EW Staff
January 23, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

The pitch must have sounded preposterous: ”There’s this girl, Jaye. She just graduated from Brown, returns home to Niagara Falls, moves into a trailer park, and gets a job at a souvenir shop. Animal figurines start commanding her to do God’s work, which leads to a huge revelation about her estranged sister and an emergency tracheotomy. Oh, and we want a former Canadian child star for the lead.” The funny thing is, Wonderfalls works — due to the charismatic and soulful performance of Quebec native Caroline Dhavernas, 25, who has the potential to be Fox’s biggest (and flightiest) heroine since Ally McBeal. (spring) EW What attracted you to the role?

CD I love that she has a philosophy degree and works in retail. It’s different from what I had seen on television recently.

EW Well, how about that other sullen girl who takes orders from God on CBS?

CD Joan of Arcadia is much more dramatic, and it’s quite different to talk to animals than the people she interacts with. Plus, Jaye doesn’t want to help people. Helping people to her is disgusting.

EW Are you prepared if this show takes off?

CD I lived a little bit of it in Quebec — we have our own little star system there. A show becomes really huge and no one else in the world hears about it.

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