IT may need a massive leap of imagination to go from Royton and Crompton School to a leading role in a Steven Spielberg movie.
Or in the case of Oldham born and bred Olivia Cooke simply a heap of talent.
Cooke’s meteoric rise from schoolgirl to Hollywood actress is set to move up another notch next month with the release of Spielberg’s eagerly anticipated futuristic tale, ‘Ready Player One’.
Out on March 30, Cooke’s latest film credit is a screen version of Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel by the same time.
It is a story of a virtual universe created in a world crumbling because of economic and environmental trauma.
Cooke appears alongside American actor Tye Sheridan (X Factor: Apocalypse and X-Men: Dark Phoenix), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies/Wolf Hall) T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley), and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz), among others.
For Cooke, it’s another juicy part after her impressive performance, alongside Bill Nighy, as serial killer Elizabeth Cree in ‘Limehouse Golem’.
Speaking about her involvement in ‘Ready Player One’ Cooke said: “To get the call that you’re the lead in a Steven Spielberg movie was just mental.
“Everyone is at the height of their field and Steven is so unbelievably skilled and generous and kind.
“I got to do loads of stunts as well, which was really empowering and cool.
“Gary Powell, the stunt coordinator, is a London lad, and I’m from Manchester so there was that working class girl thing going on and we had a really nice camaraderie.
“They were really patient and pumped me up so I felt like a superhero.
“I think what I’ve learned with ‘Ready Player One’ is patience and being durable and being prepared for anything.”
Cooke is a former member of Oldham Theatre Workshop and had her first lead role as Maria in a school production of ‘West Side Story’ at 17.
Olivia also appeared in several adverts and even featured in a One Direction tour video, receiving a piggy back from Harry Styles.
She received early acclaim for her role as a teenager diagnosed with cancer in ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,’ before later parts in ‘Ouija’ and ‘Bates Motel.’