The saying goes, you keep the friends that you make in high school forever — and for rising starlet Leslie Grossman's sake, we hope that it's also true of the friends that you make while portraying a high school student.

"[Popular executive producer] Ryan Murphy and I are still very close," says the actress, who played psychotic cheerleader Mary Cherry on the schizoid 1999-2001 WB dramedy. "In fact, he just took me and Tamara Mello, who played Lily [the show's resident tree hugger], to Hawaii as kind of a thank-you for all the years we worked together."

Although Grossman already has her next gig lined up — she's a scene-stealing second banana in NBC's midseason Jason Bateman comedy It's Not About Me — she still hopes that she soon will owe her boss-turned-bud a debt of gratitude herself. Why? She's angling to join her Popular partner in crime, Tammy Lynn Michaels (now better known as Melissa Etheridge's significant other) in the cast of his next project, the Jennifer Love Hewitt feature Why Can't I Be Audrey Hepburn?

"Hopefully," says Grossman, "I'll get to say a couple of lines in there, too."

Whether or not she strolls off with a walk-on role in that picture, she's confident that she and Murphy haven't collaborated for the last time. "He's so phenomenal," she says. "You're going to hear a lot more from him in the future. He's not going away."