She garnered a reputation as an action star following an appearance as a vampire in 2003's Underworld and has since starred in Van Helsing (2004), Underworld: Evolution (2006) and Whiteout (2009). She has also continued to work on smaller independent projects such as Snow Angels (2007), Winged Creatures (2008), Nothing But the Truth (for which she earned a Critic's Choice Award nomination in 2008) and Everybody's Fine (2009). She has three films set for release in 2012: the fourth installment of vampire franchise Underworld: Awakening, crime thriller Contraband and sci-fi remake Total Recall.
She has also worked occasionally as a model in television and print campaigns to promote Gap denim, Diet Coke, Absolut Vodka and Lux shampoo. Publications such as Esquire and People Magazine have repeatedly included her in their annual rankings of the world's sexiest and most beautiful women.
She is the only child of actors Richard Beckinsale (1947–1979) and Judy Loe and was raised in London, England. She had an eight-year relationship with Welsh actor Michael Sheen from 1995 until 2003. Their daughter, Lily Mo Sheen, was born in London, England in 1999. She married American film director Len Wiseman in 2004 and they live in Los Angeles, California.