New feature film, Kushuthara, with an internationally acclaimed cast, is certain to dazzle audiences worldwide. The film enjoyed its US Premiere at New York City’s prestigious Rubin Theater; and was followed by its North American theatrical release (and VOD release) on March 3, 2017.
Kushuthara, is the first Bhutanese film to star a Western actor (Emrhys Cooper). The film’s stunning cinematography transports the viewer to a faraway place. This faraway place being the tiny land-locked country of Bhutan, which lies quietly nestled between India and China.
The movie is shot amidst the stunning landscape of the Himalayas (usually inaccessible to foreigners) and stars Emrhys Cooper (Vanity/Person of Interest), as a western journalist who becomes entangled in a complicated and passionate love affair with a married Bhutanese woman, played by actress Kezang Wangmo. Wangmo is an accomplished Bhutanese star, and has even received the honour of becoming a Bhutanese Member of Parliament.
The all-star cast is rounded out by Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuck, who’s lengthy credits include a starring role alongside Brad Pitt in Seven Years in Tibet. The film receives its direction by acclaimed Karma Deki, who is long-celebrated and awarded for her work at festivals worldwide.
Interview with London actor and Hollywood star Emrhys Cooper
I caught up with Emrhys, who plays Charlie in the film, for a chat about the movie and more for an exclusive interview here on Blazing Minds.
Was there a moment when you recognised that being an actor was going to be a big part of your life?
This is an excellent question. It speaks to all of us, investigating “When did you learn who you finally turned out to be?” For myself, it was at an astoundingly young age—around 6 or 7 if you can believe it! This is because both of my parents were in the acting profession in rural Devon, where I grew up—in the local theatre. They were the perfect role models, I was a copy-cat. That’s when the embryo started to grow in my soul: to perform, to elicit emotion from the audience, to sway their emotions.
What directors/producers/actors have been inspiring and influential to you and why?
Directors I have worked with that have been inspiring to me include David Lee Fisher (Nosferatu), Bank Tangjaitrong (Till We Meet Again), Bernie Su (Vanity) and Karma Deki (Kushuthara). They’ve all be a part of helping shape me as an actor.
These names may be unfamiliar to those who are keen primarily on following actors — but directors represent the engines of our industry. Montgomery Clift is one of my biggest acting inspirations, so getting the opportunity to play him last year was a huge
Montgomery Clift is one of my biggest acting inspirations, so getting the opportunity to play him last year was a huge honour. Jude Law is also one of my favourites, not only is he incredible on screen, he commands the stage in a magnificent way.
Have you had the chance to meet any of them that have been influential to you?
The ones heretofore mentioned are those for whom I’ve had the honour of working. David Lee Fee directed “Nosferatu,” the classic vampire legend and film, in which I play the terrified yet determined Thomas Hutter.
And Bernie Su directed the television soap opera “Vanity,’ in which I play a rather villainous character best left to the imagination. Working on Mamma Mia! the movie, I got the opportunity to work with many of my acting inspirations, it was an experience I will treasure forever.
What did you enjoy the most about filming in the Himalayas?
Without question, it was learning the magic when “East Meets West.” We in the Western world, particularly those in the Anglophone countries—which includes both myself as a Brit, as well as the United States and Canada and more nations—think (rather woefully!) we are the center of the universe. Not so. Live in Bhutan, high up in the Himalayas, in that nation of Buddhists, and your life will change forever. The love and happiness of the people will not only impress you. They change you, and your perceptions, so you learn that a spiritual force pervades all that we see and feel.
Without giving anything away, what’s your favourite line of dialogue from the film?
That’s a leading question if I ever heard one! OK, it is: “This is wonderful. This is something you created for me.”
Now, what can “it” be—the thing that was so wonderful? And how was it created? You’ll have to see the movie to find out.
Besides this movie, what has been your most favourite role that you’ve played?
Don’t be too shocked, but it was a character we don’t normally associate with romance or true love, except in the sense that dark urges lurk in all our hearts, squatting there right alongside our better angels. It was the thuggish role of Sloane in “Entertaining Mr. Sloane.” He was an expert in the science and mechanics of love. He was a charming, equal opportunity seducer. He most certainly was someone who had not yet benefited from the virtuous bliss of Bhutan.
Big thanks to Emrhys Cooper for taking some time out of his busy schedule and chatting with us.