Shannon Elizabeth Branches Out

updated 10/25/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/25/2001 01:00PM

Actress Shannon Elizabeth is taking a stab at the horror genre. And she says branching out has been just plain scary. "We were shooting in Canada," said Elizabeth, 28, to the Los Angeles Times about her movie "Thirteen Ghosts," which opens this weekend. "I was by myself. Every time I would come home I would get scared. We had these full-length mirrored closets in every room. I would go in and I would grab (the closet door) and open it really fast. I was convinced there was going to be people in there. There was a back room that was a storage area room and I would check it every time I came home because I was just convinced somebody was going to be hiding in there. I got very paranoid." Star of such light comedies as "American Pie" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," the former model was looking to show off some more of her acting range. "I was really lucky with 'Thirteen Ghosts.' I didn't have to fight for it. I just went in and met with producer Joel Silver. He felt that I was right for that. I think it's just important to turn down all the roles that are not going to lead my career in the direction of diversity. I wanted to be a chameleon." Hugely popular as an Internet pinup, especially since her Playboy pictorial a couple of years ago, she encourages the interest. "I have a chat page on my site now, and it's usually the same people there," she said. "I have been trying to go on once a week. I know they are all in there hanging out and waiting."

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