Carice van Houten
An actor able to evoke almost hypnotic intensity, Carice van Houten became the latest Dutch import to wow English-speaking audiences, vaulting from the homegrown hit film of her native land's foremost auteur Paul Verhoeven to roles in major Hollywood studio releases and a scene-stealing heel in HBO's "Game of Thrones" (2011- ). Scion of a show business family, van Houten made herself an award-winning actor with her second major project, the Dutch telefilm "Suzy Q" (VPRO, 1999). She became the darling of Netherlands cinema in sweetly rendered children's fantasies "Minoes" (2001) and "Lepel" (2005) and a sex symbol in more grown-up fare such as "De passievrucht" (2003) and "Alles is liefde" (2007). Her starring role in the world-renowned director Verhoeven's evocative World War II film "Black Book" (2006) would introduce her to international audiences and put her on the radar of overseas producers. She increasingly supplemented her homegrown work with female leads in higher-profile foreign films such as the Tom Cruise-anchored tale of the plot to assassinate Hitler, "Valkyrie" (2008), the science fiction actioner "Repo Men" (2010), and the British horror outings "Black Death" (2010) and "Intruders" (2011). In 2012, she dazzled American television audiences as a manipulative zealot priestess in the second-season premiere of the HBO fantasy phenomenon "Game of Thrones" (2012). One of the most buzzed-over A-list celebrities and laurel-laden thespians in her native land, van Houten's magnetic talent translated well to much broader audiences than she was used to.