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New 'Las Vegas' star says she's feeling lucky

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Lara Flynn Boyle takes a seat poolside to talk about bringing her celebrity to "Las Vegas" when a round, middle-aged British lady approaches with a request.

"Can you get up?" the woman says to the star. "This is my spot."

Apparently Boyle had unknowingly taken a seat on the woman's hotel terrace, and the woman was not pleased. A surprised Boyle looks at the reporter across from her.

"I guess we'll have to leave," the actress says, ignoring the British woman altogether.

As soon as Boyle stands up, a camera crew rushes over, eager for a quote on why she's doing prime-time television in this junction of her career.

"I miss the beautiful schedule," she says later after she finds another seat and the same question arises. "I miss the high of the constant pace of (television). I need that schedule. I'd be in a lot of trouble if I didn't have the consistency of a 10-month schedule."

Rocky relationship

On "Las Vegas," she plays new casino owner Monica Mancuso, whose opinions aren't always popular with her staff. Her role was created to provide a love-hate relationship for the character played by series regular James Caan.

"She's got a lot of chutzpah, but she needs to learn a few things about working with other people," Boyle says.

Though the British woman may not know it, Boyle is a star of stature in Hollywood. Having come to full public attention in 1990 with a role in David Lynch's supernatural TV series "Twin Peaks," she leaped into movies with "The Temp," "The Road to Wellville" and "Wayne's World."

She returned to series television with "The Practice" while making films like "Men in Black II."

She's the kind of star whose romances (like with Jack Nicholson) and emaciated appearance can generate headlines. It's just not enough to get her a seat poolside all the time.

Not a diva

Her reputation precedes her, but meeting Boyle is a different experience. She doesn't look as thin as tabloid photos make her out to be.

She's far more personable than some media accounts report.

She says that, perhaps, the media has the wrong perception of her. She's no diva. She's superstitious (her "lucky" number is seven), and she's given up extravagant shopping sprees because it's a waste of money.

"I've grown up on sets, and it's what I know," says the 35-year-old actress.

"To be on a set is where I am most comfortable. I can't say it's compelling. I can say it (makes me feel) lucky.

"It's where I feel the greatest, where all my worries go away. I don't splice DNA, but what I do makes me feel so fortunate."

Boyle has entered "Las Vegas" in its third season, and she says she's feeling comfortable with the cast, all of whom have been there since the beginning. "They have welcomed me in the most beautiful way," she says, "and I feel at home there."

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