“Paul’s an excellent actor. People don’t say that enough, because they’re sort of blinded by how just absurdly attractive he was,” Cook, 40, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, August 24, while promoting her new film Love, Guaranteed. “He was just a movie star. … The funny thing about Paul is that a lot of actors, I don’t know how to put it without selling us all down the river, but we seem like actors. You know what I mean?”
The Scorched actress continued, “You’re like, ‘That guy seems like an actor.’ You’re like, ‘Oh, that person’s talking a little too loudly at a dinner party and thinks everyone’s interested in them.’ We seem like actors a little bit. It’s kind of lame. Paul was just not. He was way more [than that]. His energy would just sit under everyone else’s and you could tell that he was thinking and engaged, but he had this vibe about him that he would rather be surfing. He was athlete-level cool. Yeah, way cooler than the rest of us.”
Walker, who died in a car crash in 2013 at age 40, played Dean Thompson in the late 1990s flick. Directed by Robert Iscove, She’s All That follows a popular high school jock (Freddie Prinze Jr.) as he makes a bet that he can transform a nerdy outcast (Cook) into the school’s prom queen.
Though Cook has admitted to not watching the film after its debut, she did catch up with the 44-year-old Freddie alum a few years back. As she raved about how much she “adores” the Down to You actor, the Josie and the Pussycats star revealed that Walker’s death led her to reach out to Prinze Jr.
“I remember that it was actually Paul Walker’s passing that made me think, ‘I have to just pull myself together and just reach out to say hello,’ because if someone’s passing can teach us anything it’s that you got to use the time you got,” she explained to Us. “So, I just called him up and said, ‘Hey, let’s get together.’ He told me that the show that he was voice recording [for] was recording not far from where I lived and so we just organized to get together and have coffee and it was just lovely.”
Cook added, “I don’t think that anyone, except for the person who does it with you, can truly understand just what it is to be part of something unless they were exactly by your side when it happened. So I think we’ll always be bonded in that sense. I hope so at least because he’s such a lovely human.”
Next month, Cook is starring in a film for Netflix titled Love, Guaranteed. The flick sees Cook as Susan — a small-firm lawyer that represents a high-paying client named Nick (Damon Wayans Jr.), who wants to sue a dating website that guarantees love. The pair, however, soon form a closer bond as they start to develop feelings for each other.
The Baby-Sitters Club actress both starred in and produced the movie, but she also developed the concept for the film and pitched it to Netflix. Cook was inspired by a real-life lawsuit from 2016 that surrounded Coors Brewing Company, in which they were accused of falsely advertising that their beer was brewed with pure Rocky Mountain spring water.
“I was like, ‘They won. This is an interesting false advertising lawsuit. What would happen if there was a different extension of that?’” she recalled. “Then I thought, ‘You have all these dating sites with all these crazy places that just say, ‘For $29.99 a month, or sign up is free,’ or whatever, ‘You will meet the love of your life.’ What if they actually went out on a very foolish limb and guaranteed that you would find love? Then I thought, ‘Well I love romantic comedies, so what if I’m a lawyer? Then the whole concept and the whole movie sort of flashed before my eyes.”
Love, Guaranteed premiered on Netflix on Thursday, September 3.
With reporting by Marc Lupo