Last September, she played a principal's assistant in the drama "Won't Back Down," a film about two mothers trying to transform a failing inner city school. The following month, the actress was a sexy college coed in the Halloween themed comedy "Fun Size." In "Jack Reacher," she plays a woman whose abusive boyfriend is taught a lesson in manners by Cruise.

"It's exciting to be able to do such a variety of roles," Lindsey notes. "It's so easy in Hollywood to get put into a certain category."

In "Promised Land," Lindsey has her most prominent role to date as Claire Allen, a single mother trying to do what's best for her young son.

"You can track my character throughout the whole movie," says Lindsey. "She's an integral part of the story."

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"Promised Land," directed by two time Academy award nominee Gus Van Sant, is set in a rural Pennsylvania town hit hard by the economic decline. Matt Damon is a salesman for a natural gas company who arrives in town to buy drilling rights from local residents. The process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is a controversial method which has recently emerged as a subject of heated debate.

A 'phenomenal' script

In the movie, the townspeople have to decide what's best for the community.

"The messages in the movie are incredibly powerful and very topical but it's also a story about people and relationships and love," says Lindsey. "My character has to make some tough decisions. Her choice could turn things around for her family but it comes with a sacrifice. The script is really phenomenal."

With its impressive cast and contemporary story line, "Promised Land" is expected to be a big draw at the box office. It's a good thing then that Lindsey auditioned for the movie despite warnings from several friends.

"They told me not to get my hopes up because they thought I was too young to play a mom," the actress recalls.

That assessment seemed as though it might be on target, even after Lindsay got a callback to meet with the film's director.

"I auditioned two or three times with the casting people before I was asked to audition for Gus," recalls the actress. "After I finished, all he just said was OK, great, thanks. As I was leaving I was thinking to myself that I definitely did not get the part."

But as she was heading for the door, Van Sant called Lindsey back into the room and asked if he could take her picture. Several weeks later, she got a call from the casting director.

"I was at the beach when I found out I got the part," says Lindsey. "I was like, 'Oh my God,' I starting jumping up and down. My friends were a few feet away getting food and they saw me. They knew I was waiting for the call and they came running over and we all did a joyous dance right on the beach."

Filming for "Promised Land" wrapped in September and Lindsey is currently doing promotion and attending some of her first red carpet events. It's a heady time, but the life of a Hollywood newcomer certainly has its challenges. For every part she gets, Lindsey may hear dozens of no's. How does she manage to navigate all the ups and downs?

"I really try not to be too hard on myself," she says. "There is a lot of auditioning and a lot of not getting jobs. I just do the best that I can and try to get my name out there. You never what kinds of things are going to catch."

Additionally, Lindsey also is a writer, so when she's not working on a film or auditioning, she collaborates with colleagues on screenplays and independent projects.

"Keeping busy is really important, not only for your mental health but to keep up your chops," she says. "You can't sit around waiting for the phone to ring. A lot of my friends struggle with that and sort of place their worth on whether they're getting work or not. You can't do that. You have to know that you are awesome and amazing just the same. You can't doubt yourself."