Photography by Sami Drasin
Styling by Jardine Hammond
Nesta Cooper caught the acting bug at an early age. Maybe it was all the TV and movies she watched as a kid or that fact that she was suffering from middle child syndrome, but by age 13, Cooper knew that she wanted to be an actor. After graduating high school, Cooper moved to Vancouver to chase her dream full-time. To date, Cooper is perhaps best known for her role as Shannon in The Edge of Seventeen and Carly in the Netflix series Travelers. And, judging by the projects she already has in the works, her star is very much on the rise.
Case in point: Cooper’s upcoming slate of exciting new projects. See, a sci-fi series written by legendary thriller author Stephen King, will stream on the highly anticipated Apple TV+ upon the service's launch on November 1, with Cooper starring alongside the likes of Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, and Sylvia Hoeks. Next, the actress will star alongside megawatt actors Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson in the Amazon Studio film, Bliss, directed by Mike Cahill.
For Cooper, the whole thing can feel surreal. “It’s been really crazy,” says Cooper, “that moment when you look around and think, I’ve worked for however many years to be at the table with these people, and now you just have to be confident enough to know that you deserve to be there.” And yet, Cooper admits to feelings of uncertainty about her place amongst such established talents. One source of mindfulness on the subject came from Francis Lawrence, the director of See. “Francis told me that the most important thing is the experience,” she says, “and the people who you met and how you felt while making the project." With such sage advice, Cooper aims to approach each production as an opportunity to grow and learn more about herself. In the case of See, Cooper notes that she “learned a lot about what I’m capable of as a person and as an actor.”
As to what her future ambitions are, Cooper has a hard time landing on just one. There’s far too much she’s ready to conquer. When pressed, however, she admits she’d love to work on a biopic one day. “To play a real person, you really have to embody that character and be that person,” she says, “It’s such a unique challenge.” A challenge we think she’s ready to tackle.
Cooper seemingly has an indomitable spirit that fuels her to take on the world. But she acknowledges, a source closer to home—the relationship she has with her little sister. “She’s my best friend. She’s always the first person I call. Even though she’s my little sister, she’s my rock,” Cooper confesses. “And she’s the one who reminds me that I’m not losing it."
Makeup Jen Fiamengo (Walter Schupfer)
Hair Nancilee Santos
Photography Assistant Zach Coco
Set Design Danny Diamond
Location Lightbox Studios, Los Angeles