"Shameless" isn't just Emmy Rossum's hit Showtime series — it's also an apt descriptor for the actress' character Ridley Duchannes in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's young-adult novel "Beautiful Creatures."
The story centers around a young caster (i.e. witch) named Lena Duchannes (played by Alice Englert), who moves to the southern hamlet of Gatlin, South Carolina, and finds herself inexplicably drawn to hometown boy Ethan Wate (played by Alden Ehrenreich). Many forces (both supernatural and mundane) stand in the way of their love, including Lena's own cousin, Ridley (played by Rossum), who wants to claim the young caster for the dark side.
"Ridley is a bad girl with a really small, tiny heart of gold underneath. She is deliciously evil," Rossum told MTV News recently from the Louisiana set.
The 25-year-old actress had to summon some magic of her own to land the part of the sensuous siren, as the audition included an epically long scene that tested the boundaries of her memory.
"It was basically 20 pages of her biggest section in the script, and it was to be read — even though there are multiple scenes — as one scene, so I remember I was just thinking, 'Just get through 20 pages of dialogue without looking down at the paper.' And I remember, I made it all the way up until the last two lines and I completely blanked. I was sitting there at the most intense moment of the audition going, 'Nooooo!' "
But land the part she did, and now (as you can see from the video above, not to mention this recent production still), the actress has been sauntering around set in a number of unique and provocative outfits.
"This number is the most comfortable to wear because it's kind of like a little lacy nothing," she replied when asked about her favorite costume. "When it's 180 degrees down here in Louisiana, it's the most comfortable to wear."
Fans of the source material might point out that Ridley is supposed to be a blonde (not a red-head as pictured here), but it's all part of the artistic license director and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese has taken to bring this tale to life.
"I think this is definitely an adaptation of the books. It doesn't line itself up completely with the books," Rossum explained. "It definitely has the undercurrents and the themes and a lot of characters of the books, and the main focus of the story is obviously very similar to the books. But I think that it is, as film is a visual medium, the visual is definitely Southern gothic like it is in the book, but there's something that's very sophisticated, especially with Philippe Rousselot, our [director of photography], who has done so many incredible films. And Richard's incredible knowledge of art history that really their duo comes into play, and they're a good team."
"Beautiful Creatures" hits theaters February 13, 2013.