Chicago actress, Celeste M. Cooper has been cast to play the lead role of "Mel" in Fatal Funnel Films’ debut feature-length thriller, Range Runners.
The youngest of four children, Celeste M. Cooper was born and raised in Joliet, Illinois, where her father, Keith, was the warden of Joliet Correctional Center, and her mother, Anitra, worked as a special education teacher. Celeste ran track for over ten years before she ditched practice one day during her senior year of high school to audition for the play You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, where she scored the part of Lucy Van Pelt. Realizing that she had found her calling on the stage, Celeste went on to study acting at Tennessee State University, followed by DePaul University The Theatre School, where she received her MFA in Acting in 2012. Less than a year out of school, Celeste performed at one of the top theaters in the Midwest, Goodman Theatre, where she played Juliet in Measure for Measure. In 2014, Celeste received the "Most Promising Actress" award from the Black Theatre Alliance Awards. Since then, Celeste has worked prolifically, appearing both on stage and on film, including credits in Spike Lee’s Chiraq, Sense8, Under Covers, Citizen in the Temple, The Greasy Plate, and a recurring role as the medical examiner on Dick Wolf's Chicago P.D. Some theatre credits include Blues for an Alabama Sky (Court Theatre/Jeff Awarded Best Production), The Hard Problem (Court Theatre), Measure for Measure (Goodman), Stick Fly (Windy City Playhouse), Never the Sinner (Victory Gardens Theater), Ruined (Eclipse Theatre/BTAA Most Promising Actress Awardee), and she is currently working on Steppenwolf Theatre’s world premiere production of BLKS. She is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.
"It's in our nature to do things that aren't in our nature."