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Carole Segal/AMC

With the lead role on a buzzed-about drama and two big movies on the horizon, Mireille Enos is the toast of Hollywood.

Mireille Enos has reassuring words for viewers of AMC’s The Killing who felt cheated by season one’s cliff-hanger finale, which was conspicuously missing an answer to the show’s central question: Who killed Rosie Larsen? “They’ll be so glad it’s not over,” promises Enos, who plays lead detective Sarah Linden. “If we had ended it in the first season, it would have denied the audience this amazing ride the second season is going to take them on.”

Enos has been on quite a ride of her own of late. Married to actor Alan Ruck, with whom she has an 18-month-old daughter, the actress is enjoying living in Vancouver, British Columbia, where The Killing films, and playing a role unlike any she’s had before. “I came from theater, so I got to play really complex people,” she says. “But on TV, you get to live with characters for years. You can pace yourself.”

Born in Kansas City, Mo., and raised in Houston, Enos and her three older siblings all were creative, prompting their mother to enroll them in performing-arts magnet schools. The experience fostered in Enos a love of theater and dance. After that, she says, “there was never anything else I wanted? to do.”

The desire to perform eventually led Enos to roles on Big Love and CSI: Miami, among other shows. Late this year, she’ll venture into full-length feature films with two big-budget projects. First up is The Gangster Squad, a mob picture due out in October that finds her opposite Josh Brolin. “It is this amazing cast of men,” she says of the film, which stars Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Nick Nolte in addition to Brolin. Come December, she’ll play wife to Brad Pitt in World War Z, a zombie-apocalypse flick. “It’s a big zombie movie, but it’s also so much more,” she says.
Until then, Enos has a murder to solve. “With the reaction at the end of last season, I’m really excited for it to be on the air and to hook people back in,” she says. “The stakes jump, like, a hundred times.”