Born in Vilnius in Lithuania and graduating in Theatre Studies from the Lithuanian State Conservatory, she is one of the most talented actresses from former Soviet Union. Her fame was consecrated in the films Tsiniki (1991) and Katya Ismailova (1994), for which she won Best Actress Award at the Geneva International Film Festival and the Russian Film Academy Award (NIKA) for Best Female Performance. For Nikita Mikhalkovs Utomlyonnye solntsem ( Burnt by the Sun, 1994) she won the Best Female Performance prize from the Moscow Critics Association. She starred in De Palmas Mission : Impossibile (1996), in Annauds Seven Years in Tibet (1997), and then in Aleksandr Zeldovichs Moskva ( Moscow), presented at the Venice Film Festival in the SIC program line in 2000. In 2003, she starred in Emily Youngs Kiss of Life, presented in Cannes, where, in the same year, she was a member of the Cinéfondation jury and of the short film section. In 2004, she appeared in Stéphane Vuillets 25 dégrés en hiver, winner of the Publikumspreis at the Berlin Film Festival. In 2009, she appeared in Christian Carions Laffaire Farewell. She combines her film work with theatre, sharing the stage with John Malkovich in Slip of the Tongue: she performed in Cloaca at the Old Vic Theatre under Kevin Spaceys artistic direction. She continues to appear in films and TV productions, as well as performing on the London stage.