Jordana Brewster

The red-hot Jordana Brewster returns to the franchise that made her a star in the blacktop-burning Fast & Furious. Buckle up. By Merle Ginsberg

Finally, good news from the auto industry: The latest installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise, called Fast & Furious, is pulling into multiplexes nationwide. Yep, they ditched the the’s in the title, but brought back original cast members Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and—thank you, God—Jordana Brewster. Despite her remarkable looks, Ivy League smarts, and super ex-boyfriends (Mark Wahlberg, Derek Jeter), 29-year-old Jordana is surprisingly very shy. She relocated from New York to L.A. in 2004, but still shuns Holly­wood parties, revealing clothes, and even vacations. Maybe most surprising, though, is that the star of this kick-ass car-gasm flick is, in her own words, a pretty lousy driver. But, hey, she still looks mighty good behind the wheel.

You’re this soft-spoken Yale grad, but your movie résumé reads like an action star’s.

I’d love to be a Bond girl. I mean, if you’re going to be stereotyped, there are worse things to be stereotyped as. Women always want to be what they’re not: If you’re the pretty girl, you want to be the quirky girl. If you’re the smart girl, you want to be the pretty girl.

So do you like doing crazy stunts?

I like being around it all, but Michelle Rodriguez actually got in there and risked her life. I’m not that ballsy.

This is your first out-and-out sexy shoot. What took you so long?

Yes, it’s the first time where I had to be quote-unquote “sexy” other than in love scenes—and with love scenes you’re with someone else. The pressure isn’t all on you. I admit I was nervous before the shoot. My hair is very long right now, and I wouldn’t cut it till we finished the Maxim shoot. I wanted to make sure my hair could cover my boobs!

Buckle up as “The Fast & Furious” star is taking you for a bumpy ride in her Maxim video.