Emily Watson

Right from the beginning, when she made her feature debut in Lars von Trier's "Breaking the Waves" (1996), actress Emily Watson found herself an international star. Watson came out of nowhere to charm the audiences at the Cannes Film Festival that year, resulting in a slew of awards and nominations, including a nod for Best Actress at the Academy Awards. She proved that her sudden acclaim was no fluke when two years later, she turned in another Oscar-nominated performance in "Hilary and Jackie" (1998). From there, Watson was in constant demand, though she took great strides to avoid the trappings of celebrity by taking roles in serious dramas like "Angela's Ashes" (1999), quirky, offbeat films like "Trixie" (2000), or talky ensemble pieces like "Gosford Park" (2001). She did dabble in the occasional Hollywood film - most notably playing the blind target of a serial killer in "Red Dragon" (2002) and the love interest of Adam Sandler in "Punch-Drunk Love" (2002). But Watson remained grounded with challenging roles in films like "Synecdoche, New York" (2008), which indulged her creative impulses, rather than increased her profile or bank account.