August 28, 2006 12:00 PM

Indie film queen Lili Taylor, 39, prefers dark roles—like Factotum‘s chain-smoking alcoholic Jan. How does she keep her edge?

TAKE A STAND I’d rather play someone dark and complicated than someone one-dimensional.

DON’T GO METHOD If I’d smoked regular nicotine [in Factotum], I would have started smoking again. I smoked herbal cigarettes.

WORK WITH FRIENDS I’ve known Matt for about 20 years, so it felt familiar. Any kind of depth to the relationship helps [the acting].

TAKE A BREATHER I’m kind of tuckered out right now, so I’m going to relax. I want to hit some water. I like to frolic.

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