Monday, June 21, 2010
CRIMINAL MINDS: AJ COOK -ONE FAN'S PERSPECTIVE
CRIMINAL MINDS: AJ COOK – One Fan’s Perspective
By: Kris Quiroz-Orr
I have been asked many times before why and how I became a fan of AJ Cook. Since she was released from the show, I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot so I thought I’d share the reasons with you.
First of all, I will say I have never been the person that likes the obvious fan-favorite best. I’m dating myself here but when I was a kid, everyone liked Ponch on CHiPs while I liked Jon. Everyone loved Farrah Fawcett on Charlie’s Angels; I was a Jaclyn Smith fan. Which is not to say I didn’t like Ponch or Farrah but I don’t always pick the most popular character on a show as my personal favorite.
So you see on Criminal Minds, Hotch would be so easy to be a fan of. How could you not like the strong leader of this group? Or even Matthew with his offbeat quirkiness and his little kid brother likeability or Shemar just because he’s so physically attractive. Even the other women on Criminal Minds are extremely easy to love. Kirsten and Paget both are beautiful, funny and warm.
So why AJ? Well the first time I met AJ Cook was at an event for Criminal Minds at The Paley Center. The entire cast was there and they were all so personable and quite funny. I remember being surprised that AJ was there having just given birth to her son less than two months before. But she was a trooper and was there, looking a beautiful as ever. My first reaction…she does not look like a woman that just had a baby.
The panel was extremely entertaining and we spent a lot of time laughing as we listened to their tales from the set and about their lives. You could tell the seven of them were tight and seemed to genuinely like each other. You could also tell that AJ had been missed by her castmates while she was out on her recent maternity leave.
Afterward, the cast signed autographs and posed for pictures; everyone was so gracious with their time. Honestly it made me love the show ever more. The group then migrated to the lobby of The Paley Center
The friend I’d gone with and I decided to go say hello to AJ. At the time I liked the character of JJ just fine. I was one of those fans who was more of a fan of the entire team than of any one character. All that changed with a simple conversation.
AJ Cook was lovely to speak with; so open and honest, so kind. We spoke a bit about that night, about the show, about how much JJ deserved a great storyline. AJ had not yet announced anything about her son. We only knew she had given birth to a little boy in September. I asked her about her son and she couldn’t have been prouder to speak about him. She told me his name and how blessed she and her husband Nathan felt to have him in their lives. AJ had just returned back from her leave and she spoke about how hard it was to leave him and how tired she was.
Quite frankly, talking to AJ was like talking to a friend. If you didn’t know she was an actress, you would have just felt like you were talking to a pal. She makes you feel like that; she makes you feel like you are a friend. There is nothing fake about her.
I’ve had a couple of other conversations with her since that night. Once at the studio when I paid a visit with Jill and another time when I was a guest at the party for the 100th episode party at The Breeder’s Cup. AJ has always been warm and friendly and let me tell you, it is not an act.
Ask anybody about AJ Cook and they will tell you she is the salt of the earth. She is very laid-back and easy going. The woman is not a diva or a nightmare like you hear other actresses are on the sets of other shows. She is simply a wonderful light God put on this Earth. She did not deserve to be treated like this.
So when I watch AJ on Criminal Minds, I always root for her. I will miss her tremendously if she is not brought back. There is no replacing this wonderful actress in the Criminal Minds ensemble or in the hearts and minds of the fans. We should all feel bad when someone as kind and warm as AJ is treated like this. She deserves better and, if I can’t root for her on CM, I will root for her wherever she lands.
I have also had the pleasure of meeting Paget Brewster and can’t wait to share some of my thoughts on our favorite dark-haired agent with you soon.