If Flow earns the same kind of rapturous response it grabbed at Sundance earlier this year, Manning may finally make the rough transition from vaguely familiar face to full-blown celebrity. Is she ready? ''It would be cool to be a bigger name, get more offers, and make more money,'' she says. ''But sometimes I can't even deal with the little bit of recognition that I do get. I don't like being stared at. I don't know why people are looking at me, and I wonder if they're tearing me apart.'' With a gentle laugh, she states the obvious: ''I'm just not your classic girl next door, no matter how I spin it.''
HOMETOWN Tucson, Ariz.
DAY JOB NO. 2 Manning and her older brother, Kellin, sometimes perform as a trip-pop duo called Boomkat. Their first album, Boomkatalog One, was released in 2003 to middling sales, prompting DreamWorks Records, she says, to buy out their contract: ''They can shove it! They dropped us, and it hurt. They didn't like the fact that I was an actress, too.'' (She's currently shopping a second album's worth of material.)
DAY JOB NO. 3 With her best friend, Tara Jane, she also runs Born Uniqorn, an L.A.-based fashion line for women that's popular in Japan.
NEXT In Dandelion, out this October, Manning plays a free-spirited Idaho girl whose affair with a former juvenile criminal leads to disaster.