The actor takes Playbill inside her puppy playtime, offering a peek at how she likes to spend her summer in New York City.
Lilli Cooper is trying to focus on having a conversation but her dog, Dublin, has other plans. While Cooper, currently starring as Julie in Tootsie, reflects on her experience in the Tony-nominated musical, her cocker spaniel is staging a low intensity prison break as he nonchalantly moseys over to the exit of the Harlem dog park and begins to nuzzle the door open. Cooper gives an easy but stern, “Dublinnnnn,” and he turns back around as if nothing has happened, continuing his exploration of the park.
Things just seem more relaxed uptown for Cooper, a born and raised New Yorker. “I grew up in Hell's Kitchen, so I often refer to Times Square as my backyard because that's what it was for me,” she explains. But things are different in upper Manhattan. “It's so quiet. It's unbelievably quiet. I wake up to birds chirping and I'm like, 'Where am I? What is happening?' It's perfect because I can escape into [the park], which feels like the wilderness compared to what I'm used to, but I'm actually just right around the corner from my house.”
Still, the energy of the theatre district runs through Cooper’s bones, especially considering that she is also playing a New York actor nightly at the Marquis Theatre. “Part of me thinks that we're having more fun than the audience (and the audience is having a blast) because it's this group of comedians. I’m like, ‘Wow these are the funniest people I know,’” Cooper says. “Easy seems like a bad word to describe your job but it's easy: The show is so fun to do!”
Flip through photos of Lilli Cooper in Playbill's “Summer in the City” series below: