Once again, expect Twi-Hards to go wild for Nikki Reed, who plays vampire Rosalie in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1, out this month. But there’s more to the 23-year-old actress than seductive looks and fanged storylines. Born and raised in L.A., Reed is intent on making a name for herself in a world after Twilight—a box-office record-breaking series she began filming when she was 19. Now cozying up with musician and American Idol alum Paul McDonald in their new Hollywood love nest, Reed has recently taken on the roles of bride and tour mate.

More than eight years ago you found fame with Thirteen, your very loosely autobiographical film about life as a rebellious teen, but it was the wild success of Twilight that pushed you into the spotlight. I don’t really feel like a star yet. This is temporary. It’ll go away after all of this and then you’ve got to work really hard to have a career. I’ve got a lot to prove.

You’ve played human-turned-vampire Rosalie in four films now. How does your role change in Breaking Dawn? Bella [Kristen Stewart] gets pregnant against everyone’s wishes, and Rosalie’s life dream is to be a mother, so we find our one common platform with the baby and are on the same page for the first time. The dynamic between our characters is really beautiful.

As a true Angeleno, where are your favorite local spots? Topanga is one of the coolest pockets. And Malibu. One of our favorite things to do is put our dog in the back of the truck and drive up the coast—we never know what beach we’re going to end up at.

When you’re not cooking à deux at home, where do you and Paul like to dine? Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga, or where we had our first date: Neptune’s Net in Malibu.