Ali Larter: Cosmo Cover Girl

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An Ali Larter Picture Ali Larter graces the cover of the latest Cosmopolitan magazine.

In the issue, the Heroes star gives a personal interview. Pick up a copy to read more, but check out excerpts of it below:

Until recently, we only got teases of 31-year-old actress Ali Larter. (She played the brave girl who sported a whipped-cream bikini in 1999's Varsity Blues and Reese Witherspoon's jailed sorority sister in 2001's Legally Blonde.)

But those small roles had one big thing in common: They left audiences wanting more. That craving was finally satisfied this past TV season, when Ali rocketed to stardom thanks to the success of Heroes, the Emmy-nominated show in which she brilliantly plays good-and-evil dual personalities Niki and Jessica Sanders.

"It's been a dream," Ali says. "Now I'm kind of in a sweet spot in my life and career."

Arriving in that happy place certainly wasn't a cakewalk.

"The rejection you deal with in Hollywood is hard," Ali admits. "But you have to try to take some of the emotion out of it. Even though it's a creative endeavor, it's a job."

Cosmo Cover Girl That levelheaded perspective could be attributed to a decision Ali made in 2002, when she returned to the East Coast to assess her career objectives. (She's originally from New Jersey.)

"That was a turning point," Ali says. "I moved to New York to define what kind of actress I wanted to be. When I tried to get back into the industry, I couldn't get a job...but it made me dig deeper."

Summoning the focus and tenacity to survive in eat-you-up-spit-you-out Hollywood has paid off — in a major way. In addition to season two of Heroes, Ali has three movies out this year: the sci-fi flick Resident Evil: Extinction, an indie film called Marigold, and the National Lampoon caveman comedy Homo Erectus.

It's a diverse array of characters that capitalizes on the range of Ali's own personality.

"I'm a bit of a contradiction," she says. "I like tomboy stuff, but I also love girlie, girlie lingerie because I feel sexy when I'm in it."

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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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