American actress Michelle Monaghan is best known for her work in the Mission: Impossible film series, the black comedy crime film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), the mystery drama Gone Baby Gone (2007) and the anthology crime drama tv show True Detective (2014), the last of which earned her a Golden Globes nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2015. Since her feature film debut in Perfume
(2001), she has appeared in over 30 movies and a number of tv shows, and has been nominated twice for the Satellite Awards.
Born in Winthrop, Iowa, Monaghan has an Irish and German ancestry. Her mother Sharon ran a day care center, whereas her father Robert was a factory worker. She has two brothers Bob and John. She pursued her studies from East Buchanan High School in 1994, where she acted in many plays. After this, she relocated to Chicago to pursue journalism at Columbia College Chicago. Around this time, she started working on some modelling assignments in Milan, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. To take her career further, she moved to New York.
Monaghan is married to Australian graphic artist Peter White since 2005. The couple has a daughter (born in 2008) and one son (born in 2013).
Monaghan started her film career with a small role in the 2001 movie Perfume, based on the fashion industry in New York City. Her next venture was also a minor role in director Adrian Lyne`s thriller drama Unfaithful (2002) that starred Richard Gere and Diane Lane in the lead. After featuring in It Runs in the Family (2003) and The Bourne Supremacy
(2004), she was cast in the role of Gwen in the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie starrer Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Subsequently, she gained popularity with the black comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, in which she played the lead female role of Harmony Faith Lane opposite Robert Downey Jr
. and Val Kilmer
. Her performance got her nominated for Best Supporting Actress at Satellite Awards and Saturn Awards.
She then bagged a pivotal role of nurse Julia Meade, who is also the wife of IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), in the 2006 box office hit Mission: Impossible III
. Then came Gone Baby Gone (2007), the story of two private investigators - played by Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan - who set out on a mission to find out about the kidnap of a four-year-old girl. The Ben Affleck directorial received a positive response from critics and audiences, while Monaghan was appreciated for her performance. The actress was also seen in The Heartbreak Kid in the year as Miranda, a vacationer, co-starring Ben Stiller
and Malin Akerman
Monaghan`s breakthrough came in 2008 with the independent drama film Trucker, in which she gave an award-winning performance in the role of Diane Ford, a long-haul truck driver. The movie revolved around a carefree truck driver, played by Monaghan, who has one-night stands with her married neighbour, but things take a turn when her ex-husband Len (Benjamin Bratt) sends their son Peter (Jimmy Bennett) to her after many years. Even though the film received mixed reviews, Monaghan`s exemplary performance won her the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress (2009). Monaghan bagged two more movies in the year - the romantic comedy Made of Honor co-starring Patrick Dempsey
, and the science fiction Eagle Eye opposite Shia LaBeouf and Billy Bob Thornton, but both received negative reviews from critics.
After a string of successful movies like Due Date (2010), Somewhere (2010) and Source Code
(2011), she was seen in an uncredited role in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
(2011). She then played the wife of Gerard Butler`s character in the adventure drama film Machine Gun Preacher in 2011. Subsequently, Monaghan featured in the 2014 thriller film Penthouse North, where she essayed the role of a photojournalist, opposite Michael Keaton. She played the protagonist in Fort Bliss (2014), a military-based drama that revolves around a US Army medic and single mother, who strives to work on her relationship with her son. She then featured in the rom-com Playing It Cool as the love interest of Chris Evans
. After a voice role for the character of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in Justice League: War, she starred in Michael Hoffman`s romantic drama The Best of Me (2014), based on Nicholas Sparks` 2011 novel of the same name.
In 2016, Monaghan starred alongside Mark Wahlberg
in the acclaimed crime drama-thriller Patriots Day, which chronicled the real life story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt. However, her next two releases - the crime drama Sleepless (2017) and the mystery drama The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2017) - proved to be disappointments both critically and commercially. In 2018, the actress reprised her role as Julia Meade in the sixth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, titled Mission: Impossible - Fallout
. Among Monaghan`s other recent acting credits include the biographical drama Saint Judy (2018) and The Craft: Legacy
A two episode appearance in the TV series Young Americans (2000) marked Monaghan`s debut in the television industry. After featuring in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Hack for single episodes, she bagged a significant role of Kimberly Woods in the television series Boston Public (2002). In 2014, she was cast as Maggie Hart, the long-suffering wife of detective Martin Hart (played by Woody Harrelson) in the critically acclaimed HBO anthology series True Detective. Her performance in the series got her nominated for Best Supporting Actress-Series, Miniseries or Television Film at Golden Globe Awards and Satellite Awards. Her next significant role was that of Sarah Lane in the 2016 series The Path co-starring Aaron Paul and Hugh Dancy.