Elisha Cuthbert

Elisha Cuthbert
"I agree with some of the choices that other actresses have made with nudity, and that's fine if they're comfortable with it," Cuthbert says, "but I still think that I'm a little too young."
Carlo Allegri/Getty

04/12/2004 AT 10:21 AM EDT

Elisha Cuthbert has perfected her damsel-in-distress routine as Jack Bauer's daughter, Kim, on FOX's 24. Now she's turning the tables, taking on a more, say, experienced role – porn star. In The Girl Next Door Cuthbert plays Danielle, a young woman with an XXX past who helps break her neighbor from a sheltered existence. It's a risky role for an actress who's transitioning from TV to the big screen, but one she says even the girls in the audience will like.

Cuthbert, 21, recently chatted with reporters about what it was like to step into the heels of a porn star, the research she undertook and what her grandmother might make of it all.

Did you research a lot of porn before making this movie?
We went through a lot of Playboy magazines and different kinds of dirty magazines that little boys hide from their moms. I actually sat and met with some of these girls. I, unfortunately, had a real stereotype of what I imagined a typical porn star would look like on a day-to-day basis, and it was the exact opposite.

How did you feel wearing the skimpy clothes?
Very uncomfortable. See, that was the tricky part of playing Athena. It's that I had to walk in these shoes that were 6 in. high and wear this bra thing and uncomfortable pants, and it was just like somehow I have to pretend that I'm competent and comfortable in this stuff.

What influences did you bring to the movie? Risky Business?
That was one of the many movies that we kept in mind before we started shooting this. Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, fun movies that were made in the '80s but had a truth behind them. When Ferris Bueller's buddy throws the Ferrari off of the garage and goes, "My dad is going to kill me," those moments made those teen comedies a reality.

Was it fun to have so many costume changes, unlike on 24?
The beauty of having 24 is that I don't have to think of wardrobe. There was a thought process in the wardrobe for this movie. There were 18 wardrobe changes.

On 24, is it hard maintaining the same character season after season?
Yeah. I've never had an opportunity to be a character for this long. I mean, I'm literally in the mall shopping and someone will go, "Hey, Kim," and I'll look around, and not because someone has recognized me, but because I actually respond to the name, which is frightening.

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