When she was 15 her father attacked her mother, and her mother shot him in self-defense. He died, but her mother was not charged in the incident.
First language is Afrikaans, English is spoken as her second language.
Appeared in the May 1999 issue of Playboy Magazine.
Became a fashion model at age 14.
Named one of "People" magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. (2000).
Turned down the female lead in Pearl Harbor (2001) to star alongside Keanu Reeves in Sweet November (2001).
Auditioned for the female lead in Showgirls (1995).
Dated Stephan Jenkins, lead singer of the band Third Eye Blind, from January 1998 to July 2001.
Was ranked 4th of the 100 Sexiest Women by FHM Taiwan (2001).
Both her parents are Africans, born and raised in South Africa. However her father is of French descent and her mother of German descent.
Used hypnotherapy as an aid to quit smoking.
She gained 30 pounds to play Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003).
She has been dating Irish actor Stuart Townsend since August 2001.
Has said her favorite actor is Tom Hanks.
As a teenager in her native South Africa, she learned English by watching American TV.
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