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Find And Fight For Your Dream

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In the new film, "Ice Princess," Michelle Trachtenberg plays a self-confessed science geek who finds her passion when she laces up a pair of figure skates.

And with this film, she hopes young girls who see it are encouraged to find their dreams.

"I want every girl in the audience to say, 'I believe in myself,' " Trachtenberg tells The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler. " 'She works so hard, I can do it, too. I can achieve that.' "

As Casey Carlyle, she is a brainy bookworm who, through her passion for the sport, ends up skating for gold.

"The most amazing part is that you see my character fall, you see her struggle," Trachtenberg says. "You see her work hard to get her goal and her dreams."

Her hope is that girls' parents will support them as well. In the film, Trachtenberg says, Casey "always felt comfortable at home doing physics. That's what her mom geared her towards, going to Harvard. My mom is played by Joan Cusack, who is amazing. One day I discover: No, I love ice skating. That makes me happy."

The importance of communication between mothers and daughters is, in essence, "the core of the movie," Trachtenberg says. "It's the heart and soul."

To prepare for the role, she took skating lessons. "So, we were actually going through, personally, me training to be an ice skater and Casey being a skater in the movie. We were trying to get everything to rock. "

And she did a lot of her own skating. Trachtenberg says, "I trained for eight months for the movie. And my big favorite move to do is the outside edge spread eagle, which I worked really hard on and came close to perfecting it many times, and finally, one day, it hit."

(A spread eagle is a balancing glide across the ice performed with both legs turned out a 180-degree angle.)

She also had to follow a special diet. "They set up a nutritionist and sports doctors, and all these experts," Trachtenberg says, "They're like, 'Well, you want to stick to grains, vegetables.' I'm like, 'Right. Give me chocolate.' "

About Michelle Trachtenberg:
  • Born in New York City, N.Y., on Oct. 11, 1985

  • At the age of 4, she broke into the business through TV commercials. By the time she was 8, she was appearing regularly on the Nickelodeon series "The Adventures of Pete & Pete."

  • She also did two years in the recurring role of the autistic Lily Montgomery on the ABC daytime drama "All My Children."

  • In 1996, she had the title role in the feature film "Harriet the Spy" and made her TV-movie debut in "Christmas in My Hometown" (CBS).

  • In 1997, she moved into the primetime in the CBS series "Meego." She played one of three children who choose an extraterrestrial, played by Bronson Pinchot, to be their nanny.

  • In 2000, she joined the cast of the popular cult series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in its last season on The WB (2000-01), playing the title character's hitherto unknown sister Dawn. When the series jumped network to UPN in the fall of 2001, Trachtenberg went along, continuing to assist her older sibling in the fight against supernatural creatures.

  • In 2004, she was seen in the teen comedy "EuroTrip" and Gregg Araki's controversial indie drama "Mysterious Skin."

  • She was recently seen on the HBO's critically acclaimed series "Six Feet Under," starring as the pop star Celeste, who hires Keith (Mathew St. Patrick) as her bodyguard. She was also featured in Trapt's new music video, "Echo," in March 2004.

  • She was named by Teen People Magazine as one of "20 Teens Who Will Change the World."

  • Trachtenberg has been an active spokesperson for R.A.D.D., DARE America, The Starlight Foundation and many other charities.

  • Her contributions to the fight against drugs earned her the prestigious responsibility of representing the youth of America at CNN's headquarters in Atlanta, where she helped President Clinton launch "The Coalition for Drug Free America" campaign.