Audrey Dana, 30, spent six years in the theater working on comedies until director Claude Lelouch chose her to play the lead role in his movie Roman de gare (Crossed Tracks). Her onscreen performance earned raves from European critics and now the film, which also stars Fanny Ardant, is being released Stateside early next year. In it, Dana plays a birdbrained hairdresser who gets dumped by her boyfriend at a highway gas station. There, she ends up meeting a mysterious man who is either a popular novelist’s ghost writer or a serial killer who just escaped from prison.

Dana was brought up in the Beauce region of France with her five siblings. She studied theater in Orléans. The energetic actress also has spent time in New York working with the theater company Cosmic Joke Collective.

FASHION PHILOSOPHY: “I don’t quite get it with the fashion shows,” says the brunette actress and mother of a seven-year-old boy, before adding she finds them too time consuming. If anything, “shoes are the first thing I’m going to fall for.” But she’s most comfortable in Diesel jeans, Zadig et Voltaire sweaters and Paul Ka clothes.

UP NEXT: While Dana says she misses the theater, her acclaimed performance in Lelouch’s movie is leading her to a big-screen career. She’ll soon be seen in Olivier Baroux’s Ce soir je dors chez toi (Tonight, I’ll Sleep at Your House), in which she plays a seductress, and she is currently shooting a Michèle Rosier comedy called Sans Coeur (Without Heart), scheduled to be released next year. Dana also wants to direct and act in an erotic thriller her sister, Marie-Noelle, wrote called Les petites morts (The Small Deaths) and is writing a screenplay titled Love, Love, Love, which she hopes to direct in 2009.