Oliver Jackson Cohen
Oliver Jackson Cohen: Hauntingly Talented
by Sam Spotswood
As one of the stars of Netflix’s hit horror series The Haunting of Hill House, Oliver Jackson Cohen knows firsthand the ups and downs that come with such a heavy project. His dedication to the show is clear, as he taps into the deepest parts of himself as he plays Luke Crain. While his acting chops have earned him a place alongside his costars Michiel Huisman of Game of Thrones and Carla Gugino of Spy Kids, and Elizabeth Ann Reiser of Grey’s Anatomy (just to name a few), Cohen remains completely down to earth, indulging in simple pleasures when the cameras aren’t rolling. We got to talk to Cohen about his experience on The Haunting of Hill House, his style, his future goals, and more.
What has been your favorite part of working on The Haunting of Hill House?
That’s quite a hard question to answer, because there were so many things as it was a 9 month shoot! I think creatively, it was shooting episode 6, which is a one take episode. We rehearsed it like a play for over 3 weeks, and it was such a unique experience to be a part of.
What has it been like to be part of such a talented ensemble cast?
Incredible. Mike is very clever in his casting choices and he assembled a cast of exceptional people. Being in that environment is very enriching because you immediately can trust that the actor you are working with will push and elevate every scene you are a part of. Going back to episode 6, every actor understood the material and their characters so profoundly that I believe, ultimately, the ensemble added something quite special to the show as a whole on top of what was already there.
What is the most challenging part about playing your character, Luke Crain?
I think being in that headspace for that amount of time was quite hard. Luke is a very troubled young man and as an actor, you naturally tap into parts of yourself that probably shouldn’t be touched. Having that go on for such a prolonged amount of time was draining and quite painful, I think, for everyone. I also felt this huge pressure to do him justice and to all the people that struggle with addiction and trauma. He will always be a very special person to have played and I will always cherish him.
How would you describe your style?
Pretty simple. I love the whole Scandinavian neutral colour, oversized look. I love clothes and grew up with parents that worked in fashion in London, so I have always had a love and appreciation for clothes since a young age. My parents always said, “Clothes are there to make you feel comfortable and confident. So wear what makes you feel great.” I have kind of lived by that rule all my life.
Outside of acting, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Being incredibly normal! This job can be nuts so finding the complete opposite of that in my free time is crucial. Lots of sleeping and domestic life stuff!
What are some of your future goals?
I have absolutely no idea!! Just to keep trucking? That’s probably a quite boring answer, but it’s true!!
What is one piece of advice you would give to your past self?
You are going to be okay. This will pass.
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Photographer: Aria Emory @ariaemoryphotography
Creative Direction: Stephane Marquet @alekandsteph
Groomer: Jessica Chumua @jessicachumua (using MAC Cosmetics and Kevin Murphy)
Stylist: Sky Naval @sky_is_dlimit
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