Briem was born, into a Reykjavik, Iceland, show business family. Her father, Gunnlaugur Briem, played drums for the prominent Icelandic jazz-funk band Mezzoforte, while her mother worked as a backup vocalist. She developed an early fascination with self-defense arts and acting and earned her first professional thespian work at age nine with The National Theatre of Iceland. She went on to cut her teeth as a child actor in television, radio, and commercial work in the small island nation. But, with the ceiling limited there, the family moved to London when Anita was 16 to immerse her in a more active arts culture. Three years later, the venerable Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) accepted her as a student. A three-year hitch saw her focus largely on stage acting and hone her self-defense arts, including a proficiency at weaponry. The latter earned her a distinguished RADA accolade, the John Barton Award for Stage Fighting, when she graduated. She cut her teeth in the U.K. market with some theatrical work, including a role in the West End production of "Losing Louis" in 2005, and guest-shots on British TV.Shifting into features, she played an innocent possessed by a murderous nun in the low-budget horror flick "La Monja" ("The Nun") (2005), and followed that with another white-knuckle thriller, the Iceland-set "Köld slóo." Briem decided to take a shot at the U.S. market and almost immediately secured a plum job as a cast member on an American primetime series. She joined an estimable cast that included joined Orlando Jones, Rob Estes and Martin Landau on ABC's San Francisco-set police procedural drama "The Evidence" (1996). Unfortunately, the show never found an audience amid the cluttered genre and lasted only four episodes, but it landed Briem on Hollywood's radar. After many rounds of auditions, she won a chance to put her athletic skills to work in the 2008 remake of "Journey to the Center of the Earth." She took the female lead as Brendan Fraser's feisty, athletic mountain guide in the ill-received summer 3-D CGI showcase based on the Jules Verne classic.Also that year, Briem joined the second season of "The Tudors" as one in the succession of ill-fated wives of Henry VIII, Lady Jane Seymour. As the third spouse in Henry's relentless efforts to produce a male heir, her arc was to extend halfway through the show's third season. But owing to, by varied reports, either scheduling conflicts or Briem's unwillingness to appear nude per the series' bawdy nature, producers replaced her between seasons, and Season 3 commenced with Annabelle Wallis in the role. In 2010, Briem married fellow actor and sometimes director Dean Paraskevopoulos. Also that year, she returned to genre fare as the client/romantic interest to ghoul-hunting private eye Brandon Routh in a new American adaptation of the offbeat Italian comic book hero, "Dylan Dog: Dead of Night." Briem tacked into a sequence of indie films starting with the little-seen American-shot comedy "Everything Will Happen Before You Die" (2010), followed by the nervy ensemble thriller helmed by Norwegian director Stig Svendsen, "Elevator" (2011), and the indie rumination on the ups and downs of romance "You, Me & the Circus" (2012). By Matthew Grimm
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