Rosamund Pike was once auditioning for a role in Jack Reacher, a Tom Cruise movie when she was distracted by the sound of whispering. She didn't hesitate to turn round and ask the megastar for quiet.
"I didn't think twice about it," said the English actress. "I just said, 'I'm sorry, could you not talk during the take?' Because I was nervous I came across like this rather fierce teacher".
She landed the part and later invited Tom and his then wife Katie Holmes to dinner, after which they washed up. It's this coolness under fire that has propelled her to star status.
Rosamund was born on 27 January, 1979 the only child of opera singers Caroline Friend and Julian Pike. Their lifestyle prepared her for the gypsy existence of a professional actress as the family lived out of suitcases, travelling for their performing careers.
During her teens she appeared in National Youth Theatre productions. Her lead performance in Romeo and Juliet as the won her an agent. She applied and was turned down for various drama schools. "I just thought they’d made a mistake. There was just no doubt in me that I could do this."
From there she won a place at Wadham College, Oxford, reading English literature. Just when she was considering working at Waterstones bookshop she got another more tempting offer. Rosamund was cast as the upper crust Bond Girl, whose weapon of choice is a fencing sword, in Die Another Day, which made $400 million globally.
Her next role was in Hitchcock Blonde, a play in which she was required to appear on stage wearing nothing but high heels. She also played the lead female role in Gone Girl – as Ben Affleck's completely unhinged wife – to great acclaim.
In her private life, the British beauty has never been conventional either. In 2008, she was due to marry Joe Wright, the director of her film Pride and Prejudice. Unfortunately, he called off the wedding apparently as the save-the-date cards were going out.
The father of her two sons is Robie Uniacke, who is 16 years her senior and survived addiction. He has four other children from previous relationships.
Her eldest called Solo was born in May 2012, while his brother made his debut two years later.
Explaining the name Solo, she said: "I just think it's a beautiful word and a wonderful name. It's the sense of freedom and independence and adventure it conjures up" – qualities that seem to sum her up too.