DETROIT -- Crystal Reed has traveled a long way in a short time to achieve her dream of becoming an actress.

"If fame happens, so be it, but that's not ever something that is driving me," says Reed, whose artistic ambitions helped her land the female lead in MTV's newest high-profile scripted series, "Teen Wolf," which debuted June 5.

To find success, the 20-something Michigander says she saved as much money as she could and, "without knowing a soul," moved from her temporary Chicago digs to Los Angeles just two years ago. "I've never had a backup plan; there's no Plan B," she says. "I got into acting because I love it. ... It's the only thing I can do."

Reed is about to show off those acting chops on a grand scale when one of the summer's most-anticipated comedies, "Crazy, Stupid, Love" opens July 29. Although she has a small part in the ensemble movie, Reed appears alongside Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. "Working with both Steve and Ryan in the same scene, one that we ended up improvising, is the highlight of my acting career thus far," she says.

Reed's performing roots were laid down in Michigan. Reed fell in love with theater after she performed in a series of local and high school productions, including "Annie" and "Grease."

Reed left Wayne State before finishing her bachelor's degree in fine arts and moved to Chicago. There, she continued to take improv and theater classes. But it was a brush with Batman that set her destiny in motion.

"I came really close to getting a role on 'The Dark Knight' when it was filming in Chicago" in 2007," she says. "One morning I ... looked outside of my apartment while they were shooting. I had an epiphany. If I'm serious about being in film, I have to move to Los Angeles."

About four months after she moved to L.A., she caught the eye of MTV executives after landing the role of "hot theater chick" in a 2010 episode of the network's "The Hard Times of RJ Berger." That led to her "Teen Wolf" casting.