The Hollywood parody New Suit (opening Friday) is highly unlikely to make movie-goers forget how much they loved — and loved to hateHeather Donahue as The Blair Witch Project's other scary villainess. But that's just fine with the level-headed up-and-comer. She never aspired to be a sensation, never mind an overnight one.

"I want the same career I've always wanted, which is sort of long, slow and respected, at least by myself," she tells TV Guide Online. "That's how I always imagined things going — working my way up, getting a part here and a part there, then gradually just being a working actor. I love making my living as an actor — to me, that's a minor miracle.

"In fact, the whole Blair Witch experience came as a huge, not-entirely-pleasant shock," she adds, noting that after the picture was marketed as a work of cinema verite, its unhappy campers "were looked at kind of like Survivor contestants who all of a sudden wanted to act. It was very upsetting."

New Suit, which stars Beau Bridges's son, Jordan, as a screenwriter peddling a nonexistent script, revels in such showbiz irony. With the perspective that comes from distance, Donahue can laugh about it, too. "I couldn't stand being as famous as Sandra Bullock," she groans. "[Celebrity] left a terrible taste in my mouth. So now I don't care so much about making it in the traditional way and playing the game." In her eyes, she's already won.