Actress Lauren Holly says she feels a "special connection" to her new movie, "After the Ball," a modern-day fairy tale set in the fashion world.

For one thing, it led to her current clothing line with Canadian retailer Le Chateau.

It's also her first "100 per cent Canadian" feature film, which makes her proud.

While Holly hails from the U.S., she's now a permanent resident in Canada, where she says she doesn't feel the typical Hollywood pressures about "altering yourself and having plastic surgery and all of that."

"People always wrote that I did that and everything. No, I just got fatter," says the star of CTV's "Motive," who got her big breakthrough in the '90s on the series "Picket Fences" and the film "Dumb & Dumber."

"I don't have any fillers in my face or anything like that. I honestly just gained weight.

"I'm very happy that I'm going through all of this living in Canada, because I feel like Canadians embrace women way more," she continues in a telephone interview. "I'm so proud of the way I look and the way I feel, and it's mainly from trying to be healthy and take care of myself and be active with my boys.

"If I still lived in L.A., I'm not sure what I would look like."

"After the Ball" stars Portia Doubleday as Kate, a budding fashion designer who reluctantly works at a Montreal clothing company owned by her dad (Chris Noth).

Holly plays her evil stepmom, who also works at the company alongside Kate's wicked stepsisters (Natalie Krill and Anna Hopkins) and a handsome love interest (Marc-Andre Grondin).

Mimi Kuzyk plays Kate's godmother alongside Carlo Rota as another fashion-minded friend. They help Kate disguise herself as a young man so she can get around her evil stepmom and make her mark on the company.

Sean Garrity directed the "Cinderella"-inspired script by Kate Melville and Jason Sherman. Colin Mochrie is also in the cast, playing an arch rival to Kate's dad.

Holly said she moved to Canada after she left the series "NCIS." A single mom, she didn't want to raise her three boys in Los Angeles so she relocated to Toronto because it wasn't far from her family in upstate New York.

Holly was even briefly married to a Canadian — her "Dumb & Dumber" co-star Jim Carrey — for less than a year in the '90s.

She was notably absent from the recently released sequel "Dumb and Dumber To."

When asked why, she says it's hard for her to "say exactly."

"But let's leave it to say that I'm so happy that I'm just in the first one — only because it was such a great experience all-around," adds the 51-year-old.

"I mean, my God, I was working with the man that I was in love with, we had so many laughs every day, it turned into this iconic comedy.

"It's just perfect, and that was my biggest issue. I just didn't want to taint any of that feeling."

Holly is next set to shoot the Osgood Perkins-directed horror film "February" in Ottawa alongside Emma Roberts.

She's also been a guest host on the CTV daytime talk show "The Social" in recent months and will appear on the show again in April.

"It's kind of funny because now at my age, I've had the busiest couple of years I've had in a long time," she says.

"After the Ball" opens in theatres Friday.