How quickly we forgive or forget. Tom Cruise was considered a box office poison when his personal life overwhelmed his career, and he’s had a string of box office disappointments. In fact, 2010 saw Cruise in Knight and Day, which unperformed and felt barely released. But word is good on his next Mission: Impossible movie, and so Cruise is a star again. He’s now signed to play Jack Reacher in Christopher McQuarrie’s One Shot, and his leading lady has been found: Rosamund Pike.

Pike had a big breakout role in the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day, but it led to some less-than-great roles in films like Doom, Fracture, Surrogates, and other films with more than one word in the title. But though it was Carey Mulligan who got all the award attention, Pike was excellent in An Education, and that led to more work and a renewed interest in the actress.

But this casting also points out that the pool of young actresses is small, and for intelligent late 20′s/early 30′s types, they often go to England. Recently we saw Gemma Arterton get a number of high profile roles in American films only to not connect. Hayley Atwell (recently in Captain America) will probably get the same treatment – in fact she was one of the other actresses up for the One Shot lead. This is Pike’s time (again), we’ll see if it sticks.

Who’s your favorite current British actress?