If you’ve seen Olivia Cooke in indie sci-fi thriller The Signal, long-delayed horror flick Ouija or TV’s Bates Motel, you’d be surprised to sit down and hear her discuss her new film Me and Earl and the Dying Girl in her broad natural accent from Manchester, UK.
But the accent only adds to the lustre of her delightful personality, prominent smile-dimples and gorgeous expressive eyes – ones that open wide often to emphasise a point. As well as playing only Americans, the 21 year old has also put herself through the ringer as an actress to an extent few A-listers will do (not without a flurry of media interest, anyway) for the role of Rachel.
As the teenage schoolgirl who gets leukemia, Cooke submitted to having her lustrous wavy locks shorn off, and when Moviehole sits down with the actress to discuss the role in LA, it’s growing back – just not as fast as she wants.
Your hair’s coming back.
Slowly but surely. It’s been 10 months and I literally thought, oh, I’ll shave it off and in five months it’ll be down to my shoulders. It’ll be fine. But, no, it’s taken so long to grow. Thomas always laughs at me because he’s had 17 haircuts in that period and says, ‘It’s really not growing, Olivia,’ I’m looking at it in the mirror every day, tugging on it.
Has it been tricky to do so many American accents?
It was at first. The first couple of episodes of Bates Motel are just terrible. If you ever watch them back – which I don’t recommend because my accent is just so, so bad – I don’t know how I got that job because I don’t even know what accent I’m doing, it sounds Indian or something. It’s terrible.
Did you find lots of similarity between yourself and the character?
I did. I finally found that it was a role that’s written for a girl who likes herself and is very self confident. That’s fine. She doesn’t want to share everything about herself, she doesn’t want to put her whole life on social media. That’s definitely me.
I find that in a lot of roles written for young adults, especially girls, they’re so mean or they’re bitchy and everything revolves around a guy. They’re trying to sleep with a guy or get a boyfriend or get that one gratuitous kiss at the end of the movie.
You’re just so riddled with self-consciousness and you’re so self-deprecating and you hate every little bit of yourself. She wasn’t that at all, which was so refreshing. I think it’s very important to show more women like that.
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