8 Things You Didn’t Know About Criminal Minds Star A.J. Cook
Over its many seasons, Criminal Minds has seen a lot of incredibly talented actors come and go and one of the longest-running has been A.J. Cook. As Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, the actress has appeared in all twelve seasons of the series and has found herself a loyal and passionate fanbase. Since she has now spent so many years as JJ, many forget that she actually isn’t her character and there is so much more to know about her! From a Canadian kid focused on dancing to becoming one of the biggest stars in one of TV’s most popular series, here are 8 things you didn’t know about actress A.J. Cook:
8. Being Brought Back
In June 2010, at the end of Criminal Minds‘ fifth season, A.J. Cook along with her co-star Paget Brewster received the news that she had been fired from her starring role due to “budget cuts.” Fans were outraged however, and luckily she was brought back as a recurring star for season six before being picked back up as a series regular for season seven. “All this story was so bizarre. It is almost like a bad dream, as if I woke up and I was talking to you. It all seems so far away,” she said of the abrupt firing and being brought back. “Thank God the fans complained. That is what surprised me the most, more than getting fired. I don’t think they did complain because they adored JJ, or because they adored me, but because they didn’t want to see the team broken up. That is what makes the success of the series. And the people who took that decision needed to understand this.”
7. Early Life
Andrea Joy “A.J.” Cook was born on July 22, 1978 in Oshawa, Ontario, to Mike and Sandra Cook and grew up in the nearby city Whitby with her three siblings Nathan, Paul, and Angela. At a young age, Cook loved dancing and at four years old she began taking jazz, tap, and ballet lessons. She went on to dance competitively for years and dreamed of starting up her own dance studio. After getting into acting, she attended Utah Valley University in Salt Lake City, Utah.