Puberty has a way of killing the careers of even the cutest kid stars, but Meagan Good grew up gorgeous, segued from commercials and extra work to parts in Friday and Eve’s Bayou, and became the sought-after star of movies like Think Like A Man, Stomp the Yard, Anchorman 2 and Californication and Deception on TV.

This season, she stars in Fox’s Minority Report, a future-set crime show that picks up where the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie left off.

In the drama, premiering tonight at 9/8c, Good plays Det. Lara Vega, who teams up with a visionary pre-cog (Stark Sands) to try to prevent crimes before they occur. She told us about the unique challenges of the role and why she wants to incinerate some of her wardrobe.

“We had to figure out not only how do we shoot the gun but how do we make it look like it’s developed into something in the future.”

What grabbed you about the series and the character? What did you relate to?
She’s a cop and so was her father, who died in the line of duty. My father is a cop in real life. I spoke to my dad, and to my stepmother, who is FBI. I asked her, “What was it that drove you? What was your motivation? What made you want to put yourself out there on a limb every day where you potentially could be facing death or whatever else it might be, and to devote your life to helping other people?” We had a really incredible conversation about that and she shared a lot of things that happen behind the scenes that she doesn’t really talk about, and that gave me a lot of insight and confidence to play the character. She believes that she is here to help people and to make sure what happened to her dad doesn’t happen to anyone else the best that she can.

This was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to do. I literally cried when I heard [series executive producer] Steven Spielberg saw my tape and he thinks I’m a good actress. It’s also exciting to be part of something so multicultural and diverse. Hopefully that will continue to be something we see more often.

Minority Report is set in 2065. What kind of new technology are you dealing with?
There’s a lot to learn, everything from how the gadgets work and what they do to the hand movements. We’re learning everything as we go. It’s not easy, but it’s been really, really fun and also cool to know a lot of these things are potentially going to exist in the future, like the selfie drone that comes off your wrist and goes in the air. That’s something that’s actually being worked on right now.

What has the physical preparation been like?
There’s a lot of action, more than I was used to, so I’ve been training a lot—a lot more than I have in the last couple of years. I have an incredible trainer named Eddie who comes to the house and we run, we jog, we jump rope. He put me in all kinds of things like circuit training. It’s pretty brutal, pretty intense. It totally kicks. I’m pouring sweat. Afterward, I’m dry heaving and he’s like, “Catch your breath. OK, are you ready to go again?” I can see my whole entire body changing and I’m going to be in the best shape of my life at 34. So it’s exciting for me; that’s what I want.

Did you have weapons training too?
Gun skills, I knew a little bit. I’ve been to the shooting range; I’ve had to shoot guns before. But the difference with this is it’s futuristic. So we had to figure out not only how do we shoot the gun but how do we make it look like it’s developed into something in the future.

What do you think of your wardrobe?
What’s interesting about Vega is she’s really tough. So even though she has a sex appeal to her, most of my wardrobe is leather jackets–very tight fitted leather jackets–wife beaters, tight army pants and army boots. Imagine having to wear a leather jacket every single day on set. You can’t breathe and you have to roll on the ground, shoot guns, jump off of stuff. You can barely lift your arms! I love the jacket because it’s very cool, but I can’t wait to burn one. I’m not kidding.

You started acting when you were very young. Did you ever feel you missed anything or are you glad you started early?
I’m glad I started early but I’m glad I didn’t have a massive amount of success early. My success has been a very slow crawl, which I think is a blessing because I might have ended up a completely different way. I’ve always been very rebellious, very headstrong. I’ve always been, ‘I’m going to do it my way,’ and part of that is being a child actor, what happens when you have so much success. When you have that mentality, it doesn’t serve you well and usually it destroys a lot of people. So for me, it’s been a blessing to have this slow crawl and to be able to put things in perspective as I’ve gone along.

What are you proudest of so far?
Maybe Anchorman 2, because that was really scary for me, working with so many like comic giants and just having to be fearless. I did this movie just recently, A Girl like Grace, and it’s something that I’m really proud of. I produced it and I co-starred in it. The character is a lot of fun and free-spirited and kind of quirky and I’m proud of the performance. But Minority Report is definitely one of them because it’s been one of the most challenging ones for me. It feels really good.

What’s your definition of the perfect gentleman?
A man who is genuine and honest, who loves God, who’s kind to other people and cares about other people, and wants to do whatever he can do to make the world a better place.”

Photo by Michael Becker/Fox

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