One minute you’re only familiar to fans of made-for-TV junk and bad 80s movies and Highlander II (the Renegade version, naturally)… and one critically acclaimed wine movie later, you’re suddenly working with Bruce Willis and Robert Altman and presenting awards with co-star/drunken curmudgeon Harrison Ford, and your agent is calling with more high-profile opportunities.

That’s the current career path of zaftig looker Virginia Madsen, who’s slinking next to Jim Carrey for the thriller The Number 23. The New Line film, miraculously based on an original script, finds Carrey as a regular working stiff who reads a book that appears be about his own life but ends with a murder. The titular digits are interwoven throughout the plot (of both the book and the film, one can assume) and possibly tattooed on someone or imprinted on the side of a mysterious hatch.

The movie is directed by Joel Schumacher, still trying to recover from the pummeling he took after Batman and Robin and the more recent cockwallop of Phantom of the Opera. Madsen, now rescued from the straight-to-cable trajectory of brother Michael, slides into the role replacing Elisabeth Shue, who decided to stay home and wait for the Hollow Man sequel to hit DVD.