Diane Kruger (German pronunciation: [diˈa:nə ˈkru:ɡɐ]; born Diane Heidkrüger; 15 July 1976) is a German actress and former fashion model. She is known for roles such as Helen in the epic war film Troy (2004), Dr. Abigail Chase in the adventure/heist film National Treasure (2004) and its sequel (2007), Bridget von Hammersmark in the Quentin Tarantino-directed war film Inglourious Basterds (2009), Anna in the sci-fi drama Mr. Nobody (2009), and Gina in the psychological thriller film Unknown (2011). She plays the Seeker/Lacey in the romantic sci-fi thriller The Host (2013). From 2013 to 2014, she starred as Detective Sonya Cross in the FX television crime drama series The Bridge.
She was born as Diane Heidkrüger on 15 July 1976 in Algermissen, Germany, in the west near Hildesheim, the daughter of computer specialist Hans-Heinrich Heidkrüger, and his wife, Maria-Theresa, a bank employee. She was brought up Roman Catholic and attended Catholic school. She has stated that one of her grandmothers was Polish.
She was brought up in Germany with her younger brother, Stefan. Her mother sent her to student exchange programmes when she was a teenager to improve her English. As a child, Kruger wanted to become a ballerina and successfully auditioned for the Royal Ballet School in London. However, after an injury ended her ballet career prematurely, Kruger moved to Paris and turned her energy toward modelling and learning French.
In 1992, Kruger represented Germany in the Elite Model Look and started modelling afterwards. Despite her relatively short stature for a model, she managed to land prestigious bookings such as advertisements from Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani, Jil Sander, Christian Dior, Burberry and Louis Vuitton; runway shows from Marc Jacobs, D&G and Sonia Rykiel as well as appearances on the cover of Vogue Paris, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan to her modeling repertoire. She gradually stopped modelling after deciding to pursue a career in acting.
Kruger soon became interested in acting and took lessons at the Cours Florent. She landed some small appearances in several French films. She made her film debut in 2002, opposite Dennis Hopper and Christopher Lambert in The Piano Player, a TV film by Jean-Pierre Roux. Her first major acting role was the same year when she starred in her then husband’s directorial début Mon Idole.