'Cool' role surprises friends, Lisa Nicole Carson says

NEW YORK (AP) -- Lisa Nicole Carson's pals still giggle over the fact that the Ally McBeal co-star was cast as the title role's levelheaded roommate.

"My friends can't believe I'm playing the cool, calm and collected one," Carson, 28, said in the April 13 edition of People.

On the hit Fox series, Calista Flockhart is an oddball, often neurotic lawyer while Carson is her no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners best friend. Carson said it's not typecasting.

"I write an agenda of things to do -- buy curtains, buy a pot, clean the house -- every day," she says. "Otherwise I'd be singing, acting and dreaming all day."

Carson may need to keep her lists -- the actress is pretty busy these days. In addition to her work on McBeal, Carson is also a featured performer on NBC's ER and has appeared in such movies as Eve's Bayou and Devil in a Blue Dress.