Ali Cook- man of many talents, He’s a Magician, a Comedian and a stellar Actor, and right now He is gracing our screens as DCI Terrance Simmons in the TV series ‘Ragdoll’, we spoke to Ali to find out more about his magical life…
Hi Ali where in the world are you today?
In St. Paul’s in the City of London.
Can you tell us about Ragdoll and your regular role of ‘DCI Terrance Simmons’?
He’s the boss of the team of Detectives, in charge of tracking down the identity of the Ragdoll killer and the victims.
You play a cop in a pretty gruesome situation; how did you prepare for the role? Do you see any character traits similar to your own in Simmons?
Nothing really prepares you for the grisly props. I try to only see the fake body parts when I first go for a take, to keep my reaction as organic as possible.
Unfortunately, Simmons is not as funny as he thinks he is and anyone who has seen my stand up knows this is a trait I share with him! I also get stressed about small things like Simmons. My favourite hobby is to grumble at people that they have moved my keys, when in fact I moved them myself hours before!
You are also currently starring in ‘The Obscure life of the Grand Duke of Corsica’ can you tell us what it was like working alongside Timothy Spall and Peter Stormare?
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Peter as we were on different schedules, but Timothy Spall was a blast. A very witty man with a sharp sense of humour and a beast of an actor. I learnt a lot from him.
“My favourite hobby is to grumble at people that they have moved my keys, when in fact I moved them myself hours before!”
Tell us about your other role as an illusionist, that sounds amazing, what got you into that?
My mum had a new age bookshop with healing crystals and yoga mats, that kind of thing. One day, a book about magic arrived by accident and I was hooked. In fact, there were two books- The Pocket Book of Magic by Peter Eldin and The Expert at the Card Table by SW Erdnase.
And the shows you’ve written sound magic too! Is it easier or harder to star in a show you’ve written yourself?
I prefer to make my own projects where possible as I know exactly how I’d like it to be but it’s also a huge pressure as you inevitably take on too much. The beauty of working on huge productions is the weight is off your shoulders and you can just focus on your area.
However, I like the pressure of overseeing the whole project.
At Cool America we believe in positive changes no matter how small or big -what do you do every day to make the world a better place?
I try to engage with my daughters and really listen to them, even though boy are they chatter boxes. My youngest is nine and she once explained the entire plot to season 1 of The Winx Saga in one breath. That was a challenge to follow.
“I try to engage with my daughters and really listen to them”
Which role have you found the most challenging?
Probably playing Sgt. Paul McMellon in the film Kajaki. Firstly, he’s a real person and I talked with him so felt a huge responsibility to emulate him accurately. Also, he was ripped so it was six days a week in the gym, a buzz cut and a lot of fake tattoos.
And the easiest and most natural role you’ve slipped into?
Probably DCI Simmons in Ragdoll. He’s a bit of a buffoon and thinks he’s way funnier than he is. I found that chillingly easy to play.
“In England, no one talks to each other on the tube or the bus. Every time I’m in the States, everyone is super upbeat and friendly.”
What’s the funniest moment you’ve experienced on a set?
Years ago. I was filming a TV magic series called Monkey Magic and we made a dove appear. The only thing is the dove flew off, landed on a branch, and did not want to come down.
Aside from acting, what do you do?
I like writing and performing stand up and performing street magic.
What do you get up to in your spare time?
Pretty much the above if I’m not filming.
What’s your favourite film ever?
Wow so many. Here’s a couple: The Last Temptation of Christ and The Sting. Very different genres but include two of my favourite actors- Willem Dafoe and Paul Newman.
What’s your favourite outfit?
I love anything by APC. Usually their jeans, jumper and some kind of bomber jacket.
What do you find cool about America?
The fact that everyone chats to strangers. In England, no one talks to each other on the tube or the bus. Every time I’m in the States, everyone is super upbeat and friendly.
But surely the coolest thing to come out of America is Hip Hop. As a kid, I loved the documentary Style Wars and dreamed of going to New York at that time.
And finally tell us what’s cool about you?
Ha err my hands when I forget my gloves?
Ragdoll is out now on Alibi in the UK and on AMC in the US
1st Image & Cover
T SHIRT PIN DENIM
COAT VIVIENNE WESTWOOD
TROUSERS VELVET GLOVE
COAT AND TROUSERS SHEK LEUNG
SOCKS AND SNEAKERS MISSONI
JACKET SAINT LAURENT
T SHIRT A BATHING APE
TROUSERS VELVET GLOVE
SOCKS AND SNEAKERS MISSONI
SHIRT AND TROUSERS PRADA
JACKET VELVET GLOVE
SUIT VELVET GLOVE