May 16, 2014
On Sunday, May 11, Scott Cooper was the featured Commencement speaker at Hampden-Sydney College. The College awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Cooper is an actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. He was born in Abington, Virginia, and is a 1992 graduate in economics from Hampden-Sydney College.
He later went on to study as an actor at the famed Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City. His acting credits include the Sony Pictures Classic, Get Low, starring Cooper's mentor and frequent collaborator Robert Duvall, as well as Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek. Cooper also starred alongside Duvall in AMC's Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Broken Trail. The pair has worked together on four pictures including the Warner Bros. Civil War epic, Gods and Generals.
Cooper's first project as a writer and director is his Oscar-winning film Crazy Heart. For his effort, he also won a 2010 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. The film received three Academy Award nominations and won two Oscars, for Best Actor and Best Original Song. He also wrote and directed the acclaimed Out of the Furnace starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, and Zoe Saldana.
Currently, he is in production on Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp as the notorious Boston gangster James "Whitley" Bulger. The film, based on Gerard O'Neil's New York Times best-selling book, is being produced by Warner Bros. and is slated for release in the fall of 2015. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Jocelyne and daughters Ava and Stella.