An Irish-born pop star turned actress who ignited the screen with her role as a primitive future-world inhabitant in The Time Machine (2002), Samantha Mumba shot to the top of the top of the U.K. charts with the release of her debut album, Gotta Tell You, and soon after seemed poised to translate her success into a film career regardless of her refusal to succumb to typical trappings of other teen divas attempting the leap from stage to screen. Born in Dublin in 1983, Mumba began her career grooming early on when her parents enrolled her in that city's renowned Billy Barry Stage School at the tender age of three. Educated alongside some of Ireland's most prominent pop stars (including Brian from the teen singing group Westlife, whom Mumba formed a close friendship with), the soulful-voiced beauty abandoned her education in pursuit of fame at age 17 and never looked back. A chance encounter with famed talent manager Louis Walsh found Mumba stretching the truth to impress the impresario (she told him that she was an R&B singer from New York who was preparing to record her debut album), and it wasn't long before Walsh was courting the aspiring pop princess to sign on the dotted line. Soon gaining positive critical notice for both television appearances and her role in a jazzy 1998 production of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Hot Mikado, Mumba recorded Gotta Tell You shortly thereafter and was on her way to international stardom. Though virtually unknown stateside, all of that would change when she starred opposite Guy Pearce and Jeremy Irons in the cinematic remake of author H.G. Welles' influential novel The Time Machine. Refusing to bow to the stereotypical musical-oriented roles that most teen pop divas clamor to, Mumba was curiously insistent that her cinematic career and singing career remain clearly distinguished and unconnected.