Interview With Actress Rachael Leigh Cook, “Summer Love”

By Ruth on August 20, 2016 in Interview, movie, television

Sweet cherubs in the world of entertainment often grow up and regrettably rebel or perchance run with a dubious crowd. Thankfully, Rachael Leigh Cook was exempted from that experience, although she has been an actress since she was a tender youth. In light of her upcoming Hallmark film Summer Love this weekend, Rachael agreed to set aside some time and respond to some fan questions regarding her career, her upcoming premiere, and her future aspirations. 

Maya Sulliway is a struggling single mom who's studying to become an accountant. When her young daughter goes off to sleepaway camp, Maya accepts a summer internship at Kizzmit, a tech company known for developing a popular social app, in order to receive college credit. There, the thirtysomething Maya feels out of place among the company's hip millennial interns and feels even more intimidated when she meets Colin Fitzgerald, Kizzmit's strait-laced CFO, who has a reputation for being a highly demanding boss. When she's introduced to Will Martin, the company's handsome and charismatic CEO, Maya learns about Pitch-Fest, an upcoming contest designed to determine who among Kizzmit's staff can come up with the best idea for a new app. Before long, Will and Colin both take a liking to Maya and a competition heats up between them. Photo: Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

RH: What inspired you to become an actress? What kind of training have you  received?

RLC: Much of my early training was on-the-job, but I’ve worked with about five different acting coaches over the years, all with different specialties and approaches.  All very different and exceptional in their own ways.  I’d recommend that to anyone who is curious about the profession.

As for what inspired me to act, I don’t think it was my idea.  Might sound strange but in retrospect, it seems more alien or divine.  It was definitely not my parents’ idea, as supportive as they were.  I will never know how it even occurred to me as a shy kid to attempt to break into such a competitive industry.  But here we are, twenty years in.

Since you grew up in the industry, did you find it difficult to keep yourself grounded and to make the transition to being an adult? 

People ask how I managed to stay out of trouble back then, but the truth is I was never invited to run with the wild kids.  I’m grateful for that now.  As for staying grounded, there are enough knocks to go around and keep a person grateful and present.  That’s been my experience anyway.

 You have fans who remember you from Perception. What was your experience on that show like? 

Fantastic.  I miss laughing and working with Eric McCormack terribly.  What a talent and quality human being that man is.

Compare voiceover to camera work. What are the benefits and the challenges of both?

Voiceover work is fun because you can deliver really “big,” over-the-top performances, and it can be right and really funny.  Occasionally voicing for Robot Chicken,  my friend Seth Green’s show, is the best example of this.  It’s so much fun, and he’s a genius.  But being seen and heard (film, TV) is an inherently more involved experience for the audience, and therefore, where the more dimensional roles are.  So that’s the priority for now.

Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Summer Love is your first Hallmark film. How did you get involved?  What was the experience like especially compared to other works you’ve done?

I was sent the script through my manager who had a relationship with the producer, but the difference with this one from the other Hallmark scripts I had read was the truly quirky humor that the piece had.  That’s what really drew me to this script in particular.




What was it like working with your co-stars on this film? Any memorable moments behind the scenes?


Lucas Bryant and Travis Milne are incredibly talented actors and far too much fun to hang out with.  Travis was the wild card.  Wondering which accent he was going to suddenly adopt or seeing which unsuspecting crew member he was going to pull into an impromptu dance was always enough to make the days fly.  Lucas was the one who always had the perfect wry comment to summarize whatever was going on in ten syllables or less.  We laughed the whole time.

What has been your favorite role? What has been the most challenging role?

Incredibly tough to say which is my “favorite” character because I have many for different reasons.  But the most challenging role, and the best film I have ever been in, was definitely in my husband, Daniel Gillies’ film, Broken Kingdom.  He is an outstanding director with unparalleled natural instincts and a comprehensive knowledge of cinema.  I always care and worry about what he thinks of my work, no matter how supportive he is.

Lucas Bryant, Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Lucas Bryant, Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

How long do you typically get to prepare for a role?

This movie was a very quick process. Maybe a few days.  A week?  Who can remember?  Juggling two kids and living between two cities makes everything about five times harder as well.

Many fans also remember you from Psych. What was that experience like? 

What a great and totally unique show that was.  I loved getting to work with Dule Hill again, however briefly (we go all the way back to my She’s All That days), and I feel lucky that they asked me to be a part of it.

James Roday and Andy Berman really had that show and its tone on lockdown. They were all truly a family, having worked together for so long.  So yeah, mostly I remember how close knit they were as a group and how well-oiled a machine it was.  I loved playing Abigail, but I was always a Shules fan myself.

Any other upcoming works you can mention ? 

I am currently making another movie for Hallmark called Autumn in the Vineyard in Vancouver.  I’m an executive producer on this one and embracing my new responsibilities and enjoying having a real voice in things even though I am probably annoying everyone terribly.

Do you have any plans eventually to write or direct?

I have plans to have plans. That’s about as far as I have gotten.  Producing is far more interesting to me.  You’re more the support team than the instigator, and that is suiting me well.

 If you could go anywhere on a summer vacation, where would you go and why?

You had me at VACATION. I am so tired, I’ll go anywhere.  Let’s do this.

Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Rachael is as sweet, savvy, skilled, and stunning as anyone who has followed her career would expect, but it goes beyond the superficial. Rachael is a woman and an actress who understands who she is and how she relates to the rest of the world with immeasurable distinction. Success has never gone to her head, and she treats all with respect and admiration whether fan, co-worker, or someone she meets in her daily interactions in her frenetic life. Many will focus on her comely outward appearance and her genuine knack for acting, but this is only a segment of whom Rachael sincerely is. While she is releasing her very first Hallmark film Summer Love on Saturday, August 20, the viewers can rest assured that she is not done with Hallmark–not by a longshot. In addition to her next Hallmark film on which she is currently working, it is with unswerving conviction that I maintain Hallmark (as well as other networks) will never cease vying for her attention and talents. And beneath her external facade, you can unequivocally conclude that a delightful spirit from the depths of her soul propels Rachael to be the extraordinary woman and impeccable actress she has become. Please tune into the Hallmark network tonight (August 20) for the premiere of her first Hallmark film, Summer Love. Oh, and please be sure to check out her links below and follow her as fan support always means an incalculable amount even to beautiful individuals such as Rachael.







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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher


  1. Marilyn August 20, 2016 Reply

    Enjoyed your interview of Rachael Leigh Cook. I have always enjoyed her acting since I first saw her as Mary Ann in “The Baby-sitters Club” movie. She is a very lovely lady. Thanks for the interview.

    • Author
      Ruth August 20, 2016 Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it Marilyn! Indeed she is a lovely lady.

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