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FALL SNEAKS | STAR TURNS

The island life seems to suit her just fine

September 11, 2005|SUSAN KING

MAGGIE GRACE sees a pattern emerging in her young career.

For most of the year, her home base is Honolulu, the location for ABC's popular, Emmy-nominated series "Lost," in which she plays the rich, snobby plane crash survivor Shannon.

But even before Grace completed the series' first season, she was commuting to yet another island -- this one off the coast of Vancouver, Canada -- for her role in the remake of the 1980 John Carpenter horror classic "The Fog."

"Originally, when I signed on to the movie, 'Lost' was supposed to wrap way before it ever started," says Grace, 21, on a rare morning off from the series. "Then ABC decided on the big, huge finale, so we went over [schedule] and I ended up doing both at the same time. I was flying from one island to the other!"

Grace says the remake, which opens Oct. 14, shares the same basic premise as the original: A small island community is engulfed in fog 100 years after a boat sank under mysterious circumstances.

"We don't fix what isn't broke," Grace says, "but I think the original leaves a lot of questions, which I think they do try to address in the new script."

Grace plays Elizabeth, the role Jamie Lee Curtis essayed in the 1980 version. But instead of being a hitchhiker who arrives in town on that fateful night, Grace's Elizabeth is an island native who has had a long relationship with the hero (Tom Welling).

"There's a very nice strength with her," Grace says. "I haven't done a lot of work in this particular genre, and hadn't really seen many horror films. So the first thing I set about doing was watching as many as I could. I scare very easily."

Grace has come a long way since leaving her home in Columbus, Ohio, five years ago. "I kind of had an idyllic Ohio childhood, and I was ready to move here," says Grace, who began acting in school plays and community theater as a child.

"I started studying acting and was lucky enough to support myself," she says. "I was certainly broke a lot, but I have had some extremely lucky breaks."

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