Rick Cosnett discusses his new film Tu Me Manques, as well as delving into his past TV characters including Eddie Thawne (The Flash).

For someone who was born in Zimbabwe, studied in Australia and works in the United States, Rick Cosnett’s career is as diverse as his upbringing.

Rick may be familiar for his major roles on various TV shows, such as Wes Maxfield (The Vampire Diaries), Eddie Thawne (The Flash) and Elias Harper (Quantico). In this Exclusive Interview, Rick chats about his film Tu Me Manques, written and directed by Rodrigo Bellott.

The film follows Jorge (Oscar Martinez), who travels from Bolivia to New York following his son’s death. Upon arriving in NYC, Jorge confronts Sebastian (Fernando Barbosa), his son’s ex-boyfriend, despite not being fully onboard with his son’s sexuality. Sebastian, on the other hand, uses his grief to write a play honouring his late lover.

This interview has been condensed for length and clarity. To hear the full conversation, check out the audio version on the Courageous Nerd YouTube channel.

Welcome, Rick and thank you for taking the time to do this.

Rick Cosnett (RC): My pleasure Conor, good to be here.

It’s fair to say you have lived an eclectic life, having been a permanent resident of three different continents at some point. Where in that journey were you inspired to become an actor?

RC: Yes, absolutely. I feel like I’ve been knocked around a lot, in my privilege, of course. I always wanted to be an actor, funnily enough when I knew it was a job. My parents used to do a little Gilbert and Sullivan at an amateur theatre in Zimbabwe. Not only that, there’s something deep within me that has a need to express the human experience. Emulate that and bring some kind of meaning to this crazy meaningless world.

It has been said online that you are a cousin of fellow actor Hugh Grant. Is this true and if so, to what extent is the relation?

RC: Yeah, it is, actually. Not that close, he’s my third cousin. By random coincidence, I was doing a play in Edinburgh next door to these two girls, who we befriended for that whole tour. They ended up being Hugh Grant’s first cousins, which was crazy. I think our grans are first cousins. Now I’m really close to them, which is great, you know? It’s nice to have those girls in London and Edinburgh.

It was always our claim to fame, growing up in the middle of nowhere, in Zimbabwe. Even before Hugh Grant was famous, we were like, “Oh, our cousin was in a magazine.” He has no idea who I am. That’s my life’s goal, one day, for him to say, “Did you know that I am Rick Cosnett’s cousin?”

Your film Tu Me Manques deals with homosexuality and homophobia as a theme. Director Rodrigo Bellott is gay and you came out yourself in February 2020. With all of these factors in mind, how important was it for you to help tell this story? How does it stand out from your other projects?

RC: It was a project that I think changed a lot of lives. Mainly in Bolivia and then of course also around the world. It was a true story, the director’s true story that he sort of turned into art, if you will. He created a play first in Bolivia, which became a whole movement of people basically just being honest about their sexuality. Then, he turned it into a film. It’s really gone the distance, you know?

I was lucky enough to jump on when it became a film, auditioned for it and got the part. When I was watching it at a screening in Hollywood, I got really emotional. We had a Q&A afterwards and it was the first time in an interview, I think, that I said I was gay. I really felt the courage. I felt the movement, the moment that we’re in right now.

Image courtesy of Kantrr Films

It used to be lovely for actors to be able to be mysterious. It’s good because a lot of us are quite shy and introverted. It was also a bit of a cover-up for a certain amount of shame, I think. Then we had a screening for Academy members since Bolivia’s an official station for the Oscars. There, I felt very free to talk about how agents and managers really want to protect you in this world. You want to protect yourself. Being gay just really needs to lose its stigma

Rodrigo Bellott pulls double duty as writer-director for Tu Me Manques. How different was that experience compared to when there are two separate people filling those roles?

RC: Yeah, it was really amazing. To be able to have so many tools in terms of what he gave me. It’s really nice to have everything and then some. He was very enthusiastic about saying exactly who I was playing, which was a person in real life.

What their experiences are, even down to who they are. I could actually really research all of that and go into a lot more depth in terms of creating and showing the tip of that iceberg in the film. Often, it all gets condensed down so there are scenes we did that are not in the film, which often happens. It creates a more beautiful and hopefully rich world.

You’ve been able to star – and unfortunately had the caveat of being killed off – several television series with a large fan following. Do any of the fandoms in particular stand out in your mind?

RC: Yeah, 100%. There’s such a sweet sorrow around a lot of it, especially The Flash, which has gone on forever and ever. People are always hoping that I’ll come back and so am I. It was sad when I left because we were all really good friends. It would’ve been great for me, in a lot of ways, to stay on.

So, there is that sweet sorrow with such a beautiful experience, one that was kind of short-lived. The fans have been amazing, they’ve been incredible. They’ve really sustained me the last… however many years. I’ve been invited all over the world and taken them up on it. All the way from Paris to Poland, Lithuania, Australia, Wales. I’ve been lucky enough to go out and meet them, all over the world. It’s been really cool, hilarious and wonderful.

I know what it’s like, with people I looked at from my favourite shows and think, “Oh, maybe it’s a bit like that.” I try to give people a little bit of something, you know?

In Season 1 of The Flash, you were a series regular as Detective Eddie Thawne. Were you required at the audition process to read with Candice Patton (“Iris West”), as your characters are in a relationship almost from the beginning?

RC: We actually never read together before we started. Danielle Panabaker and I went through the audition process together so there were other people for our roles. My studio test, there were three actresses, I think, who came in for Iris. Candice wasn’t actually one of them. So, yeah, I don’t know what the process was behind closed doors. She’s such an obvious choice now and incredible.

I think it was just lucky. We were very dedicated to our roles. Sometimes, you can’t predict that kind of chemistry. Candice and I had it, for sure. As Olivia Colman said, “It was not a hardship.” She is, as you know, just absolutely stunning. She has this sparkle in her eyes.

Rick Cosnett
Image courtesy of The CW

So, it was very easy to… from being Eddie Thawne as well, who has this roundedness. He’s everything thing I think I always wanted to be, or my Dad wanted me to be. Very sane, so awesome that you can’t actually hate him. He’s really kind and able.

It was a great combination, him and Iris. Knowing that it was destined to fail, obviously, it’s written in the history of the comics. It was really fun to start in the place and then know it would go somewhere completely different.

As fans of The Flash will know, Eddie’s time on the show was cut short. When signing on, were you, Rick Cosnett, made aware of what would happen to your character? Did you ever think that you might be Reverse-Flash and were you concerned about your long-term future?

RC: I don’t know exactly what they had in mind. Originally, actually, I was supposed to be Jay Garrick in disguise. They changed it just before the pilot started shooting and said I was going to be the Reverse-Flash. Then, they changed it just before we started shooting the second episode. That’s when they were like, “Okay, you’re going to be {Reverse Flash’s] great great great….. grandfather.”

Hindsight is 20:20, I was a bit naïve to think I’d signed this 5-year contract or whatever it was. I was like, “Oh, cool! We’re just going to kind of go with it.” We also didn’t know how long the show would last. It was a shock, to me, when I found out they were killing me. It was a shock to all of us. We all were very emotional about it.

Sometimes, you have to sacrifice people to make the show more interesting. I’m sure people were riveted as to who was going to be next. I think they did the same thing on Arrow and they were really smart to do it. It was a real death and really sad. I always wanted to die on TV very dramatically. When I was little, there was this cartoon called Thundersub with this little boy and his identical twin – his name was Rick.

I told everyone in Grade 3 that I had acted in the cartoon because he had died dramatically the night before. This gorgeous anime girl, April, cried over his body in his bed. All my dreams came true.

Since Eddie’s death in particular (considering The Flash is a comic book inspired show), there have been numerous fan theories for his potential return. Have any of these caught your eye at all or make sense?

RC: Cobalt Blue makes a lot of sense, to me. It’s something that I have kind of thought about from the very beginning. Obviously, with the different timelines, it would be simple to have him come back as someone completely different but with the same soul. Same kind of heart, in a completely different job. Shake things up in Central City again.

It would be super fun and I’m sure everyone would be super happy to play with me again. I think it will happen, I do. It would be super beautiful and interesting to have Eddie come back in some really creative way. Maybe I’m the archenemy of Barry, the underlying villain. Maybe I’m Time. Yeah, that would be cool.

As someone who has had multiple (and memorable) television deaths, do you have a favourite?

RC: My death on Quantico, I really loved. In the episodes leading up to it, he completely lost the plot. Threw himself into traffic, completely hysterical. Getting to act with Aunjanue Ellis, that emotional arc was really, really fun for me. Then, jumping out of a hotel window is pretty cool.

Rick Cosnett
Image courtesy of ABC

I had to do a stunt as well, almost like a play. We shot the whole episode, all those scenes actually, in one go. At the very end of it all, I had to jump out of a window and land however many feet below on a mattress. It was a pretty intense day.

Other than Tu Me Manques, is there anything else in the pipeline that you can tell us about?

RC: I’m not able to talk about it but my agent was calling me, we’re closing a deal on something. Apart from that, I just did a film called Go To The Moon, which is about Margaret Hamilton, one of the very first software engineers who helped take the Apollo missions to the moon. Her story is really untold, so that was a cool project to be a part of.

I’m also developing a show called Jill and Sue. I play Jill, who is a South African woman in her late 50s, who moves to the really expensive suburb called Vancluse on the Sydney Harbor front. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time.

Professionally or personally, what do you hope to accomplish in 2021?

RC: One of the big health exercise goals, which will obviously lead into acting as well. There’s going to be a lot of big things coming this year for me. It’s important to be prepared emotionally, spiritually, physically so you can really make the most of the opportunities.

Yeah, there’s a lot of good things on the horizon and you have to be very realistic about it. Make sure, for me, to be super focused.

That was all the questions I had prepared. Do you have any closing comments, to round this off?

RC: I’d just like to say thank you first of all to all the fans out there who have been so supportive and love seeing me in new projects. Always asking about what’s next. So, Tu Me Manques is just such a beautiful film, I can’t explain how important and how touching it is. People are really going crazy for it. I think it’s kind of an instant classic, in a weird way. It’s out now on VOD and certain platforms in the US – iTunes.

Hopefully, coming out internationally later this year will put this on some other platforms to make it even more accessible. It’s a very exciting time for the film and I’m really excited to be a part of it.

Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us, Rick. Take care and stay safe!

RC: Thank you Conor, you too. It’s been a pleasure.

Tu Me Manques is in select theaters from April 22 as well as on DVD and Digital from May 4 courtesy of Dark Star Pictures.

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