Video translation of a 2007 TV Guide interview.
JH: Welcome back to Watch This, I’m John Henson. Today’s guest has garnered attention on both the big and small screens, starring in such hits as ‘The Virgin Suicides’ and ‘Tru Calling.’ Currently, A.J. Cook is tracking down serial killers in CBS’ gruesomely popular drama ‘Criminal Minds’. A.J. Cook, everybody..
*Cheers and applause*
JH: Nice to see you..
AC: You too
JH: Thanks for being with us.
AC: Thank you..
JH: Your character JJ, very appropriately named. Was it named JJ before you got the part?
AC: It was..
JH: So you went in going, like, ‘I gotta get this, I’m halfway there already.’
AC: Yeah, I’d like to say that they didn’t wanna confuse the blond with too many letters, so they just wanted to keep it real simple for me.
JH: Your character is sort-of a den mother to alot of the other characters on the show. Is that something that she’s conscious of, is it something that she embraces, do you think?
AC: Um, you know, I think everything moves so quickly for JJ.. she’s so bombarded with all the cases, I mean all these files from all over the United States come to her, and it’s her job to make sure she picks the right one to bring to the team, so I think she’s so, you kow, on edge all the time.. worried that she’s not making the right decision as to what case to bring to the team, that I don’t think she even gets it.. That she’s in charge of the group.
JH: Right, too focused..
JH: .. Based on what she’s doing..
AC: Right, she’s way too focused to even think of that.
JH: And you talk about some of these cases.. this show deals with some really troubling subject matter..
JH: Uh, did you have any interest in criminology and profiling before you got this show, or is it something you’ve learned in the process?
AC: I’ve always been a big fan of psychology, that’s always been so interesting to me. I like to play a little game where I like to try and figure out how people are the way they are, ya know..
AC: Cause you meet so many different people, so many walks of life.. especially out here in LA. And I like to kinda profile them and figure out why they are the way they are, so I’ve always had a huge interest in profiling and psychology. So, it just kinda came up that this show was about that and I thought what a cool opportunity. I’ve learned a ton doing the show, we’ve been able to work side-by-side with real profilers, and we’ve been able to learn alot of cool tricks..
AC: We can know when someone’s lying..
AC: *laughs* Well, whatever..
JH: Have you been able to use that practically in your real life?
AC: You know, I haven’t.. I should probably pull out some of those tricks every once in a while.
JH: See if you can catch me when I’m lying during the interview..
AC: Yeah, yeah.. It’s like.. it’s a pupil thing, or when you look off a certain way, or.. yeah..
JH: Well, thank God you got the show because now it explains all the books about serial killers on your shelves, otherwise you bring the guy home on a date and he’s like, ‘is there anything I need to know..?’
AC: It’s like, ‘look at me, lemme see your pupils, what were you doing tonight?’
JH: *laughs* Yeah, ‘where were you on the night of..’
AC: ‘Where were you.’
JH: Now, um, I.. It seems when I watch the show, JJ is almost speaking her own langauge. There’s so much criminal lingo..
JH: ..That she throws out, so much jargon..Do you have like, favorite lines, like ‘unsub’, and things that you’ve kinda.. collected..
AC: Yeah, I mean we have our own.. our own language, and JJ’s actually the person that breaks it down to the everyday person. I mean, she’s around the profilers, she’s not actually a profiler, but she’s around the profilers all the time, so she speaks their language, but she’s also normal enough to be able to break it down for the everyday people.
AC: .. So she’s the go-between, um, yeah, but the unsub… people ask me that all the time, ‘what does unsub mean?’ It means unidentified subject, the killer basically.
AC: Um, so that’s a favorite one we say at least 50 times per episode.. *laughs*
AC: Um, no, but she’s more of the normal person on the team, as.. the profilers, you know, they’re a little odd..
JH: So she’s more of the, uh, the everyday person..
JH: Now, when you see a cop on the street, do you sortof feel a sense of a bond, you’re like ‘hey..’
AC: Um, no, I do, I absolutely do..and I.. if that cop pulled me over, he couldn’t have cared less if I played a profiler on TV, and it’s like, everytime I see em, it’s like ‘hey, what’s up’, and they don’t have a clue who I am! It’s like.. I could see myself doing that, ya know, if I do get pulled over for speeding or whatever.
AC: Like I’ve.. got this bond with them suddenly.
JH: Last question before we leave.. Ya know, a lot of changes on the show, uh, Joe Mantegna joining the cast..
JH: uh, what has that been like for ya?
AC: That has been amazing. Joe Mantegna.. we’re so lucky to have him join our team. He’s the salt of the earth. He’s such a talented actor, and we’re really priviledged to have him join us, and his character, Rossi, is gonna, kinda stir things up with the team. He’s one of the original profilers, um, and he decides to come back and join us.. so he has this sense of one. He’s not used to working in a team, whereas we.. we’re all about working in a team, so he’s gonna ruffle some feathers I think.. And, he’s.. he’s gonna.. He’s a little chauvinistic
AC: So I think he’s gonna rub some of us the wrong way, but it’s good. It makes for good TV.
JH: Well, we’ll be watchin’. Thank you so much for being with us..
AC: Thank you.