By Susan Hornik

From being the hottest thing in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle to the hottest thing on Entourage to the hottest thing in Watchmen, Malin Akerman has established a rep for, well, hotness. Her blue eyes, blond hair, long legs, and Swedish-Canadian charm are hard to beat, but she keeps working because she can really act, too. That’ll be on display in the new flick happythankyoumoreplease. How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor wrote, directed and stars in this indie-award-winning tale of soul-searching New Yorkers, including Akerman…without eyebrows! Details, and advice on dating gorgeous, eyebrow-havin’ chicks, below.

MADE MAN: In happythankyoumoreplease, you play a woman with Alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that has rendered you hairless. Did you have to shave your head and eyebrows every day? How weird was that?
MALIN AKERMAN: I only needed to do it once and it stayed that way for a while. I did wear a bald cap. It was just the eyebrows that were shaved off. And it was a trip! Seeing myself like that was the most true to how I see myself in real life on a daily basis. It’s like you’re stripped naked and it’s just you. It was really cool.

Your character goes out with a guy [Arrested Development vet Tony Hale] who doesn’t exactly resemble Brad Pitt. Before you were married, did you ever date someone like that in real life?
MA: I’ve dated all different types of men. I don’t think I’ve ever had a type. Though I’ve had a lot of strange looks from my friends—they’re like, “Really?! That guy?!” Sometimes it’s like, “Holy shit, he’s so…?!?” Really, it all depends on where you’re at and what you want at that moment. It changes with age. As you get older, you start to realize that there are certain things that really attract you more than looks.

How important, really, are looks? And how much difference can a sharp wardrobe, nice shoes, and a sweet pair of shades make?
MA: They can make a difference for five minutes. You’re not going to marry the shades and the pants and the suit. I am very attracted to men who can articulate very well and are witty and funny. That just gets me every time.

MM: If a guy doesn’t have the looks or the money, what can he do to win a girl over?
MA: Well, looks and money never really win the girl over. If they do, it’s the wrong type of girl and the wrong type of guy, so they’re perfect together. I think first of all, you take care of yourself. You make your own money and you become independent and you love yourself. Then, you’ll attract like-minded people. Focusing on developing as a human being and constantly growing and changing is huge. A lot of people settle and become stagnant. Then, you’ll meet people who settle and become stagnant. So it’s really important to keep a zest for life. Just keep it fresh.

If a guy has one thing he’s really good at, like instrument playing or cooking or juggling, can that give him an edge?
MA: If you find someone who’s passionate about something—anything—that’s important. If it’s a guy who is a janitor at a school and he’s passionate about his job and he loves going to work every day, guess what? You’re going to have a great relationship because he’s going to be just as passionate at home.

One thing a lot of “date your dream girl” advice doesn’t address is how to keep her once you get her. What are the secrets to making sure she stays excited about you over the long haul?
MA: First of all, don’t play games. It’s so stupid. I think if you have your own life, your passion, and you are open and willing to communicate and grow and listen, that’s a wonderful thing. Do things. Take a break. Leave your phone at home. Go surprise the girl that you’re with. Take her for a walk with a picnic and just sit and listen and really be engaging. I don’t think romance is just a rose and a beautiful dinner, though that is lovely. It can be you guys sitting on a rock at the edge of a road.

Last but not least, we need to know: Did they let you keep your costume from Watchmen, and do you ever put it on just for kicks?
MA: You know, even if they did I probably wouldn’t keep it. I had enough time with it. Six months. It wasn’t that comfortable. But you know what’s really cool? To have your own action figure! So, I’ve got one of those at home. That makes up for not having the costume.

(Entertainment journalist Susan Hornik is passionate about her writing, has eyebrows, and is crossing her fingers for a Watchmen sequel.)