Malin Akerman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1978, but her European life turned a surprising corner when she and her family packed up and moved to Canada before her third birthday. Akerman’s ravishing looks seemed harbingers of a successful acting and modeling career, and indeed, at five years old she began to snag a myriad of commercials and small acting roles. Her popularity and recognition was boosted by a win of the Ford Supermodel of Canada search at age 17, and she was soon tackling print and runway work across Europe, followed by an enrollment in York University in Toronto. In 2001, the actress moved to Los Angeles and secured almost instant representation. She landed a series of guest spots on TV shows including Entourage, Doc and Witchblade, as well as a regular role as Juna on the short-lived but critically acclaimed HBO comedy The Comeback, with Lisa Kudrow. She also had a memorable bit part in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) as the attractive wife, Liane, of a disgusting truck driver known only as Freakshow (Christopher Meloni).
Akerman achieved her first major acting coup when she signed on as one of the leads in the Farrelly Brothers’ remake The Heartbreak Kid (2007), a comedy about a dissatisfied fortysomething newlywed named Eddie (Ben Stiller) who jilts his wife, Lila, only a few days into his honeymoon and instead snags a feisty and independent young free spirit named Miranda. In what seemed to those familiar with the 1971 film like a surprising casting choice, the Farrellys selected the alluring blonde Akerman to play not Miranda (as might be expected) but Lila — a character no longer dowdy (or Jewish) in their hands. That same year, Akerman also essayed a part in the gag-laden comedy The Brothers Solomon, about a couple of socially impaired losers (Will Arnett, Will Forte) desperate to find a woman to have their baby.