Sally Hawkins

International audiences were universally charmed by Sally Hawkins' performance as an indefatigably cheerful school teacher in Mike Leigh's comedy "Happy-Go-Lucky" (2008). For many moviegoers, this was their first exposure to her talents, but the British actress was a familiar face in films and on television and stage in her native country, where she had made strong impressions as fragile but determined young women in projects ranging from the BBC drama "Fingersmith" (2005), to feature films like "Vera Drake" (2004) and "The Painted Veil" (2007). "Happy-Go-Lucky" gave her the breakthrough she had long desired, and served as the official announcement of Hawkins' entry into the world of in-demand film actors.