Peta Wilson — aka TV's La Femme Nikita — has a new role to sink her teeth into. She stars as Mina Harker, Dracula's half-human/half-vampire lover, in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. While that title suggests a he-man film, this blonde starlet brings quite a woman's touch.

"I'm the gentle in Gentlemen," Wilson laughs. "The attraction to this role was Sean Connery, [being] the only female and [doing] a period film. This was the ultimate dress-up film. Being in the 18th century, and to play a woman that is repressed, closed, shut down and, on top of that, Dracula's ex-girlfriend — what a great part to do!"

Though Mina is arguably the central character in the League comic books, she cedes the celluloid spotlight to Connery's Allan Quatermain. No blood was shed over any changes, however. "The thing is, to make a film like that, you need a big leading man," the 32-year-old Wilson admits. "Even the biggest movie stars that are women, like Julia Roberts, make a studio nervous. In the '40s, it was a leading woman — and the man was the handbag. But it changed, and now, it's about the man."

The Aussie actress hopes for more screen time in any future League installments. "If we go on for sequels, then maybe there'd be that opportunity, where Mina gets to be in charge of something," she says wistfully. "But it didn't bother me. She was very powerful, anyway. She was the woman, and the demon that lives inside of her is so much uglier than all of [the men's] — though Mr. Hyde is pretty rough."