Lyndsy Fonseca

When 23-year-old Lyndsy Fonseca started filming the upcoming movie The Ward—a horror thriller about young women in a 1960s mental institution who all die in what she cryptically describes as “a very peculiar way”—her primary concern was not the script, nor was it the challenges of playing a psychologically disturbed character, or even the set’s close proximity to criminals. (The Ward was filmed in a mental hospital near Spokane, Washington, from which a murderer escaped weeks after production wrapped). It was the prospect of working on a closed set with six other young actresses that made the San Francisco native wary. “I was terrified,” she says. “It’s really hard to meet good women inHollywood. There’s always that one girl on a movie where you’re like, ‘I’m gonna stay away from that drama.’ I thought it was going to be a disaster.” Luckily, Fonseca’s worries turned out to be unfounded. “The girls were amazing,” she says of co-stars who included Amber Heard, Danielle Panabaker, and Mamie Gummer. “It was kind of a nice surprise.” Though Fonseca has spent a fair amount of her acting career in similar dramatic roles—she got her start at age 13 with a three-year stint on The Young and the Restless, and also did time on DesperateHousewives—the actress has demonstrated an undeniable comedic bent: She takes a turn as John Cusack’s ’80s-era girlfriend in the March comedy Hot Tub  Time Machine, and she’ll appears this month as Aaron Johnson’s love interest in the teen-oriented superhero flick Kick-Ass. “The costumes were so outrageous,” she says of Hot Tub. “They designed a zebra-printed spandex catsuit for me! You couldn’t take yourself too seriously. And I’ll always make a fool of myself if it’s necessary.”

Photo: Lyndsy Fonseca in Los Angeles, February 2010. Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg. Cosmetics: M.A.C., including angel lipstick. Fragrance: D Eau de Parfum by Diane Von Furstenberg. Styling: Moses/Margaret Maldonado Agency. Hair: Maranda for Kerastase Paris/ Makeup: Darlene Jacobs/Frank Reps. Special Thanks: Siren Studios.