12/08/1986 at 01:00 AM EST
Her wild hair has been compared with Amy Irving's, her almond-shaped eyes with the young Sophia Loren's, and her combination of sultriness and innocence draws stares wherever she goes. In a chic Manhattan restaurant, usually blasé waiters buzz around her, gawking. As she leaves her hotel, three New Yorkers rush up for autographs. "How did you know where I'm staying?" the 20-year-old Danish actress asks in amazement. "All the foreign stars stay here," she is told as she signs.
"Star?" Camilla Soeberg asks, still perplexed. "I've made only one movie."
One has been more than enough: Twist and Shout is the highest-grossing film in Danish history and Soeberg's performance has drawn raves during the movie's current nationwide release in the U.S. Moreover, the role was unusually daunting. In one harrowing sequence, Soeberg has a miscarriage in a bathroom following a back-room abortion with her boyfriend watching. "I had to use so much of myself emotionally, it was scary," she recalls. "I stood there holding on to the bathtub thinking it was like being in a burning house and looking down at firemen with a net. I just had to jump."
An eldest child whose mother is a divorced social worker in Copenhagen, Soeberg came to the U.S. at 15 as an exchange student and studied acting at Southern Pasadena (Calif.) High School. Two months after she returned home, she spotted a film audition notice in a Copenhagen paper. "It said you have to be very dedicated, very serious. I thought, 'I'm not even going to try, there will be so many people.' " There were—3,000 of them—but she won the part. Now she has a two-picture contract with Cannon Films and a decided (but undisclosed) raise. For Twist and Shout she got $3,500.