How Bhutan changed my life

British actor Emrhys Cooper is the first Westerner to star in a Bhutanese movie.

By Fusion Lifestyle Reporter
June 27, 2014, 2:11 pm
How Bhutan changed my life

British actor Emrhys Cooper is the first Westerner to star in a Bhutanese movie.

The rising Hollywood star, who is based in Los Angeles and London, spent six weeks filming in the South Asian Himalayan country; after personally being invited to star in the leading role by the King of Bhutan.

The 29-year-old plays the main character Charlie in Kushuthara: Pattern of Love. Kushuthara explores the Buddhist concept of Karma and the possibility of rebirth of two persons in one lifetime to accomplish what was left unrealized in a previous life.

The film is due for worldwide release later this year, and tipped for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category at the Academy Awards. To this date, no other Western actor has ever appeared in a Bhutanese Produced Film.

Emrhys, who has had previous acting roles in Desperate Housewives, CSI: NY and the film musical Mamma Mia! spoke of how he became an instant sensation from the moment he set foot in the country. "Even my arrival into the country was a whirlwind national news phenomenon," said Emrhys.

 "It's the biggest movie they've ever made and they welcomed me with the most amazing open arms. I was on TV across the country and I was treated like an absolute superstar. It was truly amazing."

Emrhys – a Singer, Dancer and Producer – has documented his experiences in a video diary, which is being made into a TV documentary, later this year. He says learning about the Bhutanese culture has changed his view on life and taught him about the true meaning of happiness.

"Life in Bhutan is rich, vivacious and splendid, filled with an appreciation for home, love, family and beauty," said Emrhys.

"My time there awakened me and I was completely inspired by the level of contentment and utter joy that the Bhutanese people feel within their daily lives."

"While our Western perspective tends to centre on achievement, theirs is centric upon happiness. The Bhutanese taught me to understand the importance of living in the moment, in both my personal and creative lives, and my experience truly changed my outlook and my view of happiness itself.

“It's completely re-arranged the furniture in my mind."

Emrhys  followed his instincts and gut feelings, that moving forward with the project would prove life-changing.

"Thank goodness I did, it has been an incredible journey that has opened a huge number of doors for me and led to me meeting amazing people," he said.

"Being chosen for a lead in a feature film is an exceptional honour for any actor. To couple that with being the first Western actor to star in a Bhutanese feature film is the highest of gifts. This honour is one I will hold close to my heart and cherish forever."

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