(CBS Detroit/AP)-Broadway’s rising star Lilli Cooper has earned her first Tony nomination for her part in “Tootsie”. But, she gets her talent honestly. Her father, Chuck Cooper, is a Tony award-winning actor.
“I don’t know how it happened. It’s kind of crazy. We’re constantly pinching ourselves. It feels very surreal and very special,” says Lilli during a joint interview with her dad.
Growing up the youngest of three children, Lilli saw herself pursuing musical theater-especially since her dad performs for a living.
“Backstage was my backyard,” she says. “I would go to his dressing rooms after school and do my homework and take naps under his dressing station and help the prop guys hand off props in the wings. So it’s just sort of like in my blood.”
Chuck had no idea about Lilli’s singing abilities until he watched her in a production of “Spring Awakening”.
“I just sat straight up and the hair on the back of my neck went up. I went, ‘Oh my God, what have we wrought?'” her father says.
From Shakespeare to starring in TV hits like “Madam Secretary”, Chuck has proven to be a long-term fixture in the entertainment business. Lilli has stacked up impressive credits that include “SpongeBob SquarePants” and playing Elphaba in “Wicked.”
Lilli hopes to mimic her dad’s career versatility, saying she wants “to have sort of a toe in everything.” It appears that she’ll be able to accomplish that goal because she’s already Tony-nominated.
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