Online Exclusive Feature : Shannon Kook

THE ACTING TROUBADOUR. He can act, he can sing, he can dance, and we’ll probably see him behind the camera one day. The multi-talented Shannon Kook shares his story with DA MAN

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Sweater by Sandro

Shannon Kook’s love affair with acting began in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was born. His destiny, however, was elsewhere, and it was in Toronto that he finally made his way into the limelight. With several TV shows and movies under his  belt, the up-and-coming artist looks ahead for new challenges.

DA MAN: Your latest movie, “Dark Places,” is hitting theaters right now. How was your experience filming this movie?

Shannon Kook: I loved getting to work on this movie. It was extremely challenging mentally, physically, and emotionally because of the depth of this piece but also the nature of my character.

DA : What was it like working with veteran actors and actresses like Charlize Theron?

SK: The bulk of my scenes were with Chloe Moretz and Tye Sheridan. I met Chloe in the lunchroom, and she came and gave me a hug before I figured out how to break the ice. It was really comforting how she made sure to make me feel like an equal. When I moved to Canada from South Africa, in my mind, Charlize Theron was the only South African actor who had made something of herself on a global scale. She is a point of symbolism in my career and sense of patriotism. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to work with Charlize.

DA : Do you have any other movie projects in the works? Or maybe titles you’re currently looking into?

SK: I’m starring in a movie with William Shatner called ‘’A Christmas Horror Story’’ scheduled to hit cinemas during Christmas this year. It’s a totally different and original Christmas movie. Everything is always so bright and happy during the Christmas movie reruns, and I think this movie could really switch things up.

DA : You’re also known for your singing, particularly your performance of “The Whisper in Me” for “Dirty Singles.” Have you ever considered a recording career?

SK: We got nominated by the Canadian Screen Awards for Best Original Song this year. It came as a great surprise! A manager approached me once to get a music career going for me, but acting has kept me quite busy. I’m open to the idea, though.

DA : Besides acting and singing, what else are you passionate about?

SK: Well, I enjoy cooking and I dabble in dance. Lately, I’ve been more involved in mixed martial arts, and I try to fit in some time at the gym. I have my studio where I shoot and coach actors for auditions. I will direct one day. It’s something I’m gearing toward. I’ve been taking courses, and I also shadowed a director, Phil Earnshaw, on the TV series “Degrassi: The Next Generation” for two weeks to watch the process.

DA : If you hadn’t gone into showbiz, what do you think would your career look like?

SK: If I weren’t an actor I may have been a photographer, or a documentary filmmaker as well as a healer of some kind linked with things like Reiki and natural healing.

DA : Are you still involved with charity organizations?

SK: Presently, I am not. I’ve worked for charity organizations before, and I’ve taken a trip to India to build a school as a volunteer, but there is still more to do. It’s inevitable that I will be involved with more charity organizations.

DA : What do you consider to be your biggest achievement so far?

SK: The first thing that came to mind was the messages I get in my Facebook inbox as well as postal mail fans have sent me. People take time out of their day to send me a thank you note or insight into how I’ve affected them, and some are extremely personal and heartbreaking. It’s not like I’ve done anything to them directly, but the fact that it got through to some of them to that level is way more than what an award or trophy could ever be to me. At the end of the day, it’s about what you’ve left people feeling inside themselves and the insight you can possibly afford them. Among one’s experience, it’s not just about yourself, but the ripple.

DA : If you could sum up your life and career in one phrase or sentence, what would it be?

SK: Live, love, be.

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Jacket and trousers by G-Star RAW, Shirt by Sandro

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Sweater by Sandro

“Among one’s experience, it’s not just about yourself, but the ripple”

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Suit by Sandro, Shirt by Marc by Marc Jacobs

Photography Austin Anderton
Styling Alexander Shera
Grooming Grace Phillips