Chris Cooper in BreachChris Cooper is much more than the stereotypical cowpoke from Missouri. Because, while he started his career designing and building sets there, the young actor found his first acting roles in New York City and soon crossed the pond to play opposite Lauren Bacall in “Sweet Bird of Youth” on the London stage in 1985. Cooper’s career has since been founded on the small but significant supporting characters in films such as This Boy’s Life, A Time to Kill (1996), The Horse Whisperer (1998) and Alfonso Cuarón’s Great Expectations (1998). His portrayal of a stern (and complex, sexually-confused) military man in Sam Mendes’ American Beauty earned him a supporting actor nomination from SAG–the first of three in four years, he was also nominated in that category for 2002’s Adaptation and 2003’s Seabiscuit. In fact, it was his performance as an orchid expert in Adaptation that brought Cooper gold in the form of an Academy Award statuette, plus subsequent roles as KBI agent Alvin Dewey in Capote and Robert Hanssen in Breach, his first as a leading man. Next up he reprises his role opposite Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum and acts against Patricia Clarkson in both Hurricane Mary and Married Life.

Connections: Chris Cooper’s first feature film role came courtesy of John Sayles in 1987’s Matewan. Since then the men have worked on City of Hope (1991), Lone Star (1996) and Silver City (2004).