Meet ‘John Carter’s’ Martian Princess Lynn Collins

Lynn Collins
Lynn Collins

The sci-fi extravaganza "John Carter" -- based on the classic book series by Edgar Rice Burroughs -- is a familiar title. But the leading lady, Lynn Collins, is less well known: The actress, who co-stars with Taylor Kitsch in the adventure flick, is grabbing the spotlight for her skimpy costumes -- and getting some looks on the Web.

Searches on the star have climbed 1,000 percent on Yahoo! in the past week alone, thanks to her starring role.

In the Disney film, Collins plays the Martian warrior Princess Dejah Thoris. The fantasy stars Kitsch as a Confederate captain from the Civil War who is transported to the red planet, where he becomes involved in an epic conflict among various nations, whose leaders include Thoris. The website claims that the rising star's "beauty, grace, and adeptness with a sword will not leave your consciousness even long after you leave the theater."

[Video: Watch a 10-minute preview of 'John Carter']

The star's bikini-style short shorts may also stay with you. In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, Collins admitted that the costumes were made more revealing than originally designed -- at her request. She said, "I knew they were going to be small. And I am actually the one who put them on and said, 'The cut's going to be weird, they should probably be higher.' There you go."

Still, she was more covered up than the character in the books. In Edgar Rice Burrough's original tale, "A Princess of Mars," the people of Barsoom (as they call their home planet) don't wear much at all. In his first-person narration, John Carter says, "Save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure."

Back on planet Earth, the leading lady originally comes from Houston, Texas. (In the movie, she speaks with a credible British accent.) Collins, who is trained in martial arts, told ABC News that she performed "about 85 percent of the stunts." This didn't always end well: At one time, Collins told Yahoo! movies that the rigging holding up their safety wires fell down right on top of her and Kitsch. She said she panicked thinking it broke her nose, but she was unharmed.

[Photos: Five Film Facts - 'John Carter']

The 34-year-old studied at the Juilliard School in New York City and is trained in both Shakespeare and Shito-ryu karate (she's a black belt). She played Portia in "The Merchant of Venice" with Al Pacino back in 2004 and more recently appeared as the telepathic mutant love interest Kayla Silverfox in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which also featured Taylor Kitsch in a smaller role.

The actress is playing a Disney princess on the big screen, but she's hardly been Miss Perfect: She admitted to BlackBook magazine that she quit her smoking habit and hasn't touched alcohol in four years. A better habit: husband Steven Strait (star of "10,000 B.C."), whom she married in 2008 after they dated for four years. The actor is starring in the upcoming Starz show "Magic City."

The "John Carter" star may not be done with the out-of-this world theme. She told Digital Spy she is a fan of another strong female actress: Lynda Carter.

Collins is unsure about taking on the iconic Wonder Woman role that Carter defined: "Following in those footsteps would be a mighty process, for sure. More skimpy costumes, more trainers and gyms and broccoli!" But she does call Carter an "awesome woman." Right back at you, Collins.

Watch an exclusive interview with the stars of "John Carter":

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