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Deltaville pastor has two roles in Academy Award-nominated movie

The movie “The Holdovers” was recently nominated for five Academy Awards.

The film is directed by Alexander Payne and is cast with such names as Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa and Carrie Preston on the top billing list of performers and just down the way on that same “top billing list” is Alexander Cook, the stage name of the Rev. Mike Cook, pastor of Philippi Christian Church in Deltaville.

“That was the first time in my career that I have made a top billing list,” said the Rev. Cook. “I also have been told that it was one of the first times in history of modern day acting that an actor was cast for two parts in the same movie.”

When Cook auditioned for a role in the movie, Payne liked him so much that he cast him in two parts as the priest, which is understandable, but in contrast, he won the role as the bartender, too.

Acting career

Cook, 65, has ties to Deltaville going back to his childhood when his family owned one of those cinderblock, built on a slab, no heat or air-conditioning 1960s summer cottages on the river.

At an early age, he fell in love with acting, studied at the Carnegie-Mellon University School of Drama in Pittsburgh and received a bachelor’s in acting in 1980.

He started acting professionally in 1975 when he landed his first paying role at Baltimore’s Center Stage and worked in the profession full time until 1988 when he entered seminary. He did a lot of stunt work in movies, classical Shakespearean regional theater work on stage in New York and “low” list billings in movies.

In 2005 Cook was called as minister to Philippi. In 2010 he directed and acted in “Art” for The Lancaster Players in….

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