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Next big thing?

She's no Pamela Lee Anderson, or Gena Lee Nolin. Or David Hasselhoff. No, not yet. But Brande Roderick, this month's Playboy Playmate and Hugh Hefner's fave rave for the last two years, has high hopes for her new role in 'Baywatch.'She talked to Broadcasting & Cable's Susanne Ault.

How did you win over the casting directors?

First of all, it's probably all the training I've done. I've been training, basically, since junior high school, and I've been studying for the past two years with Ivanna Chubbuck. She's a really well-known acting coach, and she's the one who prepared me for all the different auditions.

I'm guessing you can swim?

Yeah, I've been swimming all my life, and my dad was in the Coast Guard, so that probably rubbed off on me a little. And we've always had a pool ever since I was born.

Now, about those swimsuits: Playboy material or not even close?

Actually, I really liked them. [For the new Hawaii episodes] they designed a new one, which just made it even better. They are higher in the waist, which is good because the higher it is, the thinner your waist looks, so it's actually more flattering now. And they're yellow, which I like better than the red, because yellow makes you look more tan.

Will Hugh get jealous of David Hasselhoff?

Well, he's dated actresses before, so I don't think he'll get jealous. And David's married. Plus, I've worked with men many times in the past and [Hugh] has never gotten jealous.

Is a cameo by Hef in the cards?

No one has said anything, but that's a really good idea. It would be a lot of fun and give me a chance to actually see him more.

Do you think you'll follow in the footsteps of successful Baywatch alums, such as Pamela Lee Anderson and Gena Lee Nolin?

I'm hoping after my career on Baywatch to hopefully do feature films. So it will be a little bit different, but I definitely want to pursue films.

Who are your acting role models?

Julia Roberts is the one that I most admire, because I feel like we would be in the same category as far as what we'd be cast in. And she does a lot of comedy, and I love that.