April Grace

While she had numerous stage and small screen credits, April Grace was still a relatively fresh face when writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson tapped her to play a cool television reporter in his sprawling drama "Magnolia" (1999). Sharing most of her scenes with Tom Cruise, who played the subject of her interview--a foul-mouthed, sex guru, the actress provided strong counterpoint. Her character was clearly competent, knowing how to establish a rapport with her subject and when to ask the tough questions. While Cruise earned a great deal of attention for his performance, a great deal of its success lay in Grace's understated work opposite him.