Rachael Leigh Cook (born October 4, 1979) is an American actress, model, voice artist, and producer, who is best known for her starring role in films She's All That (1999), Josie and the Pussycats (2001), and the television series Into the West and Perception, as well as being the voice behind various characters in Robot Chicken and Tifa Lockhart in the English version of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

Early life

Cook was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of JoAnn, a cooking instructor and weaver, and Thomas H. Cook, a social worker and former stand-up comedian.[19] She is of part Italian descent. Cook first appeared in a public service announcement for foster care at seven years of age, and began working as a child print model at the age of 10, most notably in nationwide advertisements for Target and appearing on the boxes of Milk-Bone dog biscuits. She attended Clara Barton Open School, Laurel Springs School, and Minneapolis South High School.

Career

Cook began auditioning for acting work at the age of 14.[19] She made her debut as an actress in the 1995 film The Baby-Sitters Club, based on Ann M. Martin's book series of the same name. Her second movie role was in Tom and Huck, in which she portrayed Rebecca "Becky" Thatcher. In 1996, her modeling agency sent her to star in a short film, 26 Summer Street. In 1997, Cook appeared in a leading role in the film Country Justice as a 15-year-old rape victim who is impregnated by her rapist. She gained national attention in 1998, when she was featured in the famous This Is Your Brain on Drugs PSA television advertisement, in which she proceeds to destroy a kitchen with a frying pan as she lists the important things in life that heroin harms.

In 1999, Cook starred her breakout role in the sleeper hit film She's All That, a romantic comedy that adapted George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and so far the most financially successful film in her career. In 2000 she starred opposite Elijah Wood in the well-received The Bumblebee Flies Anyway. She took the lead role in 2001's Josie and the Pussycats, which turned out to be a box office failure. After that Cook mainly focused her work in independent films, resulting in some nicknaming her the next "Indie Queen" after Parker Posey. She also appeared as a main cast member in the 2005 television miniseries Into the West produced by Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks.

In 2000, she was the cover girl for the US issue of FHM, the March/April issue. She also starred in the music video for New Found Glory's 2000 single "Dressed to Kill" and singer Daniel Powter's "Love You Lately". In 2002, she was ranked No. 26 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World". In 2003, she starred in the film 11:14 as Cheri.

Cook provided the voice for Chelsea Cunningham on the Kids' WB animated series Batman Beyond in the episode "Last Resort" and in the animated film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Cook voiced Tifa Lockhart in the video games Kingdom Hearts II, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, as well as the CG movie Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. Cook's latest voice-over role is for the video game Yakuza in which she voices the role of Reina.

Cook owns her own production company, Ben's Sister Productions (in reference to her younger brother Ben Cook, an aspiring filmmaker). Cook eventually stepped away from the spotlight to focus on spending time with friends and family. She later returned to mainstream films when she signed on to a new casting agency. In 2007 Cook was in the big screen adaptation of Nancy Drew, played the female lead in the independent sports drama The Final Season, and played a supporting role in Blonde Ambition starring Jessica Simpson and Luke Wilson.

She has appeared in numerous episodes of the Seth Green comedies Titan Maximum and Robot Chicken. On the latter she parodied the "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" role she made famous, by destroying everything she encounters with her frying pan.

In 2008, she guest-starred in an episode of the USA Network series Psych as Abigail Lytar, an old flame of Shawn Spencer. She returned in the season finale in which Abigail and Shawn start dating and appeared in many more episodes the following season.

In February 2010, Cook signed on to play the female lead role in Fox TV's comedy pilot Nirvana.[4] She had a role in the Western horror film Vampire, the English-language feature debut of Japanese director Iwai Shunji.[5]

In 2011, she voiced the character of Jaesa Willsaam in the MMO game, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

In 2012, Cook signed on to play the female lead role in the TNT crime drama series Perception opposite Eric McCormack. She starred in the independent film Broken Kingdom, which was directed by her husband Daniel Gillies and premiered on October 2, 2012. She also appeared in a Funny or Die sketch with Chad Michael Murray.[20][21][22][20]

In 2017, Rachael Leigh Cook reprised her "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" role for a PSA by the Drug Policy Alliance critiquing the War on Drugs and its contribution to mass incarceration, structural racism and poverty. The ad was posted to YouTube on April 20, 2017 in recognition of 4/20.[23]

Public service

In 2011, she was selected by the Obama administration as a Champion of Change for Arts Education.[6]

In June 2012, she began to award a small scholarship to students between ages 14 and 19. The scholarship helps pay for career classes, mentoring programs, and other school fees.[19]

Personal life

Cook married actor Daniel Gillies in August 2004,[4] who she dated since 2001.[5] They have two children: daughter Charlotte Easton Gillies (born September 2013)[6][7] and son Theodore Vigo Sullivan Gillies (born April 2015).[11]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1995Baby-Sitters Club, TheThe Baby-Sitters ClubMary Anne Spier
1995Tom and HuckBecky Thatcher
199626 Summer StreetThe GirlShort film
1996CarpoolKayla
1997House of Yes, TheThe House of YesYoung 'Jackie-O'
1997The Eighteenth AngelLucy Stanton
1998All I Wanna DoAbigail 'Abby' Sawyer
1998Naked Man, TheThe Naked ManDolores
1998Living Out LoudTeenage Judith Moore
1999Hi-Line, TheThe Hi-LineVera Johnson
1999She's All ThatLaney Boggs
1999Bumblebee Flies Anyway, TheThe Bumblebee Flies AnywayCassie
2000SallyBeth
2000Get CarterDoreen Carter
2000Batman Beyond: Return of the JokerChelsea Cunningham (voice)Direct-to-DVD
2001AntitrustLisa Calighan
2001Blow DryChristina Robertson
2001Texas RangersCaroline Dukes
2001Josie and the PussycatsJosie McCoy
2001TangledJenny Kelley
200229 PalmsThe Waitress
2003BookiesHunter
2003ScorchedShmally
2003Big Empty, TheThe Big EmptyRuthie
200311:14Cheri
2003TempoJenny Travile
2004StatesideDori Lawrence
2004American CrimeJesse St. ClaireDirect-to-DVD
2005Final Fantasy VII: Advent ChildrenTifa Lockhart (voice)
2006My First WeddingVanessaDirect-to-VOD
2007DescentAllisonDirect-to-VOD
2007All HatChrissie NugentDirect-to-VOD
2007Nancy DrewJane Brighton
2007Matters of Life and DeathEmily JenningsShort film
2007Final Season, TheThe Final SeasonPolly HudsonDirect-to-VOD
2007Blonde AmbitionHaleyDirect-to-VOD
2008Fairy Tale PoliceOfficer DuffyShort film
2009Lodger, TheThe LodgerAmanda ManningDirect-to-VOD
2009Bob FunkMs. ThorneDirect-to-DVD
2009Falling UpCaitlin O'SheaDirect-to-DVD
2011VampireLaura KingDirect-to-VOD
2011The Family TreeRachel LevyDirect-to-VOD
2012Broken KingdomMarilynDirect-to-DVD
2012First KissSamanthaShort film
2014Red SkyDirect-to-DVD
2017Midsummer Night's Dream, AA Midsummer Night's DreamTBAPost-production

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1997Country JusticeEmma BakerTelevision film
1997True WomenYoung Georgia LawsheTelevision film
1997Defenders: Payback, TheThe Defenders: PaybackTracey LaneTelevision film
1998Outer Limits, TheThe Outer LimitsCassie BoussardEpisode: "Glyphic"
1999Dawson's CreekDevonEpisodes: "His Leading Lady", "Psychic Friends", "A Perfect Wedding"
2000Batman BeyondChelsea Cunningham (voice)Episodes: "The Last Resort", "Plague"
2004FearlessGaia MooreUnsold television pilot
2005Into the WestClara WheelerTelevision miniseries
2005Las VegasPenny PosinRecurring role
2006–16Robot ChickenVarious (voice)Recurring role
2008Ghost WhispererGrace AdamsEpisode: "Big Chills"
2008–10PsychAbigail LytarRecurring role
2009Titan MaximumLt. Jodi Yanarella (voice)Main role
2010Nevermind NirvanaElizabethTelevision film
2011Stealing ParadiseAmanda CollierTelevision film
2012Left to DieTammi ChaseTelevision film
2012–15PerceptionKate MorettiMain role
2013Team UnicornRachael Leigh CookEpisode: "The UniCorps Wants You!"
2014Christmas Tail, AA Christmas TailN/ATelevision film
2016Summer LoveMaya SulliwayTelevision film
2016Autumn in the VineyardFrankie BaldwinTelevision film
2017Summer in the VineyardFrankie BaldwinTelevision film

Music videos

YearTitleNotes
2017"Young Dumb & Broke"Song by Khalid

Video games

YearTitleRoleNotes
2005YakuzaReina
2005Kingdom Hearts IITifa Lockhart
2006Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VIITifa Lockhart
2007Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+Tifa Lockhart
2011Dissidia 012 Final FantasyTifa Lockhart
2011Star Wars: The Old RepublicJaesa Willsaam
2013Star Wars: The Old Republic - Rise of the Hutt CartelJaesa Willsaam
2014Star Wars: The Old Republic - Shadow of RevanJaesa Willsaam
2016Final Fantasy ExplorersTifa Lockhart
2016World of Final FantasyTifa Lockhart

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryWorkResult
1997YoungStar AwardBest Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy FilmTom and HuckNominated
1999YoungStar AwardsShe's All ThatWon
MTV Movie AwardsBest Breakthrough Female PerformanceNominated
Best On-Screen Duo (Shared with: Freddie Prinze Jr.)
Teen Choice AwardsFilm - Sexiest Love Scene (Shared with: Freddie Prinze Jr.)Won
TV - Breakout PerformanceDawson's CreekNominated
2000Santa Monica Film FestivalBest ActressThe Hi-LineWon
Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Movie Couple (Shared with: Freddie Prinze Jr.)She's All That
Blockbuster Entertainment AwardsFavorite Actress - Newcomer (Internet Only)
New York International Independent Film & Video FestivalBest ActressSally
2001Young Hollywood AwardsSuperstar of Tomorrow - Female
Teen Choice AwardsFilm - Choice ActressJosie and the PussycatsNominated
2006Western Heritage AwardsTelevision Feature Film (Shared with cast)Into the WestWon