Charming and talented, Vanity star Emrhys Cooper, opens up to FM about his incredible near-death experience, after jumping off a cliff while he was filming the video for new single ‘Reboot My Heart’. And shares his thoughts on life, love, truths, vulnerabilities, vampire Nosferatu and Go90’s modern dating digital series ‘Relationship Status’.
Your new track ‘Reboot My Heart’ explores suicide, depression and redemption, big issues for a song. What inspired you to write it?
Most of us can relate to being hurt so deeply that we give up on looking for love ever again. We don’t know how to carry on.
Are you too scared to never love again? Possibly. But suddenly, someone new and special, can magically come into our life. For those of us so blessed, it would be as powerful as if the Gates of Heaven are suddenly opened, and just for you, unlocked.
Give us an inside on your incredible near death experience, after jumping off a cliff for the accompanying video…
Thank you for asking about this. It’s surprising you heard about this strange incident. After shooting the movie ‘Till We Meet Again’ in and around Thailand, I had a week off to relax on one of their peaceful and pristine beaches. The gorgeous surroundings of Koh Tao (Thailand) beach inspired me shoot a shoot a music video to celebrate this exotic discovery.
The beaches stayed pristine but the peace lasted about two days. While filming on one of the beaches, a burst of masculine pride swelled inside me. I jumped up into a high arc, and then down into the inviting royal blue sea. What was not prudently checked first? The depth of those deceptive waters.
I smashed into the coral-laced bottom like a ton of bricks. I was terrified. For a second I thought it was time now to glumly shake hands with Mr. Death.
Apparently he wasn’t interested in shaking hands with me. I managed to lumber out of the water, and quickly sip a handy dose of Jack Daniel’s. Then, it was back to filming!
The true extent of my injuries was not realized at the time. Horrors! I had a serious neck compound injury, potentially far worse than a severe whiplash.
Not until waking up in Tokyo two days later for further work came the realization that my neck was now sore and sending the wrong neural signals. It wouldn’t move! After a quick medical consultation and concentrated exercise, my neck finally began obeying my brain signals once again.
After Koh Tao I went to bustling and thronged Bangkok. I was handed off, luckily, to an amazing cinematographer called Martin Landsburg. We discussed and decided upon him all night filming in the dicey red light district in Bangkok.
That night I performed in three different clubs. One was in front of no less than 2,000 people. The vigorous, enduring applause both humbled and enraptured me to the depths of my soul.
So there you have it. From the doorstep of the unwelcoming Mr. Death, to a full night’s performance in front of thousands, the magic of the Far East, as found in Koh Tao, revealed themselves. Who was I, but a single pawn sacrifice in life’s game of chess?What is your usual songwriting process?
The best music or a script is usually inspired by from something I have, myself, gone through or I am experiencing. It is very, very tough, as you probably already know, to do draw from the exterior world as seen from someone else’s eyes.
This need not be from the so-called exalted feelings of love or triumph. Instead, one can re-live a terribly bad experience—something mortifying, shameful, even degrading. You can then alter the ending so that your life absorbs a painful lesson learned, as opposed to the blunt force of the bludgeon.
Truths and vulnerabilities that are learned, may also inspire others who might be going through something similar or worse yet. Therein lies the satisfaction of the task. The lessons are simple and repeated by us all, as these are themes that great writers come back to over and over again: yes, your life is messy, but do your best, accept the outcomes and, as distinguished in the British tradition during the dark days of the Blitz: just carry on.
Are you planning any live shows and what will they be like?
Thank you for asking about these. Yes, I have some dates set for this summer. Some surprise gigs in Europe should soon be confirmed. I am also a dancer, which was a skill helped more than one might think by MTV. My shows tend to be very theatrical. The stage is as comfortable to me as a private living room. You won’t be able to predict what might happen! Please do look for the dates on my social media.
Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
I grew up in the 80’s. I was bewitched by Duran Duran, Culture Club and lots of Brit pop. I was particularly fascinated by the immense talent of Michael Jackson. I watched one of his older VHS tapes (remember those?) so many times that the ribbon broke and dribbled out as rapidly and controllably as Michael himself onto the floor.
In terms of non-musical influences, the greatest influences are always the people one meets up with unexpected impact. You know the type. The ones that get up close into your face, unafraid of proximity, and who deliver the blunt, savage truth eye to eye. That may sound like a generalization to you, but how often does that happen in one’s lifetime—truly?
I believe you’re currently working on the remake of the original vampire horror Nosferatu, can you tell us more?
I was tasked, as it were, with a daunting audition for Thomas, frightening similarities between his personality and my own rose threateningly to the surface, much like bubbles in a witch’s brew.
Thomas’ wheedles his way through relationships. He oozes charm. His over-the- top bravado smacks of guile emboldened by his natural, sexy good looks; However his success has always depended on good genes, not talent,intelligence, or hard work. Thus, he is a fraud.
Since childhood, I’ve felt just one chromosome away from being found out as such. Now this enticing and juicy role has come my way for a reason. Thomas will become myself; he will become more truth than a role.
More than a role, this will be a full confession.
How did you prepare for a horror movie like that? Did you watch the Werner Herzog’s version with Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani and Bruno Ganz?
Yes. I studied both versions several times. As we were remaking the original scene-by- scene (as opposed to a general facsimile), I stuck very closely to the demands of the role. The original Vampire movie will finally be re-told: faithfully, scarily, and bang on.
The new series ‘Relationship Status’, please tell us more…
By contrast, this is a purely “fun” new series available on the Go90 app. It’s all about online dating. Most of us, in this day and age, have tried it—and if not yet, many are curious to do so.
I read the actual script. Its real. It is up-to- the-minute. It is unforgiving. You won’t want to miss it if seeking love, sex, or arrangements is part of your life or your potential future.
Get ‘Reboot my heart’ HERE
Photos by Brent Weber
By Fabrizio Belluschi ©FM