Mena Suvari had originally considered becoming an astronaut before Wilhelmina Modeling Agency came to her school offering modeling classes, effectively saving her from a life of drinking Tang and peeing in space diapers.
Suvari soon ventured into acting with guest appearances on ER and Boy Meets World. She appeared alongside Natasha Lyonne, whom she would later co-star with in the American Pie movies, in the 1998 independent film Slums of Beverly Hills alongside Marisa Tomei.
Suvari hit it big in 1999’s American Beauty, bringing to the silver screen that awkward moment when you realize your best friend’s dad likes you more than he probably should. Yes, Thora Birch did reveal her larger teen boobs in the movie but Suvari’s portrayal of a teenage vixen earned her a Screen Actor’s Guild award and forever changed the way red-blooded men everywhere think of bathtubs and rose petals.