One-track mind­set

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Pay-tv - LUAINE LEE

LINDA Cardellini thrives on chaos. ‘‘You don’t get into this busi­ness to know your fu­ture, and there’s part of you that loves the roller-coaster ride of the un­known,’’ she says.

‘‘So there’s a give-and-take of be­ing on a se­ries as well be­cause you miss the adrenalin rush of be­ing up and down at any given mo­ment.

‘‘It’s part of what you ac­cept when you choose a job like that. And it’s part of what draws you to it, too.’’

So far the un­known has served Cardellini well.

The 32-year-old ac­tor has costarred in the two Scooby-Doo movies, played a win­some wait­ress in Broke­back Moun­tain and has played nurse Sa­man­tha Tag­gart in ER since 2003.

It didn’t hap­pen by ac­ci­dent. Ever since she was five Cardellini wanted to per­form.

She used to print out tick­ets, sell them to her rel­a­tives and stage a show in her liv­ing room.

But ul­ti­mately her par­ents wanted her to at­tend col­lege.

‘‘I said, ‘OK, I’ll go to col­lege and be a theatre ma­jor’. So I came out and went to Loy­ola Mary­mount Univer­sity as a theatre ma­jor, got a de­gree in theatre and I just loved it,’’ she says.

‘‘My par­ents did try to talk me out of it a lit­tle bit. They were afraid my heart would get bro­ken. And it does get bro­ken still.

‘‘I was adamant. ‘You can’t talk me out of it, it’s the only thing I want to do and don’t put any doubt in my mind. I’m go­ing to Los An­ge­les to be­come an ac­tress’. And the first day I got here I cried and wanted to go home.’’ ER W Chan­nel, week­days, 12.50pm Med­i­cal drama Du­ra­tion: 1 hour

Her first time on a movie set wasn’t ex­actly glam­orous.

It was cold, she ru­ined a pair of shoes, earned $35 for the day and film­ing took place in a jail — but she was hooked.

Her first real job came when a man­ager saw her play­ing a hunch­back in a col­lege pro­duc­tion.

‘‘He sent me on an au­di­tion and I got the part. It was a small kids’ show called Bone Chillers on Satur­day morn­ing,’’ she says.

‘‘I was 21 and thought it was the great­est thing in the world. I’d just come from scoop­ing ice cream at col­lege for $4.80 an hour and now what I was mak­ing seemed as­tro­nom­i­cal to me.’’

SHE didn’t fin­ish col­lege then be­cause the part of the redsweatered sleuth Velma in Scooby-Doo came along, but re­turned to school af­ter that pic­ture wrapped.

Dur­ing breaks from ER Cardellini is ren­o­vat­ing a house in Venice, Cal­i­for­nia, where she moved af­ter end­ing a five-year re­la­tion­ship with ac­tor Ja­son Segel.

Cardellini says she has no rules about dat­ing ac­tors.

‘‘As soon as you make a rule you’re bound to break it.

‘‘You never know where you’re go­ing to find love. As a wo­man I watch us put ex­pec­ta­tions on our­selves, and any time you do that I think you’re bound to be dis­ap­pointed.’’

Self-be­lief:

Linda Cardellini could not be de­railed from her act­ing dream.

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