Celeb Spotlight: Sienna Miller
05/11/2005 AT 06:00 AM EDT
Current gig: Playing the love interest of a drug dealer trying to go straight in the crime drama Layer Cake
She doesn't love the limelight
Although Miller was a successful model in her teens, posing for Prada and Pepsi, among others, the 5'6" actress hit the big time last year thanks to her role in the movie Alfie – and her romance with the film's star, Jude Law. "I'm not coping well with all the attention, if I'm honest," she says. "You just become very thick-skinned and a little bit cynical."
And that attention is unlikely to slow down: She stars opposite fellow Brit Daniel Craig in Layer Cake, and next she'll costar with Heath Ledger in a still-untitled film about the legendary lover Casanova. And she'll be playing Celia in a prestigious London production of Shakespeare's As You Like It.
She was born to act
Despite her start as a model, Miller always knew she wanted to be an actress. "(My mother) went to see The Nutcracker in New York and actually went into labor there," she told Britain's Daily Mirror. "I was born hours later, so I nearly came into the world in a theater."
After graduating from the prestigious Heathfield School in Berkshire, England, Miller moved to New York City to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. In 2002, she made her TV debut in the BBC soap opera Bedtime. Small parts in British films such as 2002's Joy-Rider followed, as did a lead role in the 2003-4 FOX series Keen Eddie, about an American detective living in London.
She snagged a winner
Miller met her real-life leading man, Jude Law, 32, while filming Alfie. And after Law, PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive in 2004, proposed on Christmas Day last year, Miller was ecstatic. "I'm the happiest girl alive," she told reporters. "I want a big church wedding." The couple work hard to support each other: While Miller was in Venice shooting the Casanova movie, Law tagged along with his kids, Rafferty, 8, Iris, 4, and Rudy, 2. And Miller spent time in New Orleans recently while Law filmed All the King's Men with Sean Penn. "They're both very solid people," says Alfie director Charles Shyer. "They're good for each other."
She's a trendsetter
Her bohemian-chic wardrobe has turned Miller into a fashion icon, with such celebrity fans as Jessica Simpson. "My favorite style of any person right now is Sienna Miller," Simpson says. "I think she always looks amazing." Handbag company Kooba even named its Sienna tote after her ("I get excited because they have to give me one," says Miller of the bag, which Simpson and Jennifer Garner own). How does she feel about people copying her look? "Flattered, but it kind of puts me off the clothes," she says.
Family comes first
Born in New York City, Miller was 2 when moved with her family to London. Her parents divorced when she was 5, but she remains extremely close with mom Josephine, a South African-born former model; dad Ed Miller, an American investment banker; and older sister Savannah, a fashion designer. "The most important thing for me is love and family because I think that's what gives you roots," she told the Daily Mirror. "Everything else is secondary."