Born in Iowa in 1976, Monaghan started modelling shortly after leaving high school, where she went on to study Journalism in Chicago. But after leaving college one semester short of graduation to pursue an acting career, Michele Monaghan has never looked back, with a respectable number of movie roles under her belt.
In fact, according to IMDB (Internet Movie Database) Monaghan has 35 credits to her name since the year 2000, with many more due for release this year, mastering both TV and the big screen.
With so many great movies and TV shows to choose from it was difficult to compile this list, but we managed it in the end. So if you’re not already a fan of Michelle Monaghan, here is a list of her greatest roles so you can check out her handiwork in front of the camera.
1. Boston Public (2000-2004)
Starring as season 3’s new teacher, Kimberly Woods, Boston Public was Monaghan’s first big break. Her character transferred to another school in episode 57 to avoid an obsessive student, but this role saw Monaghan beamed onto the screens of the American viewing public, and she obviously made a good impression.
2. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Directed by Shane Black, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang sees Monaghan star alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer in this action/comedy/crime mash up. Monaghan’s character, Harmony Faith Lane, is a gorgeous, yet struggling actress who gets reunited with a childhood friend and then becomes involved in solving an intricate murder case.
3. True Detective (2014)
In the HBO series True Detective, Monaghan plays Maggie Hart, the wife of Woody Harrelson’s character Martin Hart. As the wife of a cheating cop, however, Monaghan has an up and down life and becomes seemingly obsessed with her husband’s partner before the pair ultimately end up getting divorced.
Even though the series focuses mainly on the two detectives, Monaghan’s character, as the woman in the middle of them both, plays a significant role and her performances in this haunting adult drama are simply brilliant.
4. Source Code (2011)
Source Code was released in 2011 and is a sci-fi thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, Prince of Persia, Jarhead) and our lady Michelle. Her character Christina Warren is the travelling partner of a U.S. army pilot who mysteriously wakes up in the body of a school teacher on a commuter train to Chicago. Before he can get a true grasp of the situation the train explodes killing everyone.
The rest of the movie then sees the exploding train scenario replayed time after time with several different results. In one of the more memorable scenes Gyllenhaal and Monaghan share a passionate kiss when the former asks what the latter would do if she only had seconds to live.
5. Due Date (2010)
Due Date is a modern-day remake of the 1987 classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring Steve Martin and the late John Candy. Monaghan plays Sarah Highman who is the wife of Robert Downey Jr’s character. She is pregnant with their first child and the baby is due in a few days.
Her husband is rushing against the clock to be at the birth but, unfortunately for him, bumps into aspiring actor Ethan and things go downhill from there. The pair share misadventure after misadventure, while Monaghan’s role throughout the film is one of encouragement, which sees her eagerly anticipating her husband’s arrival.
6. Eagle Eye (2008)
Monaghan plays Rachel Holloman in Eagle Eye alongside Shia LaBeouf of Transformers fame. Her character is a single mother whose son’s life has been threatened by a mysterious voice on her mobile phone. She finds herself running through the city alongside LaBeouf’s character eventually headed for the Pentagon where the real action and more sub plots are revealed.
7. Trucker (2008)
Monoghan plays a long haul truck driver who spends her days drinking vodka and having one night stands, but her care-free life suddenly grinds to a halt when her ex-husband lands her with their 10 year old son, while he gets treated for cancer. It was chosen by critic Roger Ebert as one of his top 10 independent films of 2009. Monoghan actually learned to drive a truck for the role, meaning filmmakers could use actual footage of her driving.
8. Penthouse North (2013)
Starring alongside Michael Keaton in this 2013 thriller, Monaghan plays a blinded ex photo-journalist, who, after the murder of her boyfriend, is tormented by a dangerous criminal (Keaton). With most of the action taking place within the penthouse, this violent thriller shows Monoghan at her best, playing a conflicted character overcoming her perceived vulnerability.
9. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Directed by Ben Affleck and starring his brother Casey, this American mystery thriller was nominated for a host of awards. Monoghan stars opposite Affleck as two private detectives who search for missing children in the criminal underworld.