Ally McBeal's Lawless Lucy

When she first met with Ally McBeal's executive producer David E. Kelley, Lucy Liu read for the role of the cutthroat attorney Nelle Porter (ultimately played by Portia de Rossi). But she landed the guest role of that other ice queen, Ling Woo, Nelle's litigious client who is romanced by Fish (Greg Germann). Now Liu is a regular on Ally (Fox, Mondays, 9 P.M./ET), and she loves playing the surly character. "Everyone says she is such a bitch, but people don't understand her," says Liu, calling from her dressing room between shooting scenes. She jokingly adds that she is just like Ling. "It's me, honey. David Kelley takes the dialogue out of my mouth and puts it on the page."

Liu has previously had more tragic guest roles on NYPD Blue (as a babysitter who accidentally kills an infant), ER (she had a child with AIDS) and The X-Files (she had leukemia). Soon she can be seen opposite Mel Gibson in the feature Payback and in Clint Eastwood's True Crime. She also has a cameo in next June's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

The Queens, NY native who refuses to reveal her age or dating status is equally tight-lipped about where Ling's flirtation with Fish will go. She does say she had a lot of fun shooting their incredibly sexy first kissing scene, which aired October 19. "Greg and I made out all day," she jokes. "It was a hot scene. It was a scene where you walk away and take a cold shower." -Annabel Vered