Too early to talk Oscar? Not for Dominic Cooper
By Christine Kearney
NEW YORK (Reuters) - It's still very early. In fact, it's not yet awards season in Hollywood, but already movie fans might have their first bona fide contender for this year's best actor Oscar.
Briton Dominic Cooper gives what critics are calling a brilliant performance in dual roles of the brutal, sadistic Uday Hussein -- the son of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein -- and his emotionally conflicted body double, Latif Yahia, in new movie "The Devil's Double."
His role in the film, which hit theaters in New York and Los Angeles last Friday and expands around the United States in coming weeks, scored Cooper a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival when it premiered there earlier this year.
Add to that bit of bravura that Cooper is coming off an acclaimed performance in 2009's "An Education" and is currently showing versatility in this summer's big-budget "Captain America: The First Avenger," and it all has Hollywood buzzing.
Cooper can feel the heat. He told Reuters he is now "getting really exciting meetings with really exciting directors who I want to work with...it's a shift."
He remembers Sundance as being "almost terrifying, the idea of people seeing the work," then said he was relieved because the audience "believed the illusion, that it is the same guy playing two parts, which was always going to be the problematic dilemma of the film."
In fact, Cooper is really playing three roles -- Uday, Latif and Latif playing Uday to fill-in as a body double for the feared son of the late Iraqi dictator, who lived in a decadent world of designer suits and was surrounded by violence and torture.
Uday Hussein was killed by U.S. troops in a gun battle following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Latif lived to write a book upon which the film, which is more a gangster drama than Iraq truth tale, is loosely based. Continued...