LOS ANGELES (AP) – Starring in her own sitcom allows Eve to reveal a side not usually associated with the hardcore rapper image that made her famous.

“The part that people know the least about her comes across most in this show: There’s a seriously girlie girl side to her,” says co-star Jason George.

He cites her fondness for frilly slippers, little dogs and movies like “The Sound of Music” to explain the flip side of a woman who described herself as “a pit bull in a skirt” in one of her early raps.

Eve plays fashion designer Shelly Williams, the central character on UPN’s “Eve” – about a group of friends struggling with modern attitudes about romance. Now in its second season, the series airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

When Eve first signed on to star in the series, “Eve” was titled “The Opposite Sex.” She acknowledges being uncomfortable when the network decided to name it after her. “What if it fails and my name was on it?” she recalls thinking at the time.

The network eased her doubts, explaining the importance of letting audiences know it was her show and that viewers wouldn’t find it confusing to have the title name not match the name of the main character. (Classic examples cited were “The Cosby Show,” starring Bill Cosby as Dr. Cliff Huxtable, and “The Bob Newhart Show,” in which Newhart played Dr. Robert Hartley.)

Eve, of course, is used to name changes. Born Eve Jeffers 26 years ago in Philadelphia, when she first started rapping she was known as Eve of Destruction.

Then “I looked at myself as an artist and decided I didn’t want any title,” she explains. “I just wanted to be myself.” So she settled on just one name, Eve, “the name my mother gave me.”

After breaking into hip-hop as a protege of gangsta rap pioneer Dr. Dre and then the Ruff Ryders collective headed by ruffian DMX, Eve released three successful solo albums.

“Let There Be Eve,” “Scorpion” – which featured the 2001 Grammy-winning single “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” recorded with Gwen Stefani – and “Eve-olution.”

This spring, she’ll be cutting a new album and relaunching her fashion line, Fetish.

Eve’s feature film experience has included Vin Diesel’s action thriller “XXX” and the comedies “Barbershop” and “Barbershop 2.” Currently she has a supporting role in Kevin Bacon’s critically acclaimed “The Woodsman,” which she believes “will open the doors for me” to other dramatic roles.

After it was retitled “Eve,” the sitcom naturally shifted its focus a little, but at its heart, the show remains the dilemma of six friends – three female, three male – trying to make sense of their love lives and better understand the opposite sex.

Ali Landry plays Rita Lefleur and Natalie Desselle-Reid is Janie Egins, who are Shelly’s girlfriends and co-workers in their Miami-based fashion business, DivaStyle.

The male trio is composed of J.T. Hunter (George), a physical therapist and Shelly’s ex-beau, and his boys, trendy club manager Brink (Sean Maguire) and Nick Delaney (Brian Hooks), an accountant obsessed with the search for a perfect woman.


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