Alice Eve is a British actress and she's beautiful and no surprises there -- she's the daughter of two other good-looking British actors, Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan.
Given that family history, five years of solid film work and a starring role in the new movie, Crossing Over, it is surprising when Eve, 27, says she's only recently decided that acting will be her work.
"I guess the whole thing just crept up on me," she says.
" I never really took it on as an adult until, well, weird thing to say, but only in the last year. I've realized that it's something I want to do and want to pursue. Just in the last year I've really seen what the world is, and what the business is, and it has shortcomings and massive penalties. But in that year, I've decided I genuinely love it."
Eve is part of the strong ensemble cast in Crossing Over, a Wayne Kramer directed film that tells connected stories about a handful of immigrants hoping to live and work in America.
Eve holds her own alongside Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd. Actually, she does more than that. In the role of an Australian actress who gets manipulated into trading sexual favours for a green card, she's the best thing in the movie.
Eve got her start at 13 when she played Olivia in a production of Twelfth Night.
"I don't remember any parental influence," she says of her career. "I just remember going through wanting to be a vet, and then an archeologist, and all the normal routes you take as a girl.
"I guess I trusted them and respected their opinion as artists, and when I did that part in Twelfth Night they both seemed so happy. And they were like, 'Oh, you were so good,' and I thought, 'Wow, I can do something!' and that was a nice feeling."
Her professional career began when she was a student at Oxford. Eve got an agent and looked for work she could do in the summer, and quickly found a role in Richard Eyre's Stage Beauty. She has since appeared in Starter For 10 and Big Loser, among other projects, and she'll star in She's Out Of My League, opposite Jay Baruchel, next year.
The actress has two younger brothers, aged 14 and 23. The older one is at RADA and intent upon a career in theatre, and the younger one is a musician. On her own time, she's an avid horsewoman and she used to play polo.
"But it's dangerous. I used to be fearless, before I was aware of the dangers. I used to fly over the front of the horse into the bush, and bounce back. I don't know what I was thinking."
She's also a writer, and is currently working on two screenplays, one on her own and one with her boyfriend, who is a poet. He lives in England. She lives in England and Los Angeles.
"Living in L.A. can be very difficult," she concedes. "In the last year or two, I've become accustomed to being on my own, and in a positive way rather than being isolated or lonely. I've actually learned to enjoy being on my own.
"In L.A., if you're needy or need company, that's not a great situation. If you're content to let the city be your friend -- Red Hot Chili Peppers, you know -- it actually can be quite a rewarding place."
Eve works next in England. She'll play Roxanne in Trevor Nunn's staging of Cyrano de Bergerac, opposite Joseph Fiennes.
"I'm excited about that," she says. "It's a real grown-up part."