What can you tell me about the actress who plays Kate, the FBI agent, on “Perception”?
—Violetta Venegas, Jacksonville, Fla.
That would be Rachael Leigh Cook, 33, who before landing “Perception” was best known for her roles in the movies “Josie and the Pussycats” and “She’s All That.”
Cook, who was nicknamed the “Indie Queen” for her many roles in independent films, wasn’t a complete stranger to TV before signing on to do “Perception.” But even so, it wasn’t a job she rushed into, because she wasn’t a huge fan of procedural dramas.
“I was definitely drawn to the fact that it’s not your typical procedural,” she says. “What drew me to this show were the characters. The crime solving is a product of their jobs, obviously, but their jobs don’t define them as people.”
The Minneapolis, Minn., native began her career when she was just 10 years old. She started as a model in commercials for products including Milk Bone and Target, but she is even more remembered for her role in an anti-drug public service announcement in which she bashed her way through a kitchen with a frying pan.
When she was 14, she went on her first real acting job, and was hooked. Her parents agreed to let her pursue her dream in Los Angeles, where her first audition was for “The Baby-Sitters Club.” She aced it and her career was launched.
As a minor, Cook divided her time between Minneapolis and Los Angeles, but following her role in “She’s All That,” her career took off, landing her parts in “Get Carter,” “Texas Rangers” and “Josie and the Pussycats.”
Her movie credits now include “The House of Yes,” “The Family Tree,” “Vampire,” “Falling Up,” “Bob Funk,” “The Lodger,” “Blonde Ambition,” “The Final Season,” “The Big Empty,” “Blow Dry” and “Nancy Drew.” She also starred in the TV movies “Left to Die,” “Stealing Paradise” and “Nevermind Nirvana” and had recurring roles on “Dawson’s Creek,” “Psych” and “Las Vegas,” as well as voice over work for “Robot Chicken” and “Titan Maximum.”
More recently, she and husband Daniel Gillies performed together in the movie “Broken Kingdom,” which he also directed and produced.
The couple, who reside in Los Angeles with a menagerie of dogs and cats, are expecting their first child this fall.
“I’ve been hiding my rapidly growing bump while shooting [“Perception”], but this kiddo is vying for screen time,” she says. “We clearly have a future actor on our hands.”