Why she's on our radar: The 27-year-old snags a recurring role as self-assured cool girl Jane on the Emmy-winning AMC series Breaking Bad, about a high-school science teacher turned crystal-meth maker.

AS SEEN IN: Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Confessions of a Shopaholic, the upcoming Gossip Girl spin-off.

HER SHTICK: Playing the dippy sidekick, the 5'9" effervescent charmer has become Hollywood's sexy go-to spark plug.

TWISTED SISTER: Ritter eschews her quirky M.O. to go darker on Breaking Bad: "I play a tattoo artist who's a woman in recovery. She's very vulnerable — and no, no, no, I'm not the best friend this time!"

FUNKY CHICKEN: Ritter grew up in rural Shickshinny, PA, on a 100-acre farm. "I had so many chores. Every day I fed the cows — and if we had a calf, I'd give it a bottle at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m., too," says Ritter. "I also got the eggs out of the coop. Chickens stink so bad."

GUITAR HERO: "My dad had a 12-string, and I had a little one to jump around with," says Ritter, who today fronts her own indie rock band, Ex Vivian. "I write my own music and lyrics. Even when I traveled around the world as a model, I always had my guitar — it goes everywhere with me."

SHTICK FIGURES: "I love funny leading ladies like Lucille Ball, Teri Garr, and Frances McDormand — the smart screwballs. I want a role like that! I'm not afraid to make a fool of myself."

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