Twenty years ago, Hollywood studios had a strict formula for their casting, directing, and production roles. Rather than investing in innovation and new faces, major films were assigned to major celebrities, and upstart actors and actresses were stuck with minor roles, indie films, and otherwise unknown opportunities.
Oh, how things have changed. The most successful film of 2010 – James Cameron’s Avatar – drew success without a major actor in the leading role. Besides Sigourney Weaver’s supporting presence, the film – one of the biggest of all time – was almost completely devoid of star-power. It’s clear that audiences have grown tired of the same old acting talent, and are demanding a new wave of Hollywood stars.
These ten rising stars and ambitious Hollywood upstarts are the ones filling those shoes. From 50-year-old Austrian unknowns to 20-something American natives, this new wave of actors, actresses, and multi-purpose filmmakers are destined to be the big stars of tomorrow. If you’ve grown tired of stale A-list acting talent, invest in these names and enjoy the entertainment returns.
Known for her role as Cerie Xerox in NBC’s 30 Rock, Katrina Bowden has displayed more than just her great looks on-screen. Despite her relatively small role in 30 Rock, she’s managed to pick up major parts in three upcoming movies, and even a cool role in Fall Out Boy’s latest music video.
While it’s easy to write Katrina off as another Hollywood blonde barbie doll, there’s certainly more to her than meets the eye. This successful actress and model is known just as much for her fun on-screen quips and quick dialogue on 30 Rock as she is for her looks.
What’s a 54 year old Austrian TV actor doing alongside a bunch of 20-somethings? Christoph Waltz may not fit the age profile of most other up-and-coming Hollywood celebrities, but he certainly outdoes them when it comes to pure acting skill. After his incredible performance as Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 World War II epic Inglourious Basterds, Waltz picked up universal acclaim from the mainstream press, film critics, and Hollywood’s many awards ceremonies.
Despite his relatively late success, Christoph Waltz is no Hollywood slouch. The ultra-skilled polyglot and actor is on the radar for almost every major Hollywood studio, and is reportedly turning down offers like no one’s business.
Gilmore Girls co-star Matt Czuchry is long overdue for his Hollywood breakthrough. A supporting character on the ultra-popular teenage TV show, Czuchry has starred in a range of low budget comedies, almost none of which have cracked into the major marketers.
However, despite his lack of major Hollywood successes, Czuchry possesses some acting chops that are destined to take him far. With his bad boy charm and surprisingly young looks (Czuchry is 32 years old) this versatile actor can take on almost any role, from high school student to yuppie professional.
After being “discovered” by a casting agent during an elementary school play, Kristen Stewart has grown to become one of young Hollywood’s most impressive acting upstarts. Her 2002 role in the David Fincher thriller Panic Room established her as a bankable child star, and her subsequent performances in teen hits Twilight and New Moon have made her a lasting performer.
Set to renew her role in the upcoming Twilight film Eclipse, Kristen is reportedly enjoying her new-found success. A Los Angeles native, this show business upstart is looking towards a long-lasting acting career.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s road into acting is miraculous, even by Hollywood standards. After deciding on a whim to audition for the 2007 comedy Superbad, Christopher dragged his high school friends along to his audition, and even took his glamour shots with a cellphone camera.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s co-star in Superbad, Michael Cera is well-known amongst cult TV fans for his role as George Michael Bluth in Arrested Development. After the under-appreciated TV show’s cancellation, Cera has moved onto major Hollywood films, starring in Superbad, Juno, and the upcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Cera’s dry wit and nerdish charm has clearly caught the world by storm. Despite fears of being typecast, this smart and business savvy young actor appears to be forging a long-term Hollywood career.
22-year-old Ellen Page has been taking Hollywood by storm since age 18. Her role in 2005?s Hard Candyadded strength and depth to the young actress’s resume, and made her a bankable star not just for indie comedies, but psychological thrillers and veryserious dramas. After starring in a number of successful films, Page got her big break in the 2007 indie hit Juno.
Three years later, Ellen Page is acting as steadily as ever. Her most recent picture, Whip It, features Page delivering a convincing and powerful performance beside Drew Barrymore.
This Australian actor was a virtual unknown until he was cast in the leading role in 2010?s biggest movie: James Cameron’s Avatar.Delivering an awesome performance as the disgruntled and sensitive marine Jake Sully, Worthington managed to bring life to a part that wasn’t exactly blooming with emotion.
It’s difficult to think of a sci-fi character more iconic than James T. Kirk. Maybe Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker can compare, but few other characters even come close. While most Star Trek fans hold William Shatner’s decades-long portrayal of the Enterprise captain the definitive performance, Chris Pine’s 2009 role definitely deserves some credit.
After his notable Star Trek success, Chris Pine is set to take on the role of Jack Ryan, a character that’s previous been played by Hollywood legends Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, and Harrison Ford.
Australian-born but American-based actress Mia Wasikowska has enjoyed some remarkable recent success. Following a string of TV-based roles, she was given the title role in Tim Burton’s latest cinema creation – Alice In Wonderland.
Following her work with the dark and artistic cult director, she’s set to work with well-known director Gus Van Sant on a new project.