Along with nerds, jocks and sensitive young protaganists finding themselves, the cold-hearted queen bee is a high school movie institution – and joining the club in style is Christina Murphy, AccessHollywood.com's latest rising star.
In the Wayans brothers' satirical "Dance Flick," the actress plays Norah – an intimidating dancer who spoofs characters from "Mean Girls" and "Step Up."
"I feel like I can get into that character so much faster," Christina told Access. "It's easier to play the opposite of who you are."
Indeed, in real life, the bubbly actress doesn't seem to have much in common with her nasty role.
"Maybe that's a secret part of me that likes to come out," she said, lamenting, "I never get cast as the good girl!"
While "Dance Flick" makes fun of genre movies ranging from "High School Musical" to "Flashdance," between the laughs is some serious footwork.
"I had to go back to my ballet days," Christina said of her training for the film. "I took ballet when I was like 5. I didn't even remember what first position was and trying to get me to crump and do hip-hop, my body just didn't work that way."
Still, she said, she and the cast did their own moves – and the svelte star added that getting in shape wasn't a problem.
"I'm pretty athletic," she said. "I was a tomboy. We always tease my dad that he raised my sister and I like little boys. I grew up waterskiing and fishing and I learned how to fly fish [and] play golf. I have a brother who's a professional golfer."
Before moving to Hollywood in 2006, the Texas-bred star even helped out with the family business, an outdoor retail store – which she starred in advertisements for as a child.
"I'm just a ham. I think I came out of the womb just wanting to perform," she said.
And her role in "Dance Flick" – which includes a surprising oil wrestling scene with lead actress Shoshana Bush — may have audiences laughing now, but she said her future projects are a bit more dramatic.
"I have three indies [next]," she said. "'Hyenas,' a horror thriller that's not ready yet; a dark comedy called 'Remembering Phil'; and 'Forgotten Pills,' this really neat, dark drama about four friends who take this pill that makes you forget everything for four hours."
The versatile star said her dream project would be "something in between."
"I love drama because it evokes so many different emotions from people but I love the response when you make someone laugh," she said. "I always saw myself on a TV show but now that I'm doing more film, I think this is my niche."
"Dance Flick" is due in theaters on May 22.
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