Lucy Liu: Girl Next Door

Ever since her breakthrough role on the TV series "Ally McBeal," Lucy Liu has been on a professional winning streak. Scoring starring roles in movies like "Shanghai Noon" and "Charlie's Angels," she has become a full-fledged action movie star.

Now, she's breaking new ground, starring in the comedic gangster thriller, "Lucky Number Slevin." Liu visited The Early Show Friday and spoke with co-anchor Harry Smith about this latest role (video).

The film has already been labeled a sort of "hip Hitchcock," but Liu says it has its own unique character.

"I think the movie is sort of noir and has a very specific rhythm and language," she told Smith. "Every character has a different rhythm. And it sort of turns into this incredible composition. And there's comedy in it for sure, but it's mostly a wrong place at the wrong time sort of situation."

It's a story full of twists and turns, running through a gritty underworld life of crime and revenge. Josh Hartnett plays the part of Slevin, who, through a case of mistaken identity, finds himself in the middle of a crime war between two rival mob bosses in New York City.

The film also features Morgan Freeman, Sir Ben Kingsley, Bruce Willis and Stanley Tucci. Liu plays the part of the girl next door and said even the cast wasn't always sure where the plot was going.

"I think that the important thing is to just go along with the ride and just have a good time with it, because there are such great actors in it," she said.

Liu also described how she started her acting career while she was a student at the University of Michigan. She auditioned for a school production of "Alice and Wonderland," and was shocked to be chosen for the role of Alice.

"I thought there was a mistake," she told Smith. "You get the idea that you don't see yourself in that role because you think it's supposed to be somebody who's blonde and blue-eyed and you're more, you know, typecast yourself out of something. So after that moment I realized that there were really no boundaries, like anything could be possible.
So it was kind of a breakthrough moment for me in terms of this realization."

"Lucky Number Slevin" opens nationwide today.