Claire Danes, 25

Film: Stage Beauty

Why: Her turn as a 17th-century dresser to actor Ned Kynaston (Billy Crudup) in Richard Eyre’s “Stage Beauty” has projected her into a more mature sensibility, while her ability to sincerely capture the raw emotion of each of her screen characters has put her on Hollywood’s A list.

Quote: While she is flattered by the attention of her peers, Danes is quick to not let it go to her head. “It’s always encouraging when my efforts are recognized and applauded. I am wary, however, of investing too heavily in people’s judgement, as it is subjective and beyond my control. My hope is to connect with audiences and give them an opportunity to self-reflect and feel. I have to trust that that will happen, with or without the confirmation of a shiny gold statue.”

Though the script initially caught the attention of the thesp, it was the talent behind the “Stage Beauty” that really drew her in. “The material was initially the most striking element of the film, as it was very clever, layered and moving. I was also thrilled that it explored the complexities of acting, something I obviously happen to care a great deal about. Knowing that I was to work with Richard Eyre, one of the most intelligent, compassionate and loving directors, and the uniformly brilliant cast only intensified my interest in the project.”

What’s next: Mirabelle Buttersfield in “Shopgirl,” opposite Steve Martin, who also wrote the novel and adapted it for the screen.

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