02/05/2007 at 01:00 AM EST
In FOX's tough-guy-filled Prison Break, Sarah Wayne Callies holds her own as Sara Tancredi, the prison doctor with a druggie past who helped inmate Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and his crew bust out and is now a fugitive herself. The Honolulu-reared actress, 29, who's expecting her first child, talked to PEOPLE's Brenda Rodriguez.
On sharing one awkwardly similar trait with her character
I begged them to change her name, but they were set on Sara. When I've played other characters, people will walk by you and holler your character's name and you know they're not talking to you. Now people can get me to turn around and talk. It's strange.
On playing the role of a recovering drug addict
On behalf of friends [who deal with this issue], I wanted to get it right. I talked to a woman who was in recovery, I talked to a counselor, I watched Requiem for a Dream and Rush, and I read William S. Burroughs's Junky.
On growing up in Hawaii
It kept me out of trouble. On weekends, you'd wake up, go to the beach, go hiking, and by the time people in Iowa were drinking beer out of the back of a pickup truck, you were fast asleep.
On what she does when she's not on the run
I love cooking. My signature dish? I make a pasta sauce from scratch that my husband [Josh] loves. [I add] jalapeño peppers to give it a kick. You gotta watch a man sweat when he eats a meal you make. It's important!