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Rachel Leigh Cook

August 18, 1997

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Editor's note: This interview was actually taken a couple of years ago, when Ms Cook was only sixteen. We also have another interview online, done more recently. Check it out at Rachel Leigh Cook, December 8, 1997.

"I'm not involved with Jonathan Taylor Thomas in any way! I was just doing my job when I kissed him in the movie Tom and Huck, stated sixteen year old actress, Rachel Leigh Cook, who recently portrayed Becky Thatcher in the Tom and Huck movie. And, in the scene where it looked like she "nailed" Thomas, it just "looks" that way. She never even hit him at all.

You may recognize Cook's familiar face from the popular movie, The Babysitters Club, (Summer, 1995) Cook revealed that she was the only "babysitter" who actually read the books. And, much later when she watched herself in the movie, it was weird for her. "I kept telling myself, it's okay, it was a long, time ago, " she emphasized the word "long".

The Babysitters Club movie may have been a long time ago, but in the very near future, Cook will be filming (in Rome) a horror movie called, The 18th Angel. "It's my first horror film!" laughed Cook. Although Cook has done kids' movies (The Babysitters Club, Tom and Huck), a serious movie - a CBS special, as yet untitled, about abduction where Cook played a very dramatic role opposite George C. Scott, and, most recently, a comedy film called Carpool with Tom Arnold, (After spending three months filming in a minivan with Tom Arnold, and three eight year olds, she describes Arnold as "a very patient and generous man". Incidentally, the film Carpool should be released in late May, 1997.), she has yet to act in a horror film. "The 18th Angel will be a new experience for me," she said.

Acting in several movies lately, has given Cook a lot of new experiences. You'd be inclined to think Ms. Cook, both vivacious, and gregarious, has always been that way. Not so. She doesn't even consider herself as "outgoing". "I used to be overpoweringly shy, and I finally came out of my shell, but I'm still kind of quiet - and I think it's fine to be shy," she admitted to me.

Because she was shy, you may be wondering how Cook ever got started in show business. Her manager, Beverly Strong, (Cook now describes Strong as her "very good friend") spotted her when she was just modeling for local ads. Luckily, Strong sent her out on taped auditions, and Cook was talented enough to land The Babysitters Club part. That was in February, 1995, and Cook has been busy filming ever since.

Cook's recent success has not gone to her head, because she told me that kids interested in acting should "go for it". "Hey," she said, "if it can happen to me, shy Rachel Leigh Cook, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, it can happen to you!"


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