BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
LOS ANGELES-BASED Zimbabwean actor Rick Cosnett has disclosed that his journey to become a Hollywood star did not come on a silver platter, but he travelled a difficult road.
Cosnett is popularly known for his performance as Detective Eddie Thawne on The CW’s The Flash, and his role as Dr Wes Mayfield in The Vampire Diaries.
The Chegutu-bred actor told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that sometimes he would lose out on major roles but he did not give up.
“In 2000, I moved to Australia where I studied acting at QUT in Brisbane. On graduating I moved to Sydney where I worked in many different jobs, some acting-related, others not,” he said.
An encounter with life coach and acting teacher Bernard Hiller saw Cosnett moving to Los Angeles where he eventually landed major roles on The Flash, The Vampire Diaries and Quantico.
“I had been getting very close to major roles in Hollywood, sometimes coming down to the final two and not getting them. I came down to the final two for a regular character on The Originals, which was a spin off series of The Vampire Diaries but I didn’t end up getting it,” he recalled.
Cosnett said six months later, he auditioned for The Vampire Diaries and secured the contract after losing out on a contract with the popular soap, Days Of Our Lives.
“They (The Vampire Diaries producers) said I could do one episode, and potentially six, but I ended up doing 12,” he said.
Cosnett said working with top Hollywood actors was an honour and he was still striving to do more.
“Being a series regular on The Flash was an incredible experience for me because we all got to create the story together from the very beginning; a black canvas ripe with possibilities. Working with Jesse L Martin and other actors on those incredible sets was an honour and a thrill to say the least,” he said.
“Jesse and I ended up creating a short film together with Carlos Valdes called The Letter Carrier, which was a wondrous experience. I’ve also had roles in films like Tu Me Manques, a Bolivian-US production which had a very strong impact on people.”
Cosnett said he was passionate about telling stories that ignited the imagination while giving meaning to human existence.
“There isn’t a huge amount of artistry in TV movies, for example where they tell a squeaky clean version of reality, and also often tokenise people of colour. Or storytelling that repeatedly leaves out people of colour in Hollywood. The industry in the US is changing for the better now, let’s hope,” he said.
“There has been a push for diversity, I’ve noticed over the last 16 years, which is exciting. There is room for everyone and we should all feel that way in order to create freely and artistically.”
Cosnett said his background influenced him to venture into the film industry as his parents were involved in shows at The Campbell Theatre in Kadoma.
“I was always dancing or pretending to be someone else growing up on the farm. It was passion and escapism for me; a way to live deeply inside and outside of myself. I wanted to express how much I was in love with people and nature and the world,” he said.
Cosnett said he was currently working on a feature film that would be set in Zimbabwe, a TV show about two South African women and another project set just after the civil war in Georgia, US.