Rachael Leigh Cook is having one of those strange full circle moments appearing as the mother of Addison Rae’s influencer in He’s All That, the new gender swapped remake of Cook’s hit movie She’s All That, which she starred in alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. back in 1999. While she was a little dubious about appearing in the teen comedy remake, as a 41-year-old with a whole strings of projects now behind her, she revealed in an interview recently that despite appearing in some very well remembered classics of the later ’90s and early 2000s, there was one movie she turned down which she very quickly realized was a mistake. And that was taking the part of Rogue in X-Men.
In 2001, Rachael Leigh Cook starred in the box office bomb Josie and the Pussycats just after being offered the role of Rogue in the first X-Men movie, which she turned down in the belief that she needed to steer clear of such superhero adventures to be a serious actress. She now notes with hindsight that it was a “huge misstep” to have made.
“I think that I overheard enough people calling me mature that I believed it myself. But that wasn’t actually true,” Cook said. “In retrospect, was I equipped to navigate the industry? Zero percent,” she said. “I really thought what everyone told me was correct when they said, ‘What we need to do now is make sure you’re taken seriously,’ I definitely did things for the wrong reasons.”
When the promotional material began to appear for X-Men, Cook instantly knew that she had made one of the biggest mistakes in allowing the Rogue role to be taken by her She’s All That co-star Anna Paquin. While Cook would be left with a long term “what if” moment to live with, Paquin went on to appear in four X-Men movies. Cook added, “As soon as I saw the posters for it, I knew that I’d made a mistake.”
While the actress could be forgiven for still feeling the sting of that particular oversight, she was certainly not short of work in the ten years following the release of X-Men, but perhaps her career could have taken a very different turn, with much of her output being direct to video releases with the occasional big screen release mixed in. He’s All That is one of only a small handful of movies Cook has appeared in over the last decade, with much of her output being on TV, including a number of films for Hallmark.
In He’s All That, Cook plays a nurse who is mother to Padgett Sawyer (Rae), the Instagram influencer who attempts to make Tanner Buchanan the prom king, instead of being the least popular boy in school. The movie released last week, but, as many predicted, failed to hit any of the right notes, achieving a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 30%, with many putting down the movie mostly for having a lack of chemistry between its leads. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.