Born in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, to Michael and Sandra Cook, Andrea Joy Cook began acting at the age of 17. She has appeared in nearly a dozen films and several TV shows before the age of 25. Before taking up acting, she was a dancer, having started dancing competitively at age 4 in the styles of tap, jazz, and ballet. Her first big role came in the 1999 film The Virgin Suicides, directed by Sofia Coppola. Cook stars as Jennifer "JJ" Jareau in the CBS hit show Criminal Minds.