The star that "Deep Impact," "Never to be Kissed," and "Eyes large Shut" is make a new name because that herself external the "gross industry" that Hollywood.

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There's a moment in Never been Kissed when Leelee Sobieski, clad in a blown jumpsuit and also lab goggles, scoffs at Jessica Alba for not recognizing that she's obviously in costume as part of the DNA double helix. "I guess: v you'd actually understand that if you'd passed bio," Sobieski fumes. It's a wildly unfair blow, provided that she looks more like a scientist or fumigator than any molecule, but it parallels the ongoing worry Sobieski challenged off screen:


No one can actually figure her out.

When she came down on the scene in the so late 90s, Sobieski looked and also sounded favor a baby Helen Hunt. She desired vintage thrifting to runway gowns, and even as soon as she should have actually been one awkward and gangly teen, her husky voice and demeanor conveyed an air of sophistication that seemed people apart native contemporaries choose Alba. Speak fluent French likewise helped.

But by she mid-20s, Sobieski progressively stepped away from Hollywood, readjusted her name, and also began come speak out versus the industry she'd grown up in. Why?


Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta "Leelee" Sobieski sounds choose a name fit for European royalty. And also it might actually be. Legend has actually it among Sobieski's ancestors to be left as a infant on the procedures of a church in a basket filled v jewels and a keep in mind saying lock were, undoubtedly, of imperial birth.

Her own upbringing was equally noble, if in a more bohemian way. Born to a producer-writer mother and also a French painter-actor dad in brand-new York City in 1983, Sobieski prospered up separating her time in between Manhattan and also the south of France. Before she was uncovered by a casting agent in her college cafeteria at period 11, she take it flamenco lessons and rode horses. Afterward, she landed a string of starring functions that cemented she It Girl status and also put she on the sheathe of Seventeen, CosmoGirl, and Nylon.

First, there to be 1997's Jungle 2 Jungle (playing the 12-year-old like of Tim Allen's long-lost son, Mimi-Siku), climate 1998's Deep Impact (running indigenous a gigantic comet v Elijah Wood), 1999's Never to be Kissed (as attracted Barrymore's delightfully nerdy friend), and 2000's Here top top Earth (caught in between Josh Hartnett and also Chris Klein in the saddest love triangle ever). There was additionally that scene in 1999's Eyes broad Shut, i beg your pardon she filmed at 14 and also mercifully wasn't permitted to know the complete context of until its relax years later.

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Even in ~ the elevation of she stardom, however, she never ever really to the right the teen star mold. She can confidently host her very own with interviewers who praised her maturity, yet she also often left them fully baffled with her off-book antics.