Graduating from child starling on a popular TV show to "serious" adult actor is always a tough task. (Think Todd Bridges or Justine Bateman!) But though Lacey Chabert who played violin virtuoso Claudia Salinger on Party of Five has never landed in prison or drug rehab, she's had her share of stumbling blocks.
"I was on [the cover of] Stuff magazine about three years ago," the 20-year-old admits, wincing with regret. "But that was a different time. That's not the direction I want to go now. I'm not a person who's like, 'Hey, I'm a vixen now!' That's not me, and that magazine was not a representation of me at all."
While Chabert knows the racy lad mag wasn't her wisest move, it was an attempt to convince America that she's no longer a baby. "I think any transition is difficult," she acknowledges, "especially when I was in someone's living room going through puberty every week. People feel like they know [me], and a lot of people feel like I'm their little sister. So it's just kind of a process of reintroducing myself [as] who I am today... and not who I was eight years ago. Right now, I'm more focused on trying to find and get roles that are intelligent and stretch me as an actress."
Recently, Chabert has taken on some more grown-up parts in Not Another Teen Movie and the upcoming Daddy Day Care. Still, she does find time to indulge her inner child by voicing Eliza on Nickelodeon's 'toon The Wild Thornberrys, whose big-screen version hits theaters Dec. 20. "It's a totally different type of acting, really," she says. "Trying to figure out how to play these characters without having body language and your eyes to tell a story is a challenge sometimes. But it's fun to go and create a voice something that's totally different from yours and have this character that you can kind of turn on and off."