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Alexis Bledel: One to Watch Out For, 06.03.02 ...

For Alexis Bledel, the call from Hollywood in 1999 couldn't have come at a better time.

A New York University film major in 1999, Bledel modelled on the side but was often low on cash after paying her school fees. Sometimes, her booker had to give her lunch money. But everything changed one day when she was told to fly out west to audition for the part of Rory Gilmore in WB's "Gilmore Girls" pilot. And as Hollywood stories go, Bedel landed the part.

"It was very unexpected. I was nervous and didn't know what I was doing. It just happened to work out," Bledel, 21, recalls of the audition where she obviously did something right.

With a hit TV series under her belt -- the show, about a single mother and her teenage daughter, is now in its second season -- it was only a matter of time for the movie industry to take notice of this quiet beauty in the Flutie Entertainment stable.

This fall, Bledel will make her big screen debut in Disney's "Tuck Everlasting," based on Natalie Babbitt's novel. The story is about the Tucks, who have found a spring that grants immortality.

"I was having a bit of anxiety," Bledel admits, "but they all put me at ease on the first day," she says of her cast members.

Having wrapped her film, Bledel says she's happy to be working "Gilmore Girls" again, and adds that playing a 16-year-old straight-A student hasn't sparked any desires to flaunt a sexier side. Referring to the brouhaha Jessica Biel of "Seventh Heaven" got herself into when she had some racy shots published in Gear magazine, Bledel says that while she wouldn't want to "put down anyone in my position to do, say, a Maxim cover, I wouldn't be comfortable."

"It's not that I spent my day worrying about what other people think," she says, "but at public events, then maybe you have a certain responsibility towards your audience, and our audience are young girls," she points out, adding with a laugh that "Maxim wouldn't ask me to do a cover anyway."

So instead, Bledel with her innocent beauty fully intact, can be seen on the cover of Seventeen magazine's upcoming May issue alongside her on-screen mom Lauren Graham.

"Usually I don't wear a lot of makeup because wearing a lot of it is part of my job," Bledel says of her beauty routine. "Off the set I may wear some mascara, lipstick - typically it's just Maybelline, stuff from the supermarket," she says, though she also "loves the Kiehl's products and makeup from Nars."

"People do think I look much younger and since I play a teenager, everyone thinks I'm 16," she acknowledges. "It comes with the territory." While Bledel prefers to be fresh faced, her taste in fashion is a bit more grown up than her character's.

"I probably wear a lot more black, but I do tend to wear a lot of jeans and sweaters," she says. "I'm sort of split between two directions," she elaborates. "On one hand I like simple, very streamlined clothes like Narciso Rodriguez, but I also like the bohemian look like Tom Ford showed for Yves Saint Laurent." She pauses for a minute, then feels compelled to add that she "can't afford those clothes" but likes them anyway.

Though working the rounds during fashion week like other starlets do might help Bledel to snag some of those nice clothes, chances are the latest fashions aren't her priority. This hiatus, the actress is planning on taking more classes at NYU where she finished her first year after shooting the "Gilmore Girls" pilot. Speaking about her ambitions to maybe direct or write in the future -- she did start out in film school, after all -- she says that behind the camera is where she wants to be.

"I haven't written anything for so long," she confesses, "but I'd like to try and see where things go. Behind the camera is a much more comfortable place for me, that's what I like, being part of a crew and the collaboration," she says. But the way her career is going, we'll be seeing much more of her in front of the camera.

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