BATD ON Feb 26, 2014 AT 3:07 pm

by Valirie Morgan

Imogen Poots

Imogen Poots

Imogen Poots is the latest British actress to take Hollywood by storm, and she’s making quite an impression on the film industry this year. The 24-year-old, best known for her breakout role in 28 Weeks Later, has a large collection of film roles under her belt, and she’s got quite a few more on her docket for the future. Her latest project has her starring opposite Aaron Paul (of Breaking Bad fame) in the upcoming action flick Need For Speed, due for release in the UK on 12th March.

Poots grew up in Chiswick and began acting with the Young Blood Theatre Company in Hammersmith; other than that, she never received any formal training in the acting craft. Her movie career kicked off in 2006 when she played “Young Valerie” in V For Vendetta, followed by her first major role in 28 Weeks Later at age 17. Since then, she’s been in high demand in both Britain and America. In Need For Speed, Poots plays Julia, a young car aficionado with a bit of a daredevil side who ends up on a cross-country journey with Paul’s character.

“She’s willing to try things out and she’s a really great role to play because the people behind the script have been pretty liberal, too,” Poots said in an interview. “It’s a movie about race cars. You want people to enjoy it and have fun and be entertaining, so we’re trying to find as many different arcs and levels within that, in terms of the action environment, as you can.”

Poots with Aaron Paul in Need For Speed.

Poots with Aaron Paul in Need For Speed.

Complete with intense stunts and muscle cars, Need For Speed is an certainly an action film, and Poots’s performance shows her versatility as an actress. It’s her first action role, adding to a diverse portfolio that spans from horror to romantic comedies. Just last month she hit the big screen in That Awkward Moment with Miles Teller, Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan, playing Efron’s love interest in the rom-com.

While being a movie star takes up most of her time, Poots also has a foot in the fashion world. Back in 2011, she was selected by fashion house Chloé to appear in a campaign for the label’s fragrance. The following year saw her starring in an advertising campaign for the Marni-H&M collaboration, directed by Sofia Coppola.

Imogen Poots for Marni by H&M.

Imogen Poots for Marni by H&M.

Imogen has had her fair share of red-hot red carpet looks recently, as well. She flaunted her figure in a red Givenchy gown at last week’s BAFTAs, where she was a presenter.

Poots in Givenchy at the BAFTAs.

Poots in Givenchy at the BAFTAs.

Imogen is quickly becoming one of our favorite up-and-coming stars, and we’re predicting that she’ll become a household name in no time. So what’s next for the actress as she skyrockets to international fame? Poots has two movies in the post-production phase of filming: Knight of Cups with Christian Bale and Natalie Portman, and Squirrels to the Nuts with Jennifer Aniston and comedian Will Forte. The first is expected to be released sometime later this year, and the latter is scheduled for 2015. She’s also been cast in the film adaptation of Jess Walter’s novel Beautiful Ruins. In the meantime, check out the trailer for Need For Speed here on Beauty and the Dirt!

8 Things You May Not Know About Imogen Poots:

- Despite starring in the car-centered action flick Need For Speed, Imogen admits that she doesn’t drive. Don’t worry, though — she did some training before she could get behind the wheel during filming!

- She originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but realized it wasn’t fit for her when she fainted while observing a surgery during veterinary work experience.

- She’s from a multitalented family: her brother is a model, her mother was a journalist and her father was a television producer.

- Even though she’s had roles in several horror films, like Chatroom and Fright Night, Imogen says she hates watching those types of movies.

- Poots has a home in London and also rents an apartment with a friend in Los Angeles, but she calls New York her “favourite place in the world.”

- She’s learned from some of the best in the business onscreen: one of her favorite memories is rehearsing for A Late Quartet with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

- Imogen has said it’s difficult for women in Hollywood to deal with everything fame entails, but she loves the way Jennifer Lawrence handles herself.

- Her funny surname is apparently of Dutch origin.

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