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5. Melanie Laurent
"Inglourious Basterds" may have starred Brad Pitt and a host of other Nazi-killing fellas, but there was an unknown French beauty (Ms. Laurent) who stole the show as Tarantino's heroine, Shosanna, who plots to kill Hitler to avenge her family. Might be easier for her to lure Nazis into her trap than for a bunch of dudes -- just sayin'. The actress has been a star of French films for quite some time, but this is her first American role -- and in a Tarantino flick, no less.
Tarantino is known for writing killer female roles, and Shosanna is no different. Apparently he'd been searching for the perfect Shosanna for eight years and finally found her in this French actress. But don't expect the starlet to be signing on for a reality show or getting into scuffles with LiLo at Chateau Marmont. She's set on recording music, writing screenplays, directing films, and finding gritty roles, not Hollywood studio projects. I have a hunch young American men will be taking an interest in French cinema in the near term.