US actor. She achieved her first film role at the age of nine and went on to become a major star before the age of 20. She avoided the teen film genre and established herself as a serious actor, known for her streetwise and often brooding characterizations. Major film roles include a teenage social misfit in the coming-of-age film Ghost World (2000), a lonely young wife on a trip to Tokyo in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation (2003), a maid in the house of artist Johannes Vermeer in The Girl with the Pearl Earring (2003), and a sexy actress caught in a love triangle in Woody Allen's Match Point (2005).
Her breakthrough film role was in the coming-of-age film Manny and Lo (1996), in which she played a teenage orphan. She drew wider attention and critical acclaim for The Horse Whisperer (1998), in which she played a girl traumatized after losing a leg in a riding accident. She collaborated again with Allen in Scoop (2006) and Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). Other films include the family comedy Home Alone 3 (1997), the drama An American Rhapsody (2001), the Coen brothers' film noir The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), the comedies In Good Company (2004) and The Nanny Diaries (2007), the historical adaptation The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), and the superhero film Iron Man 2 (2010). Theatre work includes Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge (2009), for which she won a 2010 Tony Award. In 2008 she released the Tom Waits cover album Anywhere I Lay My Head, and the following year she released the album Break Up, a collaboration with US rock musician Peter Yorn (1974– ).
She was born and grew up in New York City, where she began acting professionally at the age of eight. She attended the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute for Young People and made her stage debut in the off-Broadway drama Sophistry (1993), starring with US actor Ethan Hawke. Early films include North (1994), Just Cause (1995), and If Lucy Fell (1996).