updated 11/05/2013 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/06/2013 AT 12:25 PM ET
When it comes to playing an iconic TV character, there probably aren’t any sexier shoes to fill than those of Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones.
That’s why when Lindsey Gort got the call that she’d be playing young Samantha on season two of the CW’s The Carrie Diaries, she lost it.
“I almost fell off of my balcony,” she tells PEOPLE.
Despite being a dead ringer for Kim Cattrall’s promiscuous character, Gort, 29, says in real life, she’s not nearly as risqué. Here are five things to know about the sexy new star.
1. She was turned down twice for the role
The first time she auditioned, “I thought it went well, but my agent told me they were holding out for a bigger-name actress,” says the newcomer, who’s played extras and small roles before landing Samantha. “The next time they called me in, I didn’t get it again.” After auditioning a third time, “When my agent called to tell me I got the part I almost fell. I celebrated with my boyfriend.”
2. Kim Cattrall sent her blessing via Twitter
“When they announced I got the part I didn’t even have Twitter,” says Gort. “A friend of mine told me to sign on because Kim Cattrall had Tweeted my name.” The original Samantha sent Gort a message saying, “So happy you re playing fearless Sam, the key to her is her heart.” Says Gort, “I’m such a fan, I couldn’t believe it.”
3. She was nearly nude her first day on set
“We got straight to business,” she says of her first day on the New York set. “I was in underwear and pasties. It was a little nerve-wracking at first, but now, wearing less clothes actually makes me feel more like Samantha, because she’s so fearless.”
4. Her parents don’t mind the racy role
Gort doesn’t cringe over her parents seeing her play such a sexy character. “My parents are like the cool parents, you know. My mom tells me I got all of my sexiness from her. They’re just so excited.”
5. When she’s not baring all on screen, she’s singing
“I’ve actually been singing all of my life,” says Gort, who was spotted by casting directors while performing with a musical theater group in Los Angeles. “I will always sing, but acting is what I’m loving right now. Who knows, young Samantha may break into song one episode.”
The Carrie Diaries airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.