A.J. Cook biography
The Virgin Suicides
Date of Birth: July 22, 1978
Born in Oshawa, Ontario, Andrea Joy Cook grew up in Toronto and started taking jazz, tap and ballet lessons at the age of four. She danced competitively for years before deciding at the age of 17 that she wanted to try acting. Her first job was in a McDonald's commercial, and by 1997, she began landing acting roles -- including a guest role on the television series Goosebumps and two television movies -- In His Father's Shoes and Elvis Meets Nixon. Her feature film debut came in The Virgin Suicides (1999), directed by Sofia Coppola. Kirsten Dunst played her sister, and Kathleen Turner and James Woods were her parents in the film. Later that year she won the recurring role of troubled teen Shelby Merrick in the American TV series Higher Ground, filmed in Vancouver and produced by and starring Joe Lando. A.J's romantic interest in the series, which ran for one year on Fox Family Channel. Hayden Christensen, who would go on to play Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars films, played her boyfriend on the show.
Although Higher Ground was cancelled in 2000, A.J. stayed in the Vancouver area doing a variety of projects such as the TV movie The Spiral Staircase (2000), the horror film Ripper: Letter From Hell (2001) and the snowboarder comedy Out Cold (2001), also starring Jason London and Lee Majors. In September 2001, A.J. married long-time boyfriend Nathan Anderson and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to be with him while he finished school.
Her first role as a newlywed was playing a young wife in The House Next Door (2002), directed by John Travolta's brother, Joey Travolta. She filmed a starring role in one more feature, Final Destination 2(2003) in Vancouver, before moving with her husband to the Los Angeles area.
A devout Mormon, Cook only accepts roles that don't go against her faith.