend. It all fed into this dream I had of one day being a part of those stories and the storytelling process.
You have had numerous roles these past years and in an interesting variety of genres: horror, for instance, in the latest season, this very year, of American Horror Stories; comedy, in the series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt back in 2017 and Shameless in 2019; and drama. Where do you seek inspiration when preparing for a role?
I seek inspiration wherever I can, whenever I can. You never know what will lead to an inspired moment. I think it’s so exciting to get the call that you got the job. You leap up and down and run around and call everyone you love, and then it dawns on you that you actually have to do it. And I always get so so so nervous. So I try to cover those nerves by working as hard as I can to explore the script, lines, and space between the lines, and do everything I can to be ready to play when I get to set. I watch movies that match the tone, and I’ll read books, watch videos on youtube, listen to music, literally anything and everything I can do! It’s also nice to leave room to explore with your fellow actors and the director because that collaboration is some of the best stuff that makes it on screen.
Your latest appearance was in Dahmer: Monster – The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix, playing the part of Steven Hicks. What compelled you to take on this role?
The point of view of this story is so different from what we are used to, I think, in this type of genre. Ryan really wanted to handle this story with the care and consideration needed to tell this perspective from the victims and the disenfranchised communities that suffered at the hands of Jeffrey. And that is still relevant today: communities are still being underserved and over-policed, with members crying out for change and struggling to be heard. I think everyone tried to bring notice to that side of this story, and I was so grateful to be a part of the story. It’s always so exciting to work with Ryan and his team. Truly a wonderful experience.
What roles are you currently working on? And, in what and when can we expect to see you again on the screen?
The film I shot earlier this year called Double Down South, written and directed by Academy Award Winner Tom Schulman, will premiere at the Newport Film Festival this October. I am so excited to be a part of that project. I have to say, in my opinion, that it feels like a heartwarming film. There are absolutely hard moments, but overall it made me smile when I watched it! And next fall, I have something fun coming out that I can’t talk about, but I can’t wait for people to see what we did!
You have a list of your favorite movies in the past decade. Have you come across any other movie or movies you would have added since then? If so, what was it about that movie or movies that caught your attention?
Hmmm, that is such a hard question cause I usually like so many; in fact that made making that list so hard. I made that list because Quentin Tarantino does that, and he is one of my favorite filmmakers ever. I also found it inspiring to look back and see how far storytellers had come. How far some actors had come or directors or writers. It was cool to take stock like that. I know that from this year, I would say my two favorite films are Everything Everywhere All at Once, which was absolutely revolutionary. I was blown away at what they accomplished on a lower budget. It’s such a testament to the creativity of the team, the actors, the writing, the crew, and everyone who brought that picture to life. I seriously couldn’t stop talking about it after I left the theatre. My other favorite was Top Gun. I auditioned for that film, and I truly felt like: oh my god, I’m so jealous I’m not in this. The flying was thrilling, and my jaw was on the floor during some of those sequences.
We will go on to a quick quiz now; if you are up to it:
Your favorite music genre...
I love Electronic music. Skrillex is my favorite artist.
The song you have listened to most often…be it a favorite or not.
I feel like I have adopted a love of Dancing Queen from my girlfriend who can’t not dance to it when it comes on (apologies for the double negative!).
Last book you have read...
I’m currently reading The Devil in the White City. It’s so good. I can’t wait to see what they do with the show.
Your favorite sport...
Football! And the Eagles are 4-0. Go Birds!
A pet peeve...
Being cut off in LA traffic!
Thank you, Cameron!