Santa Choudry played half of one of the most gorgeous movie couples of all time, staring with Denzel Washington in 1992's Mississippi Masala. And though her drop‑dead looks seem tailor‑made for the big screen, the former film student initially approached Masala director Mira Nair about crew work. “I never really thought of myself as the one who was being subjected to the camera,” Choudry says. She appears this month with a cast of young unknowns in Wild West, a comedy about Indian kids in England who start a country‑western band. In December, she goes back to appearing with heavy hitters in House of the Spirits, as a peasant woman who has a score to settle with wealthy landowner played by Jeremy Irons. "He's quite down‑to‑earth and very smart," she says. And brave, one might add, for sharing the screen with such a scene-stealer.