ELLE (Canada)

Cooper Nesta

The star is coming into her own.


WHEN I HOP ONTO ZOOM WITH NESTA COOPER, the Canadian actor has just gotten back to her Toronto home after getting a new tattoo. The ink depicts a small series of faces, most without distinct features, surroundin­g another face with a third eye. She had been eagerly anticipati­ng her appointmen­t but couldn’t decide what image she wanted to put on her body until she came across the art on TikTok. “All of my tattoos are really personal, but the ones I like the most are the ones I got kind of haphazardl­y,” says the 27-year-old, whom you might recognize from her roles in the sci-fi series Travelers and coming-of-age dramedy The Edge of Seventeen. “I was like, ‘I need to stop caring so much.’ Then I saw this cool doodle, and it just moved me.” It’s that willing-to-try-anything attitude that makes Cooper so compelling as Haniwa (opposite Jason Momoa, who plays her father) in the Apple TV+ dystopian drama See, currently in its second season with a third one on the way.

WORLD BUILDING “Season two [of See] was less daunting because when season one came together, I felt like I had proven to myself that I could do what I had set out to do. It was a really big undertakin­g, and I was excited to continue that legacy. But it was also more daunting in a sense because my character falls in love this season. I was used to playing a bratty teenager, but she grows up a lot, so I had to think about her psychology.”

OWNING IT “I really had to come into my own [this season]. I felt a strong need to protect my character’s integrity, and I felt like I had to take charge and know exactly what I was doing and where I was coming from. I’ve never had the confidence to take up space in that way, especially on a project this big. I wasn’t perfect all the time—actually, I was never perfect—but I’m proud of myself for stepping into it instead of shying away from [more responsibi­lity].”

ROLE MODEL “Haniwa is such a physical role. I learned a lot from watching Jason [Momoa] because he is such an amazing stunt person and incredible fighter. I’m in awe of the way he’s able to move his body. I really tried to pick [up some] of his mannerisms.”

STYLE MOMENT “I would describe my personal style as ‘eclectic leisure.’ I love mixing bold prints and using all kinds of colours. I kind of lean into that fitted, layered, cut-out, asymmetric­al look. And I’ve been obsessed with [designer] Charlotte Knowles lately; I love the way she layers and that she uses sheer stretchy fabric. I think she’s so, so cool.”

CONTENT CORNER “Right now, I’m reading [the novel] Circe by Madeline Miller. I’m only halfway through, but it’s pretty heartbreak­ing. I’m also watching [Marvel series] Loki with Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson, with whom I did the movie Bliss. I love Owen—he’s so amazing and funny.”

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 ??  ?? From top: Nesta Cooper; a scene with Jason Momoa in See
From top: Nesta Cooper; a scene with Jason Momoa in See

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