Hong Kong star Maggie Q jump-starts a Hollywood career in 'M:I III' [This story first ran in V Life's December '05 issue.]

Racing down a waterway in Rome with Tom Cruise behind the wheel of a speedboat and passing breathtaking views of Vatican City in the background isn’t a bad day at work. But for Maggie Q, it was also her very first day on the set of her American film debut.

“It’s very easy to be intimidated in this industry,” says Q, who will be introduced to audiences Stateside playing one of four IMF team members in Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible III.” “I just kept telling myself, ‘I’ve worked to get here.’ ”

Most of that work has been done in Hong Kong, where, for the past seven years, the half-Vietnamese, half-Caucasian beauty has been chased by paparazzi, thanks to prominent modeling stints and roles in big-budget action films like Media Asia’s “Gen-Y Cops.”

Now, after completing filming in Italy, Q is settling into a modest Beverly Hills home with her four affable pups. “There are so many lawyers and people here,” she says. “Within two weeks of being here, I had, like, eight people working for me.” Key to her new team is CAA’s Josh Lieberman, who signed Q in August and counts the likes of Hilary Swank and Colin Farrell as clients.

“I’m lucky, and I’m happy,” she says of her first gig with a Hollywood studio, “but this isn’t the end-all be-all. It’s about being here and doing good work. You can be here and do crap.”

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