Born March 22, 1971 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Iben Hjejle (pronounced "EE-ben YI-luh" - as yike) spent most of her childhood in Denmark, although she went to Massachussets as au pair for a year during her teens.
Soon after studying acting at The National Theatre School of Denmark, Iben (called "Pølse" among friends) had her debut in director Niels Arden-Oplev's short Naked (1991), which gained critical acclaim.
The big break came with Portland (also Niels Arden-Oplev), a road movie about an ex-convict. From then on, it went fast for Iben, with many roles in various Danish productions, leading to Søren Kragh-Jacobsen's Dogme 95 movie Mifune's Last Song
The young actress has a very comfortable scene presence, that combined with her "unadorned good looks" and talent makes a first choice for many a Danish movie. Recently, she has started appearing in American movies, with High Fidelity as her breakthrough, speaking English fluently.
She is selecting her roles because of the stories, "I say yes to the good story; the kind of manuscripts that I can't put down again. [...] I thought it would be a bit much to cross the pond just to be in some blockbuster."
Iben was in Dreaming of Julia last year, with Harvey Keitel and others, but unfortunately, the movie folded due to lack of funding (though it was finished).
After the failure of Dreaming of Julia, she has been in The Emperor's New Clothes, with Ian Holm's 3rd performance as Napoleon Bonaparte, which luckily succeeded. In the movie, Iben falls in love with him, "He is very, very enamoring. He's the biggest charmer, even though he's over 70."
Sources: IMDB, Google, All Movie Guide, Hollywood.com, CinemaZone.dk, liveforever.