Nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her movie debut in Maria Full of Grace, Sandino Moreno, 23, was a college student in Colombia when she was cast as a teen drug mule.
ON SWALLOWING (FAKE) DRUGS I didn't practice because Maria was a novice. I swallowed eight [simulated drug-filled balloons] in all. It fills you up, but it also leaves you hungry, and you cannot eat.
ON MOVING TO NEW YORK CITY I lived in Bogotá all my life, I wanted to go to New York to be an actress. Then 9/11 happened, and my mom said, "Not even if you are dead will you go." So I decided to study advertising. Then Joshua [Marston, Maria's director] entered my life. Now I'm living the dream. I love the subway. I'm a real urbanite.
ON HER OSCAR DRESS I still don't have anything in mind. I don't have much patience for fittings.