Asjha Cooper is our 2021 Black Scream Queen

Jared Alexander

Asjha Cooper is killing it right now, starring in two films on two of the biggest streaming services on the planet.

The actress has roles in a vampire flick and a slasher movie under her belt, but as Hollywood shifts and brings about more opportunities for girls who look like her, she is just getting started.

Amazon PrimeBlack as Night and Netflixs There’s Someone Inside Your House are two of the fall’s best best horror films, with fresh young casts and thrilling plot lines. Though the horror genre does not often have Black representation in lead roles, Cooper snagged the lead in Black as Night. But that doesn’t mean Cooper enjoys watching scary movies in her down time.

“I do not like horror,” she told theGrio. “I do not watch horror. But, I will say if I were to watch horror, it would be one of these films!”

Black As Night, a vampire thriller film that fuses vampire tropes and Black American history, grabbed her attention the second she read the script.

“It was a very fun script, a group of teenagers fighting vampires, but at the same time it was tackling really important topics so effortlessly. It’s something I really wanted to be a part of,” she said. “This was very action heavy for me, compared to other things I’ve done…it was quite exhausting some days.”

Black As Night stopped filming midway through production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which proved to be difficult for the cast and crew. But everyone figured it out and “made it happen,” she said.

“We got shutdown in the middle of a pandemic and then we came back all of a sudden with all of these rules…we were guinea pigs,” Cooper said.

As for the slasher flick There’s Someone Inside Your House, Cooper didn’t think she would get the role at first, especially considering the genres history of icing Black people out. And also because Sydney Park, the lead of the film, is also Black.

“Honestly, I was shocked that I got the role! I was so surprised,” she said. “She’s a Black girl, and normally…there’s only one of us! All of a sudden if it’s two, it becomes a Black film, even though Black films still do well!”

“The entire cast is pretty diverse, and also in this movie we tackle important topics across the board. It was a really exciting project I got to be apart of.”

Cooper also opened up about her career and what she looks for in roles, especially considering the barriers breaking down in Hollywood as of late. “People ask me, ‘What changed? What did you do?’ and I’m like…the industry changed! When I came in, I was still auditioning for roles that were not carved out for me,” she said.

Even as roles for Black girls began sprouting up in the beginning of Cooper’s career, they would often go to a biracial girl, she said.

“It was girls that were closest to white, with Eurocentric features…a variation of the same type of girl, and I feel like that has changed a lot,” she said.

Cooper added this change would not have happened without people demanding to see themselves represented in media: “People are calling that out, which I think is really important…that changes things.”

If her lovely performances in those two popular films are any indication, this is just the beginning for Cooper.