What can you tell me about actress Diane Neal?
—Madeline F., New York
Diane Neal is best known for playing Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak on NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She's not nearly as serious in person as the character she plays. "My friends and family know me to be silly, funny and a little ridiculous," says Neal, who lives in New Jersey. "So when I first meet new people, they might expect a stern cross-examination, but they quickly learn that Casey doesn't get to express her humor as much as I do." Born in Alexandria, Va., Neal was raised in Denver after her father, a federal attorney, was transferred there. She's lived and worked in several countries, including Taiwan and Egypt, and attended the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School in New York before landing roles on the TV shows Ed and The American Embassy. She also starred in the film Dracula: Legacy and its sequel, Dracula: Ascension. This month she's set to marry engineer Marcus FitzGerald, so she's been busy making nearly everything for the wedding from scratch, from save-the-date cards to place-card holders. "I thought that planning the wedding myself—in a foreign country, no less—was a good idea: I could keep costs down and have control over what I wanted the day to be like without the hassle of some Father of the Bride-type organizer over my shoulder. I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I made that decision!"