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Cooper van Grootel Is Reinventing the Hollywood Bad Boy

The Australian actor is redefining the industry's most infamous archetype through his rendition of Nate Macauley on Peacock's hit show, One of Us Is Lying.

Cooper van Grootel who plays Nate Macauley in the NBC Peacock TV adaptation of Karen M. McManus New York Times best selling YA Novel, One of Us Is Lying, appears on a MUD Magazine cover.
Photography by Stef King | Styling by Luke Meakins | Hair & Make Up by Francesca Poggi


Cooper van Grootel carried a journal every day on the set of One of Us Is Lying.

These pages became an anthology of inner conversations and thoughts that allowed him to tap into the mind of a fictional stranger. While the Australian actor has had his fair share of playing the “bad boy” stereotype in the past, Nate Macauley is anything but predictable.

“Like everyone in this world, people have so much more going on in their life than what they show you. Nate’s similar to an iceberg, he only reveals the top, but there’s so much more going on below the water,” Cooper said during his first interview with MUD right after being cast for the show.

One of Us Is Lying holds the strength to stand on its own shoulders, but one could say it serves hints of The Breakfast Club with murder as the main dish. The allure could be attributed to its familiar highschool premise, but within the first few minutes of watching, it becomes clear that stereotypes won’t be following the rules.

Cooper is part of the Bayview Four, a group of highschool students who witness the death of one of their classmates. When it becomes clear that someone’s framing them, they must trust each other in order to solve the case before all their secrets come out. As the episodes progress, each character sheds layers that fill in the gaps of their true selves. To capture this organic transformation, Cooper recurred to writing.