Monster season two actor Cooper Koch is the rising gay star you need to know about

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 05: Actor Cooper Koch attends the 73rd Annual ACE Eddie Awards at Royce Hall on March 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Cooper Koch has been cast in season two of Ryan Murphy’s controversial true crime Netflix series Monster – and it looks set to be the rising gay actor’s biggest breakthrough yet.

When Netflix’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story was released in 2022, starring Evan Peters as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, reception was fractured.

Swathes of angry viewers accused Netflix of glamorising the murderer and expressed their objection to the streaming site tagging the programme under the ‘LGBTQ+’ category. Families of Dahmer’s victims also slammed creator Ryan Murphy, despite the Emmy-winner claiming he had contacted them beforehand.

Despite the backlash, the show went on to become Netflix’s second-biggest English speaking show ever (though it was later overtaken by Wednesday and Stranger Things season five). It makes sense, therefore, why Netflix announced in November 2022 that the Monster series would become an anthology series.

According to Variety, Netflix confirmed that the second instalment of the Monster series would be titled: Monsters: The Lyle and Erik Ménendez Story in May 2022.

Now, Variety has also confirmed that fast-rising out gay actor Cooper Koch will play one of the murderous Ménendez brothers, who were convicted in 1996 of murdering of their parents in a brutal shooting.

You may like to watch

Cooper Koch at the screening of 'They/Them' at the closing night of Outfest LA held at the Ace Hotel on July 24, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gilbert Flores/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images)
Cooper Koch at a screening of 2022 horror film ‘They/Them’. (Getty)

Who is Cooper Koch?

Cooper Koch was born 16 July, 1996, in Woodland Hills, California.

His first on-screen acting credit is listed as crime thriller Fracture in 2007. Ten years later, in 2017, Koch starred in short film Mine, before attending Pace School of Performing Arts in New York City, from which he graduated in May 2018.

Koch is represented by Innovative Artists and Silver Lining Entertainment.

Is Cooper Koch gay?

Cooper Koch identifies as gay.

In June 2023, the actor opened up about his initial fears around being out in the acting industry, telling Edge Media Network: “I remember when I was in college before I had come out and I was still studying in school, I really didn’t wanna come out.

“I was really afraid to be an actor and be gay just because I didn’t think anyone would take me seriously or I wouldn’t get cast, or I would be shunned or it just wouldn’t work.

“And I sort of learned through being in acting school that, you know, if I can’t be myself, then I’m not gonna be able to play anyone else regardless of what they identify in terms of their sexuality or their gender or whatever.”

What else has Cooper Koch appeared in?

Cooper Koch is already making a name for himself as a queer horror actor, having played gay characters in two 2022 LGBTQ+ fright-fests, Swallowed and They/Them.

He previously discussed the queer experience while promoting Swallowed, telling Pop Culturalist that he originally took the part of wannabe gay porn star Ben in the film because it “so happens that the characters identify as queer.”

“That’s such an important way to normalise sexuality in film,” he added.

Koch also touched on his own sexuality while talking to San Francisco Bay Times about his role as a student undergoing gay ‘conversion’ therapy in the Kevin Bacon-starring slasher They/ Them.

“I was going for the aspect of ‘hurt people hurt people’,” Koch said.

“He’s trapped, and it takes being around a community of queers to open him up and accept himself. That is something I can relate to. When I was in high school and in my first year of college, I really didn’t want to be who I was.”

While his horror credentials make him a perfect fit for Murphy’s Monster series, Koch is already wary of being typecast.

“I am not in a place where I’m picking and choosing [roles]. I’m auditioning,” he told Philadelphia Gay News in February 2023. “It just happened that these two films came to me back-to-back and they happen to be queer horror films.

“I don’t know what it is about me. I would like to expand my horizons and be in an indie love story or a romcom, or a sitcom. It’s not that I am specifically drawn toward queer horror, it is just what has come my way.”

What do we know about Cooper Koch’s character in Monster season two?

According to Variety, per Deadline, Cooper Koch has now been cast in season two of Ryan Murphy’s Monster, following the success of 2022’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Koch will star alongside Nicholas Alexander Chavez as Lyle and Erik Menéndez; two siblings who were convicted in 1996 of the brutal 1989 murder of their parents, José and Mary Louise.

The brothers, who inherited their father’s million-dollar estate, later confessed to the killings, but said that they only killed their parents out of fear for their own lives after they threatened to expose their father for years of alleged sexual, emotional and physical abuse.

No release date for Monster season two has yet been confirmed.

Please login or register to comment on this story.