CURTISS COOK (How To Make It In America) Exclusive Interview

Curtiss Cook

I recently got a chance to ask CURTISS COOK a few questions about his role in HBO’s new series, How to Make It In America (watch the preview here), which premieres on February 14.

How to Make It In America follows Ben Epstein (Greenberg) and Cam Calderon (Rasuk), two enterprising Brooklyn twenty-somethings determined to make a name for themselves in New York’s competitive fashion scene.

Curtiss Cook talked about his role in the show, his preparation for his role in How to Make It In America, his dream role, and more. So enjoy the interview and don’t forget to watch How to Make It In America.

Can we talk about how you got involved in ‘How to Make it in America’?

Curtiss Cook: Well because I am not at the place in my career where scripts are mailed to my agent with a kind letter hoping that I’d take a lunch with the director or writer or one of the producers…I went to the appointment with other well trained actors…looking for that next role that would make me “A Star” and here it is that next role…very, fortunate am I, Very!

Can you talk about your character Alex? What can we expect from him this season?

Curtiss Cook: Now I can’t really tell you what you can expect…but, I will say this…I play Ben’s boss at Barney’s New York while he’s trying to make other moves in his life…I’m strong self righteous and always right…and this is my first time playing a character like this on film…it’s going to be very interesting to see how people take me in this…family and friends alike…it’s an actors dream to play outside of himself…and none the less to have it documented in such a highly anticipated show is cool as hell…you’ll have fun I guarantee it.

Can you talk about your work on the upcoming movie “Shutter Island”?

Curtiss Cook: The book by Dennis Lehane by the same name is really unbelievable…go out and get it now…it will only make you want to see the movie more…I play Trey Washington. It’s set in 1954 and the two marshals that come to the island to investigate need a sort of tour guide and dare I say that would be me…The experience was more than amazing, working with such gifted talented actors who so happen to be mega stars and then on top of all that with this years Cecil B DeMille recipient a master at his craft Mr. Scorsese…man when I tell you sometimes I still don’t believe it, believe me I still don’t…I feel I held my own, I learned a lot and I had a great time.

How do you prepare for your parts? And more specifically for your role in “How to Make it in America”?

Curtiss Cook: I have a very organic way of getting ready for a role…even when I get an appointment I completely surround myself with as much information as I can…of course depending on the part, but I read who’s involved, I look up the place it’s set in, and try to read material from that time as much as possible…then I leave it all alone…try to have that part of myself emerge through the character based on all of the homework…for “How to Make it in America”, I looked at a lot of my friends from the theater world and from dance when I was younger and tried to be as truthful as possible.

What’s the difference between working on a movie and on a TV show?

Curtiss Cook: The biggest thing is the pace…TV shows move very fast where as movies you may be
on one scene until lunch…on a TV show you may have done 3 set ups by then…other than that the work is the same, you have to be honest and present…which I try and do as often as possible…

What’s the difference between acting in front of the camera and on Broadway? Is there one that you like better?

Curtiss Cook: The scope in which you have to project…I love them both, but I’m really focused on TV and Film right now…what Broadway has taught me I would never give back…I say do theater young actors do theater….

What would be your dream role?

Curtiss Cook: The lead in any series that allows me to flex my muscles as an actor…and pays me lots of money…just joking…I love the Easy Rawlins mysteries by Walter Mosley…I would kill to play him as well as…Alex Cross from the James Patterson books…just to name a few.

Is there an actor/actress that you would love to work with that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

Curtiss Cook: Loads…but the ones that come to mind right off are Denzel Washington, Andre Braugher, Robert Downey Jr, George Clooney and Sophie Okonedo.

If you could guest star in any TV show, which would it be?

Curtiss Cook: I love ‘House’ and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’…right now I would kill to work on one of them.