By People Staff
April 20, 1998 12:00 PM

Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia doesn’t buy the media comparisons of her to pop’s Snit Girl, Alanis Morissette. Sure, Imbruglia’s worldwide hit “Torn” oozes angst. “But come on,” she says over lunch in London, where she lives. “I’m not that angry.”

Nor should she be. Propelled by “Torn,” her debut album Left of the Middle entered Billboard’s chart at No. 10 last month, making her as hot as the sun-scorched Outback. But this isn’t her first brush with fame. Between 1992 and 1994, Imbruglia, 23, starred on the Aussie soap Neighbours before moving to London and, in 1996, temporarily to Los Angeles to work on her album. There she dated Friends star David Schwimmer. “All I’ll say is I went out with somebody, and I’m not going out with them anymore,” she says. Her friend, Australian actress Kate Gorman, is more forthcoming: “When I asked her why they split up, she simply said, ‘He wasn’t the one.’ That doesn’t surprise me about Nat. If it wasn’t right, then she wouldn’t continue with it.”

The second of four daughters born to a businessman turned parking policeman and a teacher in the New South Wales town of Berkeley Vale, Imbruglia began studying acting at Sydney’s McDonald Performing Arts College in 1991 and moved to Melbourne the following year to join the cast of Neighbours. For now, though, the only drama in her life is her dizzying success. “Everything new is going to be scary,” she says. “I just have to be patient with myself and let it take its course.”