For Diane Lane, "reality is stranger than fiction" and for her latest role, Lane signed on to play FBI agent Jennifer Marsh in the crime thriller "Untraceable," a project that blurs the difficult line between fiction and reality in our cyber-obsessed world.
ABC News Now's Alisha Davis sat down with the Academy Award-nominated actress to discuss the film, directed by crime thriller veteran Gregory Hoblit.
Lane, who started acting at age 6 and made her film debut opposite Sir Laurence Olivier at age 13, explains that "Untraceable" presented a new array of challenges, both personally and professionally.
She admits that "it was almost a dare to accept this job. I mean it was so scary, not my normal fare, and that's kind of why I was attracted to it."
The film unfolds around a seemingly untraceable Web site that the actress describes as "off the charts disturbing," one on which a sadistic killer posts live video of his victims. In a twisted game of cat and mouse, Lane's character gets closer to finding the murderer as his victims get closer to her world.
Thrills aside, Lane found that the movie had larger significance in the tech-obsessed 21st century.
"I found the film very relevant. As a society we are kind of at the tipping point anyway, as far as this feeding frenzy of people minding other people's business," she said.
Lane notes how, through the Internet, "we have created this alternate universe," where individuals find more "entitlement" and less "accountability."
Making the film was an eye-opening experience for Lane, who describes herself as "pretty low on the totem pole" of technological proficiency.
A mother to 14-year-old daughter Eleanor and stepmother to husband Josh Brolin's two children, Lane was intrigued and alarmed by the ways in which the Internet pervades personal privacy.
"As a parent and as a mom, it's daunting. How are you going to control everything that your child sees?" she said.
Lane stars alongside Colin Hanks, whom she describes as "a very savvy" and "funny" guy. A veteran of the filmmaking industry, Lane remembers her roots as a young star. She found a shrewd young talent in Hanks, son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.
"He's got a level of savvy that I remember, and I can see it fresh on him. We had a good time," she said.
To prepare for the role, Lane spent time with the professionals, including a day of weapons training that she hopes she "will never have to use." But the most interesting part for Lane came when she patrolled the Web with the FBI: "Seeing the intervention … that goes on with the cyber law enforcement officers, I was very humbled and grateful that they exist."
Although the time with the FBI was "the best, most fun part of the preparation for this movie," Lane nevertheless admits that she was left feeling "kind of, I guess, the technical term would be freaked out."
But this new perspective was precisely what Lane wanted; she insists that new roles are crucial for a long and evolving career. Lane explained that, as a successful actor, "you have different layers. Just like a tree with the rings — over time you just realize that you're constantly reinventing yourself."
Taking a break from discussing her career, Lane quickly credited Brolin, a favorite actor of hers, whose star rose to a meteoric level in 2007 and culminated in an Oscar nomination for "No Country for Old Men."
"He's amazing. I've always known that he was amazing so I'm just glad that the whole world is catching up," she said.
Both actors are happy to "share in this moment" of professional success. But for now, Lane's and Brolin's priority is to enjoy their teenage daughters, hoping that their own Facebook profiles will keep them in the loop.
Brandy Payton and Amanda Wagner contributed to this story