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Amy Smart   ('Crank') Amy Smart ('Crank')

'Street Smarts!'

The life of a trained assassin is never easy, but for Chev (Jason Statham) it gets much worse when he discovers he has been poisoned, and must keep his adrenaline above a certain level to prevent himself from dying.

Amy Smart is one of Hollywood's newest young stars and is always up for a challenge. In the new adrenalin-charged 'Crank,' she plays the laid back girlfriend of Jason Statham who is literally running for his life while his body has been injected with a deadly poison.

Chatting one-on-one with the lovely lady in a CA hotel board room, I first wondered how she saw her character? "Well, mine is definitely not as high-paced as his, and she has her own rhythms and timeframes. Which is actually pretty dangerous for his character because she doesn't really have any care in the world."

Please tell us more about why you choose to co-star in an action thriller that involved a public sex scene in Los Angeles' Chinatown!? "Well, because you ... you give a lot of your trust to the directors for those kind of scenes where you put yourself out there," she explains. "But I felt because Lakeshore and Lionsgate were behind it and they believed in these directors. I felt like this new technology they were going to use for this film, how clear they were on what they wanted from the characters and the kind of film they wanted to make, that I could trust them."

With lots of bubblehead characters in your past what was it like playing a different kind of female character this time? "I think bringing depth to characters means really needing to find out who this girl is, what is she passionate about, what makes her tick, what gets her going in life. So I did a lot of backstory for who she was and sometimes it comes across screen and sometimes it doesn't. You never know, because you're not the director, but you can only do your work and hope that it somehow subtly is infiltrated in that. But I think the characters I've played for the most part have depth, just not in the way that you think they do."

What drew you to acting in the first place? "Because of the psychology of it. Why do people do this, what makes them tick, why is that person jumping off a cliff right now, what brings them to that point; why does she want to work in that hospital? Like there are so many aspects of humans that are fascinating and it helps me understand myself better. It also allows me to give voices to people who might not be heard."

Please tell us more about your new CBS TV series 'Smith' "Yeah, it feels great to work on such a complex, interesting, dark character," she says, referring to her Annie, one of a group of 5 professional criminals within the series.

What was it about the seriess producer, veteran John Wells that got you on board? "He's an amazing producer and I met with him and it was so inspiring the pitch he gave me about this character of Annie. In his pitch, he said that television for the most part has gotten really boring in the sense of it's all these FBI guys, lawyer guys, doctors, always trying to fix the bad guys, find the bad guys, but when I want to find out about a character, do I want to see what it takes to be an FBI guy or do I want to watch what it takes to be a criminal? The criminals are the ones that have the really interested complex lives."

So, you got a big kick out of playing a bad girl on the show?! "I love it! On a personal level I grow a lot from my characters, and there are a lot of lessons that I've learned through the different characters I've played. With Annie she's very straightforward, gets what she wants, and is not a people pleaser - she'll be a people pleaser to get what she wants, but she doesn't have to do that. She's manipulative and calculated. In fact, I just want a little bit more of her in my life." she adds laughing. Smart says she looks to her personal experiences to inject this character into her psyche. "I think as human beings we're multifaceted and we can all tap into different aspects of ourselves, which is why it's fun to watch these kinds of characters because on some level we can relate to them. So I'm just bringing out more of a side of myself that I don't normally bring out, and it's really fun."

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