Sundance breakout and star of ''Maria Full of Grace'' -- Catalina Sandino Moreno -- The Must List 2004

By EW Staff
Updated June 25, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

AGE 23
MUSTWORTHINESS On her first-ever film audition, the Colombia native landed the role of a stoic drug mule in ”Maria Full of Grace,” stunned Sundance with her quiet bravado, and helped the film win an audience award.
BIG BREAK While she took acting classes at a Bogota theater, some anonymous supporter passed her name on to Maria’s casting agent. ”I never knew who that person was, to give them a hug.”
CULTURE SHOCK Two years ago she was studying advertising at college because ”if you do theater in Colombia you’ll die from hunger. Now I’m living in New York City. It’s changed my whole point of view on everything. Being independent, having a little apartment, cooking. In Colombia you live with your parents until you’re 25 and get a job and then get married.”
NEXT She’s waiting until Maria’s July 16 opening to start auditioning.