updated 09/03/2009 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/04/2009 AT 7:10 AM ET
Meet Shia LaBeouf’s new leading lady – both on and off screen.
Carey Mulligan, 24, who hails from England, has been spotted cuddling and kissing the Transformers star in N.Y.C., where the two have been filming Oliver Stone’s Wall Street sequel, Money Never Sleeps.
“They seemed very, very happy,” says an onlooker of the couple, who enjoyed a low-key lunch Aug. 23 at a sidewalk café in Greenwich Village. “They were talking, laughing and smiling and seemed very close.” Reps for both actors could not be reached for comment.
In addition to her budding romance with LaBeouf, here are five things to know about the British actress as she makes her mark in Hollywood:
1. She got her big break in Pride & Prejudice:
Mulligan landed the role of Kitty Bennet alongside Keira Knightley with the help of her school headmistress. “I wrote to [her] explaining that I didn’t want to go to university and wanted to get in touch with [Julian Fellowes],” Mulligan told the Telegraph in November 2007. Fellowes, a British actor and screenwriter, became her mentor and tipped her off that director Joe Wright was looking for unknown young actresses for his film.
2. Home for her isn’t just one country:
Her father, a hotel manager, moved the family when she was 3 from London to Germany, where she discovered a love for acting. “My brother and I were at the International School of Düsseldorf, and they did these amazing, lavish productions,” she recalled for the The Independent. “They did The King and I, and my brother was cast as one of the little kids. My mother and I went to watch the rehearsals, and I burst into tears because I wasn’t in it so the director let me in.”