Jodhi May's primary influence as a child was her godfather, Alain Poiré, who produced the epic French films "Jean de Florette" and "Manon des Sources". It is telling that those stories feature a young girl named Manon who always teeters on the brink between a kind of sublime innocence and wild abandon, because Jodhi May has made a career of playing just such characters. At the age of 12, May became the youngest recipient ever to win a Cannes Best Actress award, for her part as Molly Roth in the anti-apartheid drama "A World Apart". In the film, her character emerges from the cocoon of self-absorbed youth to realize the power of activism. May took time out from acting to get a master's in English literature at Oxford, but when she returned, her attraction to such characters--initially passive women simmering with potential energy--was still evident. As Alice Munro in the French and Indian War epic "The Last of the Mohicans", May was the quiet younger sister, always on the periphery of the action until she is pushed too far by the forces pursuing them and makes a stunning act of defiance, perhaps the most poignant one of the film. Jodhi May has shown similar range in her stage roles. At the age of 18, she played the incestuous killer Lea Papin in "Sister My Sister", and in 2010, she played a woman with a psychiatric disorder in "Polar Bears".