11/17/2003 at 01:00 AM EST
Ashton Kutcher is getting a new leading lady this week, when Shannon Elizabeth begins her eight-episode run on FOX's "That '70s Show."
Hers was not a smooth arrival, however, she tells the Hollywood Reporter.
"I was terrified going in, knowing that they were all so close and have been together for six years," admits Elizabeth, 30, who on Wednesday will take on her role as the love interest of Kutcher's Kelso.
"I was especially scared of the girls," she says, referring to costars Mila Kunis and Laura Prepon, "because there are only two, and I'm like this intruder girl coming in. But it's been amazing how nice everyone is and how accepting. I'm a really shy person, so I tried hard to be outgoing and talk to everyone, and I gave them all cast gifts the first taping night."
The TV series is not the only gig Elizabeth has going. The trade paper notes that she is still on tap to film the much-delayed Wes Craven werewolf movie "Cursed," also starring Christina Ricci, Corey Feldman and James Brolin ("The Reagans").
"I am going back to work a couple days (this) week and a few days the following week," she says. "The newest version of the script is really good, and I'll get to do some different things with my character. I'm excited to go back."
But the former model from Houston, Texas, says family (and pets) is her first priority. Besides being married to "American Pie 2" and "The Perfect Storm" actor Joseph Reitman, 35, Elizabeth heads up Animal Avengers, a charity for orphaned animals.
"I love acting and doing all this, but it's really about coming home to my husband and my animals -- they're my kids," she says.