"I recycle, I try not to drive if I don't have to. I can't walk to work — I wish I could. I do ride a bike," says Kat Dennings, whose latest job is one half of the titular struggling waitress duo on the CBS sitcom "2 Broke Girls," premiering Sept. 19. "I love how real, gutsy and hard-working Max is," she says, noting a softer side to the sharp-tongued, sometimes sarcastic character. "Hopefully as the show goes on Max's soul starts to come out and you get to know her as a person. She's a good person."

While her career has been going well of late, with films like "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" and "Thor," out now on DVD, Dennings is no stranger to lean times herself. "Acting is one of the most risky businesses you can be in because you really don't know where your next paycheck will come from. There have been moments where I haven't worked for a year," she says, adding that she got by because her parents taught her to save her money.

She knew she wanted to act from the time she was four, but her parents didn't give in until she was ten, when a friend of her brother's introduced her to a manager who sent her on auditions. She landed commercials and later, a role on "Sex and the City" that "changed the things I was able to get. It's amazing that I've come this far," says the Pennsylvania-born daughter of a scientist and a speech therapist. The "2 Broke Girls" offer came at the perfect time, after she'd finished "the most intense shoot of my life," playing the emotionally and mentally draining role of a bi-polar young woman in "Renee."

Somewhat tired of making indie films that may or may not get seen and up for something lighter, she hadn't thought about doing television but "it seemed like a gift, exactly the answer to everything I've been wanting." She signed on with the assurance that she can still do films during her hiatus, including a possible "Thor" sequel. "I'm just in a really lucky place where I've gotten to work with amazing film people and directors like Kenneth Brannagh and amazing casts. This is something different, something cool and new that I haven't done before," Dennings says. "If it goes for eight years I'll be thrilled."

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