A rough-cut British actor with a dark and slightly brooding presence, Dominic Cooper initially cut his chops on the London and Gotham stages, with two very different roles: adventurer Will Parry in the Royal National Theatre's epic production of Philip Pullman's iconoclastic fantasy His Dark Materials, and that of the womanizer Dakin in the Broadway run of Alan Bennett's The History Boys. Cooper earned favorable notices for each; the success of Boys prompted BBC Two Films and Fox Searchlight to launch a film adaptation in late 2006, also featuring Cooper.
Though Boys scarcely represented Cooper's cinematic debut (he appeared in Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto a couple of years prior, among other films), it did prove a watershed, spurring the young actor on to additional film work. In subsequent years, the thespian played Willoughby in John Alexander's U.K. television miniseries Sense and Sensibility (2008), adapted from the novel by Jane Austen; cut against type as an imprisoned white-collar criminal in the Wyatt Brothers' thriller The Escapist (2008); and essayed a supporting role as Sky, Sophie's (Amanda Seyfried) fiancé, in Phyllida Lloyd's big-screen ABBA musical Mamma Mia! (2008). ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi