When I’d first heard of Olivia Cooke, I had absolutely no clue who she was. The name sounded like someone you could’ve gone to school with, and I didn’t know of anything she’d been in off the top of my head. Then, I realized she was actually in a lot of the things I loved. Known best now for her starring role in Me & Earl & the Dying Girl, Olivia has done a range of work, including the A&E series Bates Motel and the film The Quiet Ones, alongside Sam Claflin.
In Me & Earl & the Dying Girl, Cooke gives a performance that feels both raw and genuine, something not easy to do when playing such a serious and touchy role as that of a girl dying of cancer. Cooke, however, delivers in the role in a way that doesn’t feel canned or too “Hollywood,” leaving her character, Rachel, likable and attractive to viewers in a way that lets them attach to the character very early on in the film. Obviously we’re not in the business of spoilers, so no more on that one.
For scary movie fans, you may recognize Olivia from her roles in both Ouija and The Quiet Ones, both excellent performances on her part, particularly in The Quiet Ones. Playing Jane Harper, a young woman who believes herself to be possessed by a doll, Cooke delivers the role in such a genuine way that it is borderline disturbing.
It seems that a lot of Cooke’s power in her roles comes from both her flexibility and her ability to to be type cast in any way, taking on very diverse roles across her career. Given that, here are the 5 Olivia Cooke roles we recommend as must-watch:
1. Me & Earl & the Dying Girl
High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer. [via IMDb]
2. Bates Motel
Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke) is Norman’s best friend. A sufferer of cystic fibrosis, Emma is often seen carrying an oxygen tank. Although Emma is British, having originated from Manchester (as is Cooke, in real life), she speaks with a local American dialect – it is never revealed whether she merely lost her original accent or has deliberately developed a new one to avoid drawing attention to herself. Identifying with his unusual personality, troubled history and friendly nature, Emma is immediately infatuated with Norman and develops a friendship with him. Norman in turn finds himself warming to her, and, at the request of her father, respects her feelings for him. Seeing this, Norma becomes fond of her and employs Emma at the motel to keep her close to Norman, as well as to provide her with some much-needed maternal support and advice. [via Wikipedia]
3. The Quiet Ones
A university professor and a team of students conduct an experiment on a young woman, uncovering terrifyingly dark, unexpected forces in the process. [via IMDb]
A girl is mysteriously killed after recording herself playing with an ancient Ouija Board, which leads to a close group of friends to investigate this board. They later find out that some things aren’t meant to be played with, especially the ‘other side’. [via IMDb]
5. The Signal
On a road trip, Nic and two friends are drawn to an isolated area by a computer genius. When everything suddenly goes dark, Nic regains consciousness – only to find himself in a waking nightmare. [via IMDb]
Bonus! 6. One Direction’s Autumn Term Video from the Up All Night Tour
Yep, you read that right. Clad in a grey turtleneck sweater, black overcoat, and white scarf, Olivia Cooke featured in one of the videos played during One Direction’s Up All Night tour, played during one of their many outfit changes. And yes, that’s her taking the beanie from Harry and then getting a piggyback ride from him. Oh, to be so lucky!
Writer, traveler, and lover of all things One Direction. Frequent concert attendee, paler than the average human, and quite possibly the first person who will die from loving Ashton Irwin so much. I enjoy panicking over small things, obsessing over Twin Peaks, and acting like a mom. You can usually find me being extremely sarcastic and sassy while simultaneously avoiding all responsibilities to focus solely on One Direction.