Rapper shows her softer side on 'Eve'

Friday, December 24, 2004

LOS ANGELES -- Starring in her own sitcom allows Eve to reveal a side not usually associated with the hard-core 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 7:30 p.m.

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.

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 protégé 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 film experience has included Vin Diesel's action thriller "XXX" and the comedies "Barbershop" and "Barbershop 2." She has a supporting role in Kevin Bacon's critically acclaimed "The Woodsman."

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.

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