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Topher Grace

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Leave the flashy nightlife to Ashton and Wilmer. What That ’70s Show‘s other guy, Topher Grace, really wants is Baltic Avenue. “I’m a board-game dude,” says Grace, 26. “I have a Monopoly group, whereas most people have a poker group. I’m, like, almost undefeated.”

With his seven-season gig as lovable goofball Eric Forman ending in May, the actor has a new strategy: Pass Show, and collect a few buzz-worthy movie roles. In the new comedy-drama In Good Company, Grace plays a corporate prodigy who becomes boss to a middle-aged ad exec (Dennis Quaid) while falling for his daughter (Scarlett Johansson). His turns in Company and last fall’s p.s., in which he played Laura Linney’s younger lover, earned him the National Board of Review’s breakthrough performance actor award for 2004. Topher (short for Christopher) “reminds me of the old-time everyman actors Jack Lemmon or Jimmy Stewart,” says Company writer-director Paul Weitz. “He has a real acid bite.”

Raised in Darien, Conn., the single Grace plans to uproot from L.A. to New York City to be closer to his parents, John and Pat, and sister Jennifer. “I’m somewhat at odds with the Hollywood scene,” he says. Still, he’s dreading the day his ’70s lava lamp goes out. He and his costars “are way beyond friends,” he says. “I never cry, like ever. Even at Finding Nemo. But I’m going to just lose it.”