On a sunny day in Los Angeles, actress Rachael Leigh Cook brought us into her back yard to talk about her new show Perception. From hooking us up with a handful of lemons to throwing a few compliments our way, RLC gave us several more reasons to consider her our SheKnows Girl Crush.
You probably remember her as the awkward art-nerd turned super-hot chick in the 1999 hit She’s All That. Over 10 years later, Rachael Leigh Cook is still knocking our socks off with a new show, a hot hubby, and her same stellar girl-next-door charm.
The 32-year-old actress invited SheKnows to her home in the Hollywood Hills recently where we got to see what she’s been up to since her days of frenching Freddie Prinze Jr.
"We didn’t really make out," Cook laughed when questioned on her on-screen hookup with Prinze. "It was a lot more innocent."
She admits though that she does enjoy it when people remember her for the role.
"It makes me happy because I still look remotely like I did," said Cook.
Remotely? We’d say a spitting image! Her secret? "Just keep moisturizing… and sweat," she told SheKnows.
And sweat we did in the 90-degree weather that day. But Rachael was the epitome of a gracious hostess, bringing the whole SK crew waters and fresh lemons from the trees in her backyard.
Don’t let her gardening skills give you the wrong idea, though; the vegetarian told us her skills don’t transfer to the kitchen. But she does set a healthy eating example for her husband of eight years, Vampire Diaries star Daniel Gillies.
"He’s a mostly practicing vegetarian," she told us. "He’s trying it out. I don’t force my eating habits because I can’t cook anyway."
Rachael told us she and Gillies have a pretty typical L.A. love story. The two met at a bar in the valley, married in 2004, and have been going strong ever since.
And the pair doesn’t just make a great team at home. Rachael recently starred in a film written and directed by Gillies, Broken Kingdom, releasing online Oct. 2. She tells SheKnows that working with her hubby was a great experience.
"Having my husband be the director is incredible on so many levels," said Cook. "He’s an incredible leader and an amazing presence and force. It’s kind of hot."
Though the couple already has a full house with three large, adorable dogs, Cook told us they hope to have children sometime in the near future.
"It’s definitely on the table," she told SheKnows. And, she says, adoption is something they may consider too.
"Daniel and I have been fortunate to shoot in many different parts of the world and we’ve seen extreme poverty up close," said Cook. "We’d be happy to do that."
In the meantime, Cook is focusing on her new hit show, Perception.
"Perception is about a really brilliant professor of neuroscience played by Eric McCormack," she told us. "He is an amazing actor. I play a former student of his who recruits him to help solve the FBI cases where there is a lack of physical evidence and we need to approach things from a purely psychological standpoint."
The show was just picked up for a second season, and Cook is having a blast learning all about the human brain.
"I love inadvertent education like that," said Cook. "You get to really accidentally learn something about human behavior. [You can] diagnose your friends, family, neighbors. Someday they’ll thank me."
Cook also just finished filming a movie about a woman who fights to save her terminally ill mother after she is falsely imprisoned in Columbia. Left to Die is a true story, airing on Lifetime in November.
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