04/19/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT
As a teen in Southfield, Mich., actress Selma Blair, 31, remembers wearing "these crazy polka-dotted shoes with kneesocks and a cashmere riding habit. I either looked like some British girl or '70s Farrah Fawcett." These days Blair has become as well-known for her impeccable fashion sense as her movie roles, including '0l's Legally Blonde. Now she stars as tortured firestarter Liz Sherman in the comic-book flick Hellboy. "She has a beautiful sadness to her eyes," says director Guillermo del Toro. In real life, though, Blair is "more comfortable in her skin than I've ever seen her," says pal Christina Applegate. Blair credits her contentment to her husband of three months, Ahmet Zappa, the 29-year-old son of Frank. He's been known to write sweet nothings on his wife's body—not that you'll spot them on the red carpet. Says Blair: "He puts it in places not everyone can see."
William Keck in Los Angeles