The Role of a Wife-Time

The hottest star of fall's hottest show is no longer desperate — or a housewife.

"Desperate Housewives" sexpot Eva Longoria (search), recently divorced from her actor hubby, Tyler Christopher, is having trouble realizing she's catapulted from unknown soap-opera actress to bona fide star.

"I haven't gotten my head around it," Longoria, 29, told The Post yesterday as a private jet whisked her and the rest of the series' cast to a taping of "Oprah." (search)

"It's all a little overwhelming, and it's really new for me, so I'm just trying to enjoy every moment," she said.

On the show, Longoria plays Latin sexpot Gabrielle Solis, a gorgeous former runway model who is now a miserable housewife in the suburbs — who manages to end up in skimpy lingerie in every single episode.

To make up for her empty marriage and put the lingerie to good use, she's having a fling with her gardener — the neighbor's 17-year-old kid.

"I don't mind it so much," she said of parading around in lingerie. "It's justified by the character."

After just two episodes, "Desperate Housewives" is currently the most-watched drama on TV — Sunday night, it was seen by more than 20 million viewers. The drama-cum-dark-comedy, full of sex, betrayal and catfights, follows the lives of the inhabitants of a cul-de-sac in the 'burbs.