Rachael Leigh Cook has been married to Daniel Gillies for 13 years, but admits that she’s “hesitant to think” that what works well for their relationship is right for everybody.
“Something I need to learn myself is it’s a wonderful thing to be self-sufficient but it’s also good to be actively vulnerable so your partner can feel needed as well,” Cook, 38, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “That’s an important part of a partnership because it defines their role as your rock in this life. It’s something that I need to get a little bit better at.”
Cook and the Originals star, 41, got engaged about five months after meeting at a bar and tied the knot in 2004. “He’s ferociously intelligent but he’s also deeply silly,” she says. “That’s probably my favorite thing [about him].”
The couple are now parents of daughter Charlotte, 4, and Theodore, 2. Cook gushed that her little girl is “absolutely unbelievable” at reading and that Theo likes to “pepper Spanish words into conversations.”
Cook, who says she and Gillies had an open discussion before ultimately deciding to keep their children off social media, reveals that she would still allow them to work in the family business.
“I used to joke that they are welcome to be actors after they cure a major disease but really the truth is if it’s what they want to do I’m gonna let them do it,” the She’s All That actress tells Us, noting that “the door is closed” most likely on having more children. “I think that we naturally explore the possibility of doing exactly what our parents did and then either swing way in the other direction or go there as well. So I know it’ll occur to at least one of the kids but I’m not really sure if we have an actor in there. And if they don’t want to do it I’m not going to push it, for sure. It’s too hard.”
Cook and Gillies have had steady work in Hollywood for years — but don’t expect them to run lines together before a big audition. “No we don’t because — divorce,” she says, joking that it could lead to a split. “That’s just not something that is good for us. I’m sure that’s good for other actor couples but we had to throw in the towel on that one.”
Nevertheless, the pair are extremely supportive of one another. Recently, Cook even pitched the idea for Hallmark Channel’s upcoming movie Frozen in Love, which she also stars in.
“This whole thing is based on an idea that I had I want to say in 2009. I remember I was watching the show Frasier because — well for obvious reasons it’s a great show — and I love the character of Niles Crane and I was thinking to myself, ‘I would love to play someone who’s just a little bit too smart for their own good.’ That kind of intellect that is detrimental socially at times,” Cook explains. “I’m also completely obsessed with sports movies and I just thought to myself, ‘How can I marry those things?’”
Frozen in Love, which is a part of the network’s “Winterfest” programming event, centers on a bookstore owner named Mary (Cook) who reaches out for PR help to save her company. In order to succeed, she’s paired with a Denver Royals hockey player (Niall Matter) that needs a boost revamping his reputation.
While on set, Cook also shadowed the director, Scott Smith. “I’m interested in directing but it was also illuminating in how I do not think that I could direct and act simultaneously,” Cook tells Us. “The kind of preparation that it would take to do both with any degree of ability to a standard that I would be happy with. It would be almost impossible for me. But I am working to develop more things.”
Frozen in Love airs on Hallmark Channel on Saturday, January 13, at 9 p.m. ET.