Destitute ‘Rain Dogs’ star once auditioned to be a stripper


British actress Daisy May Cooper stars in “Rain Dogs,” a dark comedy about an unconventional family premiering March 6 on HBO (10 p.m., and also available on HBO Max).

The series, created by writer Cash Carraway, is set in England and follows struggling and impoverished single mother Costello Jones (Cooper), her daughter Iris (Fleur Tashjian) and Costello’s best friend Selby (Jack Farthing, “Poldark “) – follows a wealthy homosexual. The man who is Costello’s pseudo “soul mate” and Iris’ father figure.

“It’s an unconventional love story, really,” Cooper, 36, told the Post.[Costello and Selby] are from opposite ends of the spectrum. He’s very rich, she’s poor, and they’re both neglected in different ways and don’t have the skills to have a normal healthy relationship, so it becomes toxic.

“But it’s just such an interesting relationship that I haven’t really seen on screen before,” he said. “It was really interesting to play – and really genuine.”

Costello (Daisy Mae Cooper) at the end of a hard day in “Rain Dogs.”
James Pardon / HBO

Jack Farthing stands in a room looking serious.
Jack Farthing as Selby in “Rain Dogs”.
James Pardon / HBO

Daisy May Cooper and Jack Farthing smiling and holding each other standing by the stairs, while a young girl laughs at them standing on the stairs.
Costello (Daisy May Cooper), Selby (Jack Farthing) and his daughter, Iris (Fleur Tashjian).
Simon Ridgway

“Rain Dogs” tracks Costello’s attempts to fulfill and provide for his daughter, which sometimes puts him in bizarre situations that require Selby to bail him out. He also has his own problems while in prison recently.

Cooper (HBO’s “Avenue 5”) also starred in and co-created the British mockumentary series “This Country” with his brother Charlie Cooper. (Its American incarnation is Fox’s “Welcome to Fletch” starring Sean William Scott.)

Cooper said that, like Costello in “Rain Dogs,” she grew up in poverty. Costello works in a peep show — and Cooper said she can relate to that experience.

“I remember auditioning to be a stripper when I was really poor and about 18 or 19, and how bleak it is,” she said. “I used to work as a cleaner for around £100 a month. I went for an interview after drama school, washing dishes at a restaurant. I didn’t get a job … the only thing available that will always hire is the f–king sex industry. And I remember being angry about it. Because you have awkward men looking at you, and you think, ‘You have no idea how talented I am, or where I want to be, or what my morals are.’ You only see a pair of t–s. People who come from a stable upbringing don’t have to put themselves through things like that.

Daisy Mae Cooper as Costello "rain dogs" Dancing in red light wearing a wig and low cut shirt.
Costello (Daisy Mae Cooper) is working a peep show in “Rain Dogs.”
James Pardon / HBO

Daisy Mae Cooper is sitting at a table in the dressing room.
Costello (Daisy Mae Cooper) in her dressing room at the Peep Show in “Rain Dogs”.
James Pardon / HBO

Daisy Mae Cooper looks worried on the phone while walking on a city sidewalk.
Costello (Daisy Mae Cooper) is leaving and laughs to make ends meet in “Rain Dogs.”
Gary Moyes/HBO

Cooper said that filming “Rain Dogs” brought back memories of his past, “I guess I haven’t dealt with it.”

She recalled a time when she was in her 20s and lived under one roof with her brother and her parents. “It was like ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ [My brother and I] Working as a cleaner as both our parents were unemployed and could not get a job at that time. It was hell.”

They lived outside of London, but had to take a bus there to audition for the show “Call the Midwife.”

“I had to take 9 pounds out of the family food budget to get one [bus] to London. I only had one pair of shoes, these sandals that broke, and I had to tape them up, and walk from Victoria Coach Station to central London,” he said. “I remember feeling very anxious, because I had such a stressful time even getting there… Costello goes through that on a daily basis. It will be very easy for anyone else. That reminded me [of my life] too much I was terrible at the audition, and you go ‘of course I was,’ because there was so much invested in it. And I had to go back and tell my family, ‘That was too bad.’

“I’m thankful there’s a show that’s as nuanced as ‘Rain Dogs.’ It’s not poverty porn. It’s being real.”

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