Teresa Palmer

Unlike a lot of young Australian actresses, Teresa Palmer didn’t grow up pretending to be Nicole Kidman. In fact, the 22-year-old Adelaide native grew up in government housing and made pocket money by dressing up as Strawberry Shortcake at a local mall. “I came from rather humble beginnings,” Palmer muses. “Still, I was really happy.” Just after high school graduation, Palmer’s life took an unexpected turn. “This director of a local student film called me up to be in his movie. At first, of course, I thought it was a bit dodgy,” she admits. Still, Palmer slipped seamlessly into the role of Melody, a suicidal young rape victim impregnated by her brother. The film, 2:37 (2006), went all the way to Cannes, and, at 18, Palmer went all the way to Hollywood. Now she’s starring in the Adam Sandler comedy Bedtime Stories, in which she plays yet another character with few similarities to herself. “My character is really famous and has great clothes,” she says. “In real life, I’m always in tracksuits, and I never wear makeup.” Palmer continues to deal in extreme fantasies with a role in Kids in America, a post-collegiate party romp, and is rumored to be cast in the highly anticipated superhero showdown Justice League of America. Looks like mall work is starting to pay off. -Sarah Wilson