Michelle Monaghan has been a hard-working young actress for nearly a decade, and lately it's been paying off with a number of leading roles. In movies as diverse as “Mission: Impossible 3,” the Farrelly brothers' comedy remake, “The Heartbreak Kid,” and the hard-edged thriller, “Gone Baby Gone,” the willowy small-town brunette with the killer smile is definitely playing in the big time now.
Born in 1976 and raised in Winthrop, Iowa (population 700), Michelle started acting in school plays, but it took a conversation with her mother before she ever considered doing the job professionally. Nevertheless, when time for college came around, Michelle majored in journalism, taking modeling jobs to pay her way. Those jobs took her to London, Milan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Michelle began to take the show business life a bit more seriously.
By 2000, Michelle was getting her share of television work, appearing in two episodes of the short-lived “Young Americans” and one episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” not to mention a series of ads for deodorant and feminine hygiene products. There was no place to go but up. Soon, a supporting role in the little-seen fashion industry drama, “Perfume,” was followed by a part in a more successful film: 2002's “Unfaithful” with Diane Lane and Richard Gere. That was followed by an eight-episode run on “Boston Public” and more supporting roles in films like “Constantine” and “The Bourne Supremacy” – though most of that work remained on the proverbial cutting room floor. (Reportedly, a role in “Syriana” was entirely removed from the finished film.)
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