The New Regime: Kat Dennings

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According to her acting coach, Kat Dennings should just “forget about the whole acting thing.” According to her mother, going into the profession was “a terrible idea.” According to casting agents, “her teeth are too weird, she’s funny looking, not pretty enough and too fat.” Luckily, Michael Cera’s love interest in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, who also stole scenes in The House Bunny and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, is made of stern stuff. “Yeah, I’m not easily swayed,” says the 22-year-old with a lazy drawl. “I’m a pretty strong-willed person and the criticism doesn’t really bother me.” Instead, Dennings stayed focused, abandoned acting classes altogether and served her apprenticeship on small-screen staples like ER, CSI (both Crime Scene Investigation and NY) and Sex and the City before graduating to Hollywood.

But don’t expect to see her pictured, crotch on display, outside of an L.A. nightclub anytime soon. “Ugh, you can’t even talk in those places,” says Dennings, who stars in four films this year, including the Robert Rodriguez project Shorts, and The Dream of the Romans opposite Jeff Daniels. “Plus, I don’t drink and I don’t smoke and I don’t like being around people who do. Oh no, I sound really boring!” We’ll beg to differ.

Photo: Beth Herzhaft