Asia, Hollywood's Hot Italian Import

People look on from behind barricades outside a special bombproof courtroom in a central Mumbai jail where Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman in the Mumbai attacks is being held for trial in Mumbai, India, Monday, July 20, 2009. Kasab pleaded guilty Monday and gave a detailed account of the plot and his role in the rampage that left 166 people dead and paralyzed the city for three days.The writing in the barricade reads " Mumbai Central jail".
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Asia Argento, who plays Vin Diesel's love interest in "XXX," is already famous in Italy, but her work in the action spy thriller is going to put her on Hollywood's map. Argento sits down with The Early Show Entertainment Contributor Laurie Hibberd.

Argento holds her own against Diesel in the action flick.

She says, "Its a character that women can like, and, and she's strong, she's not there asking the big guy to save her, she's actually helping him too, and this is different, I haven't seen that a lot in action movies, so I hope this will change."

The studios are also encouraging this strong female image, though they have not commented. The ad for the movie before last week was an image of Diesel looking over his shoulder, but late last week, Columbia changed the image to include Asia looking over Diesel's shoulder as well.

Argento also had another big U.S. opening this weekend. She stars in "Scarlet Diva," an edgy autobiographical film that she also wrote and directed.

She is an award winning actress, a director, a writer, a published poet, an accomplished photographer, and a mother of a toddler. Where does she find the time?

"I've been working since I was nine…I'm not a workaholic, the way I work is like life, it's not, like, you know, something that, life is this and work is that. Life and work is the same thing, so maybe, I do things very personally, and this is why I don't feel detached from work when I go home, I still am always working."

She says of all the hats she wears she prefers directing, "I think directing is, is something that's really soothing for my soul."

Argento comes from a movie-making family. Her father Dario Argento has been dubbed the Alfred Hitchcock of Italy as the director of cult horror films such as "Suspiria" and "Phenomena."