The thought racing through Alexis Bledel’s mind when she learned that she had won a starring role in the television show Gilmore Girls was this: “What are they thinking?” Her résumé was limited to a few plays, and the only experience she had in front of a camera came when she was growing up in Houston and modeled for Page Parkes. Yet last spring, while she was a freshman at New York University, she auditioned for the Warner Bros. show. She soon found herself on one of the most talked-about programs on television, one that would inspire essays in newspapers and countless Web sites devoted to the relationship between Bledel’s character, a smart-talking teen named Rory, and her witty single mother (played by Lauren Graham). These days the nineteen-year-old lives in Los Angeles, where more and more girls are stopping her on the street to talk about her role. And what’s next? “I’d love to get into film later on,” she says, “but I’m totally dedicated to the show right now.” Her, and about five million viewers.