Brit Marling

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Chloé’s cotton jersey dress.

Brit Marling

Wall Street is an unlikely breeding ground for film-festival darlings. But Brit Marling, who spent a summer interning at Goldman Sachs, turned down the investment bank’s postcollege job offer to pursue acting. “I got to a point where it didn’t feel right. I could feel the light in me becoming dimmer,” says the 27-year-old Georgetown University grad. “It sounds dramatic, but I thought, This is a matter of life or death.” The choice paid off: Her performances in the Sundance hits Another Earth and Sound of My Voice, both of which she also cowrote and produced, earned Marling accolades and triple-threat status. In the former, out this summer, Marling plays an M.I.T. student who accidentally kills a woman and her child with her car but finds a shot at redemption on a planet of human doppelgängers. The latter casts her as Maggie, a cult leader who believes she’s from the future. Still, Marling’s film career hasn’t been all smooth sailing. “What people ask of you is that you do bad movies that don’t matter, and if you wade through that swamp you eventually get to be part of stories that mean something,” she says. “Nobody says to a surgeon, ‘Part of paying your dues is to remove kidneys illegally and sell them on the black market.’ I can’t think of another profession where losing your morality is part of the job.”

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