Star coach has eye on WA talent
Elizabeth Kemp. Picture: Supplied

When Bradley Cooper earned his first Oscar nod at last year's Academy Awards for his turn as bipolar divorcee Pat Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook, it was a proud moment for Elizabeth Kemp.

The 39-year-old actor, who was catapulted to fame in the blockbuster trilogy The Hangover, garnered widespread critical acclaim for the role, which also saw him nominated for a Golden Globe.

Having been Cooper's acting coach for the past few years, Kemp is partly responsible for helping the actor hit the peak of his career.

"The most sacred experience I ever had was in (her class)," Cooper said of Kemp's coaching in 2012. "No question about it - she's an incredible teacher."

For Kemp, knowing Cooper has publicly acknowledged her work was a huge compliment.

"The two films I feel really great about are Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle; he was nominated for both and that makes me very, very happy for him," she says.

Starting as an actress at the age of 16, Kemp has racked up a string of film and TV roles, most famously in hit legal drama series LA Law. But she eventually left Hollywood for New York, where she was spurred to take up teaching at the Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute, which has an alumni including Claire Danes, Alec Baldwin and Barbra Streisand.

"I realised that I really loved it and it sort of rose from there," Kemp, who's a long-serving member of The Actors Studio alongside Al Pacino, says.

While she has worked with many big-name stars - Jennifer Connelly, Harvey Keitel and Sigrid Thornton to name a few - Kemp is sworn to a confidentiality agreement that prevents her from talking about her biggest clients. "I'm not allowed to speak about working with them unless they speak about me," Kemp says.

Budding WA actors will get the chance to brush shoulders with the sought-after New York-based acting coach when she is in Perth later this month to host a master class at Subiaco's The Actor's Hub.

Having worked with some of Australia's top acting exports over the years, the 55-year-old was eager to cast her eye on the next generation of Aussie talent.

"I'm so excited," she says. "I've heard so much about Perth, I'm delighted."

Kemp's Masterclass runs from July 14-19. Applications are via and close on Friday.

The West Australian

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