Kate Beckinsale

BATD ON Feb 20, 2010 AT 6:11 pm

Kate Beckinsale

What do Ben Affleck, Matt Dillon and Hugh Jackman all have in common? Besides all being extremely attractive leading men, they have all starred alongside Kate Beckinsale in major motion pictures. How exactly did Miss Beckinsale get so lucky?

Being from an acting family doesn’t hurt. Raised in London by actress mother Judy Loe and actor father Richard Beckinsale, who unfortunately died while his daughter was very young, Beckinsale was a talented youngster. She was an avid reader and writer, and even won the W.H.Smith Young Writer’s competition twice, once for short stories and once for poetry. This isn’t to say she had a trouble free childhood. She suffered from anorexia as a teen, and though she no longer suffers from the eating disorder, she still has the smoking habit that she picked up in her youth. Interestingly though, while she has smoked for years, she doesn’t drink.

Kate with husband Len Wiseman

When she finished school, she already knew she wanted to be an actress. With this in mind, she decided to go to university to broaden her education, something that, in the long run, would make her a more valuable actress. Enrolling in Oxford University, she studied French and Russian, but kept acting on the side. Her breakout role came during her first year, when she was cast in the Kenneth Branagh version of Much Ado About Nothing. In her third year at Oxford, she elected to study abroad in Paris. It was the foray into a different culture that made her re-evaluate her life, and she dropped out of Oxford. She did later credit her education in Russian for helping her perfect her accent in Van Helsing.

Her most recognizable role to date is as Evelyn in Pearl Harbor, playing the love interest of both Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett. However, while I am sure this was a role we would have all been willing to play, Beckinsale only received it after Charlize Theron pulled out due to scheduling conflicts. Beckinsale has gone on to act in fantasy thrillers like Van Helsing and the Underworld series, as well as films including Serendipity, Click and Nothing But the Truth.

Off screen, Beckinsale has a daughter, Lily, with actor Michael Sheen, though the pair split during the filming of Underworld. Beckinsale later married Underworld director Len Wiseman, and they have been married since 2004. Lily has played the child version of Beckinsale in several films recently.

Look for Beckinsale in the new film Everybody’s Fine.

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