Kat Dennings, who plays the smart-mouthed waitress you've probably already seen in promos for CBS' new sitcom "2 Broke Girls," knows how to paint a picture.
The 25-year-old star of "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" got her big break as a young teen when she appeared on HBO's "Sex and the City" as the infamous bat mitzvah girl in "Hot Child in the City."
"It changed my life. Really, it did. I was a homeschooled kid living in the forest, and I didn't even have cable," Dennings recalled, noting that her family "had to get cable to watch that episode. So all my little homeschool friends and their moms saw Kyle MacLachlan's ass. It was pretty incredible."
And the forest?
That was in Bryn Mawr, that wilderness on Philadelphia's Main Line.
Dennings, who was born Katherine Litwack and moved with her family to the West Coast a couple of years after her "SATC" debut, explained to me afterward what she'd meant by "forest."
"I know, it seems weird," she said. "It really was on a hill in the woods, and I was very small, so it seemed like a huge forest. It probably was just a hilly, wooded area There was a horse farm at the bottom of the hill that's now built up [with] houses, so it doesn't seem like that anymore. But when I was living there, there were creeks and it was really secluded and amazing."
It also makes for a good story, as does the fact that former "SATC" producer Michael Patrick King -- who's from Scranton -- is producing "2 Broke Girls."
"Yes, she was an innocent woodland creature, magical and mysterious, like a sexy hobbit, when we discovered her," he joked.
The acting thing "kind of came out of nowhere," Dennings said. Her father's a scientist, her mother's a speech therapist. "I would watch these films. . . [and] I guess I just took that 'little kid wanting to be a movie star' thing way too far and actually ended up doing it. My brother's friend, weirdly, from karate was on [Nickelodeon's] 'Pete & Pete' sometimes. And I met his manager, and she sent me on auditions in Philly and then in New York. And then I would just start getting commercials, and then when I got the 'Sex and the City' [episode], it just changed the things I was able to get."
Not, she insisted, that it kept her from being able to identify with her "2 Broke Girls" character, who really is living on a shoestring.
"Things have been going well as of late [but] I think acting is one of the most risky businesses you can be in because you literally do not know where your next paycheck will come from, and there have been moments where, you know, I haven't worked for a year," she said. "I save everything. I save all my money, and my parents raised me like that."