Born in Hungary, but raised in the U.S., Eszter Balint began acting on-stage with the Squat Theater in childhood. As an adult, Balint gained a favorable reputation among independent filmmakers such as Jim Jarmusch, for whom she made her feature-film debut in Stranger Than Paradise (1984) and Chantal Akerman. She also played a small role in Woody Allen's Shadows and Fog (1992). In 1996, she appeared in actor Steve Buscemi's directorial debut, Trees Lounge, in a role he designed especially for her. After production, Balint moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music.