Lindsay Soll
October 19, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT

1. Sticks and stones may break her bones…

You might think ”Minka” is a family name, or holds special meaning in one of Kelly’s parents’ native languages (her father was born in France, her mother in Amsterdam). Think again. ”My mom said she just made it up,” Kelly laughs. And, initially, her unusual first name wasn’t even what was targeted during playground banter. ”Instead of Minka Kelly, it was Minka Smelly. Kids would come up with different rhymes.” Even now, the 27-year-old Los Angeleno says, ”all of my friends call me Stink or Stinka.”

2. She had a very rockin’ babysitter

Kelly’s mom was a Las Vegas showgirl before she was born, while her father, Rick Dufay, played guitar with Aerosmith during the recording of 1982’s Rock in a Hard Place. That netted Kelly one of the world’s coolest babysitters, band frontman Steven Tyler. While Kelly doesn’t remember much from her 3-year-old days at the Tyler house, she does recall one particular game: ”He used to blow up his cheeks really big for me and I used to get a kick out of it.”

3. On screen and off, she’s learned her lesson

When Lyla Garrity slept with her wheelchair-bound quarterback boyfriend’s best friend in FNL‘s first season, Kelly felt the effects of her character’s unfaithfulness. ”For a long time, people would just come up to me and point their finger in shame,” she says. ”I think they forget it’s a fictional character, that I’m not really like that — I didn’t cheat on my paralyzed boyfriend!” Not that the story line was entirely foreign to the doe-eyed Kelly. ”When I was in high school, yeah, I [cheated]. I’ll never, ever do it again,” she vows. ”It was good [for Lyla to cheat] because I was like, Oh, okay, I know what this is about, I can do this. I knew I was going to be the bad girl, and that’s okay.”

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