SECRETARY star Maggie Gyllenhaal took on her "scariest" onscreen task for her new movie HAPPY ENDINGS - singing.

The 27-year-old actress plays a singer in a bar band in the movie, and rather than pre-record her songs she insisted instead on performing them live as cameras rolled.

She says, "There's nothing alive happening in the scene (when someone lip-synchs).

"It's easier to be awake and alive and really in the moment singing. It was like a gift handed to me because you have to breathe, you have to respond to the sounds coming out of your mouth."

Lisa Kudrow, Laura Dern, Tom Arnold and Steve Coogan are among Gyllenhaal's co-stars in the film.

01/08/2005 20:54