Whenever

Kat Dennings

gets a chance to come back to town,

Murray's Deli (385 Montgomery) in Bala Cynwyd, for nova lox on a bagel.

The Bryn Mawr/Wynnewood- raised Dennings co-stars in "Charlie Bartlett," opening Friday.

The 21-year-old and her family moved to Los Angeles about six years ago so she could act full time. The brunette beauty played Catherine Keener's daughter in "40-Year-Old Virgin" and also had a recurring role on "ER." One of her earliest roles was on "Sex and the City," in which she played a girl who hired Samantha to handle publicity for her bat mitzvah. Oddly, Dennings, who played Mount Airy/Abington-raised Bob Saget's daughter on the series "Raising Dad," was born June 13, 1986, the same day that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who played Saget's daughter Michelle on "Full House," were born. She and Saget had a wonderful kinship created by their Philly roots, says Dennings, who misses the area. "Whenever I hear the hint of a Philadelphia accent or if someone says hoagie. Whenever I meet a Philly person I get so excited and flooded with emotion."

Dennings, who was homeschooled, says she may have suffered socially from lacking interaction with kids her age but says she also thinks she would have had a terrible time in high school. She's especially convinced after working on "Charlie Bartlett," which centers on a new kid who helps a lot of unhappy teens at a Connecticut high school, and also features Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis and Anton Yelchin as the title character.

In "Charlie Bartlett," Dennings certainly impressed director Jon Poll, with whom she had also worked on "40-Year-Old Virgin." "She deserves every ounce of attention you can give her. Wow, that girl is a force of nature," Poll says.

Next up for Dennings is "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist," in which she co-stars with Michael Cera of "Arrested Development," "Superbad" and, more recently, "Juno." She's also written a comedy with her 28-year-old brother Geoffrey, but didn't want to reveal much about it.

Dennings says her dreams include working with Tim Burton and playing "a superhero or something awesome like a comic-book person . . . . a heightened character."