If Fox makes a hit of its new Hawaii-set soap, North Shore (premiering tonight at 8 pm/ET), then its other prime-time sudser, The O.C., could be missing one of its mischievous minxes when it returns in November. That's because O.C. hellion Hailey and North Shore trouble magnet Tessa are both played by Amanda Righetti, the hardest-working vamp since Heather Locklear. "I guess I'm sort of on a roll here!" Righetti tells TV Guide Online with a laugh. "I'm hoping that I can do both shows, but it's going to really depend on scheduling. It's like, 'Don't make me choose!'"
Like any actress who deserves her SAG card, Righetti wants nothing more than to stretch as an artist. But for now, she doesn't mind being Fox's go-to bad girl; for all their pot-stirring, pampered Hailey and streetwise Tessa are very distinct, she says. "Tessa came from a broken home and has had to fend for herself for a lot of her life. She's found her niche in being a con artist, but she's trying to go straight." Whether the grifter manages to do so remains to be seen, even by her portrayer. "They're still trying to find the voice of the characters," she admits, "so it'll be a battle, I guess, between the writers and the network to see whether she ends up going back to her old ways."
Even if North Shore ultimately goes south, Righetti is relishing her working vacation in paradise. "It's so different [on the islands] than in L.A., so there's a bit of an adjustment period," she observes, adding that she isn't fazed in the least by the screen tests and whatnot that she might be missing back in Hollywood. "Work is obviously better than not working and auditioning! And I've got to say, this is not a bad way to spend the summer!"