Tru Calling's Eliza Dushku

updated 01/26/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/26/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Boston
LATEST GIG: She hears dead people

•Par for the corpse: Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Faith no more, Dushku again communes with the dead on the FOX drama Tru Calling, playing a city morgue worker who relives the past to prevent her charges' deaths. Oddly, she has more prior experience in the dead zone: As a child she frolicked among the caskets in a funeral home owned by her best friend's family. "It wasn't frightening," she says. "It was just matter-of-fact."

•Bloody good: Dushku fell into acting at 10, after tagging along to her older brother Nate's audition. "I tripped, got a bloody nose and I was an instant drama queen," she recalls. "The casting director went, 'Who is this kid?' "

•Sixth cents: She played tough in True Lies and Buffy, but "in between takes, she'll be reading The Economist," says Tru creator Jon Feldman.

•O Canada: Shooting Tru in Vancouver "was the perfect change for me," says Dushku. After a recent split, "I'm single for the first time since I was 16. I'm in charge of my own life entirely, and it feels great."

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