Last Sunday saw the marvellous Juno Temple pick up BAFTA’s Rising Star Award, joining the likes of previous winners and now established A-list stars Tom Hardy, Kristen Stewart and Shia LeBeouf. At the tender age of 23 she already has a staggering array of excellent films under her belt including her breakout Notes on a Scandal, Atonement, Cracks, Kaboom, The Dark Knight Rises and last year’s finger lickin’ Killer Joe, where she arguably delivered her finest performance yet. She beat off tough competition including Elizabeth Olsen and Alicia Vikander for the coveted win, but beyond the elite few lucky enough to have been picked out by BAFTA for the award there’s a whole plethora of exciting young talent on our screens at present. Here’s our list of the 20 Best and Brightest to look out for in the coming year.
From What? Community
Why Them? It would be unfair of me to single out just one of the excellent Community cast as they’re all rising stars in themselves (my girl, Gillian Jacobs) but Donald Glover has that extra spark to him. Perhaps it’s because of his most recent appearance in Girls where it was such a shock to the system not seeing him play an adolescent adult as he does Troy Barnes in Community, and also in the hilarious and under seen Mystery Team. He was playing it straight, and held his own alongside on-screen girlfriend Lena Dunham. An infectious comedic performer, he’s also a great actor – and writer – too, and that’s why he will go far.
Where Next? Indie rom com The To Do List and he’s in talks for a possible sitcom at NBC based loosely on his life
From What? Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Bridge to Terabithia
Why Them? It may be on the small screen, but she’s just landed her biggest role to date in The Carrie Diaries, playing a young Carrie Bradshaw in The CW’s prequel to Sex and The City. The show itself may be innocuous and by the numbers, but it looks great and Robb is just a delight to watch. It’s taken over the gap left by Gossip Girl which made a big star of its leading blonde, Blake Lively, and there’s plenty of time for Robb to grow into an edgier, more mature actress and achieve the same kind of success, plus she already has a number of big film vehicles to ride on the back of.
Where Next? More Carrie Diaries, plus The Way Way Back and animated film Khumba where she voices the titular zebra
From What? The Tree of Life
Why Them? Terrence Malick’s existential nature versus nature film from 2011 wasn’t everybody’s slice of cake, but one thing all viewers could agree on was the remarkable debut performance of Tye Sheridan as the eldest son of Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain. The film worked best when it focused on the domestic drama and menacing undercurrent between father and son in the 1950s, and Sheridan’s range and deftness of character at such a young age was a triumph, and a marvel to watch. This is one actor who, with very little to go on his CV, is already destined to succeed.
Where Next? Jeff Nichols’ Mud, which I personally can’t wait for, and drama Joe with Nicolas Cage
From What? Ruby Sparks
Why Them? She’s a writer and actress not just on screen but off it too, having appeared on Broadway in plays such as The Seagull and A Behanding in Spokane and having written her own staged plays, too. After a few small roles in film, she finally broke through last year with quirky meta rom com Ruby Sparks, where she both starred as Ruby and wrote the screenplay. It’s a lovely, clever film but only amplified by Kazan, who brings her project to life and charms in every scene – and persona – she’s in. She’ll be a shining star in years to come, but don’t always be looking for in front of the camera.
Where Next? FOUR films out this year: Some Girl(s), The F Word, In Your Eyes and The Pretty One
From What? The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Hugo
Why Them? There are good child actors, and then there are sublime ones who jump from one huge project to the next with an escalating brilliance which is quite breath-taking. Asa Butterfield is one of those rare breeds, taking the lead role in the devastating The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas at just 10 years old, and then just three years later working with Martin Scorsese in the acclaimed and Oscar nominated Hugo. And he’s British too! A unique talent who brings surprising amounts of depth to his roles, beyond his years. Has he even done his GCSEs yet?!
Where Next? The big screen adaptation of sci-fi classic Ender’s Game, where he again heads the cast
From What? America’s Next Top Model, Crazy Stupid Love
Why Them? Now here’s a proper success story from the long running Tyra Banks saturated Top Model series – and it’s not a supermodel they’ve produced but a brilliant young actress in Cycle 11’s third place finisher Analeigh Tipton. She was a fan favourite with her Bambi eyes and awkward beauty and took some amazing photos, and did sign up to Ford Models once the show was over. But now she is studying film, and has made a big impression on the big screen so far, snagging bigger and bigger roles. She always manages to stand out in whatever she’s doing, and it won’t be long before she’s carrying the films themselves.
Where Next? She’s currently starring in Warm Bodies which is out now, and upcoming there’s One Square Mile and Two Night Stand
From What? Chronicle, In Treatment
Why Them? Touted as the new Leonardo Di Caprio, people will soon forget they even made that comparison when Dane DeHaan becomes a household name in his own right. Following a spell on HBO’S In Treatment, he made his film breakthrough fairly late in age to some others on my list, in last year’s surprise teen hit Chronicle, which has led to a bevy of prime film roles which will mean we’re going to see a lot more of this young man over the coming months. A fine actor made more interesting for his penchant for darker, punchier character roles.
Where Next? An impressive trilogy of Kill Your Darlings, The Place Beyond the Pines and The Amazing Spider-man 2, where he will play Harry Osborne
From What? Pretty Little Liars
Why Them? I had to get one of my beloved liars in there, and whilst I think Troian Bellisario (who plays Spencer) is a star in the making, I’ve plumped for my guilty favourite Hanna, played by Ashley Benson. She’s not only completely endearing as the scatty but fierce blonde, but she has the ability to make me both laugh with her comic one-liners and burst into tears with her earnest vulnerability. She’s just beginning to make her mark in the film world, and her many fans already garnered can only propel her forward.
Where Next? Harmony Korine’s bonkers Spring Breakers and Paranoia with Harrison Ford, plus more A hunting on Pretty Little Liars
From What? Fright Night (2011), Terminator: Salvation
Why Them? I first noticed Anton Yelchin in Brett Ratner’s segment in New York, I Love You – one of the more memorable vignettes from an otherwise sub-par “sequel” to the beautiful Paris Je T’aime. And I knew he was someone to watch instantly – there’s a shy but beguiling intensity to him, and he can easily navigate between the big films of the Terminator and Star Trek franchises to smaller, more personal films such as Like Crazy, where he really shines. For such an impressive resume, he’s the one I have been most amazed to find out his age – a meagre 23!
Where Next? Star Trek Into Darkness this Summer, and then Jim Jarmusch’s next film Only Lovers Left Alive
From What? Mad Men
Why Them? I wanted to pick a very young actress for my list, and it was a close run thing between Kiernan Shipka and Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams. But I’ve gone for Shipka as, despite the richness and glamour of her fellow characters on Mad Men, her little Sally Draper has always commanded attention and she is just getting more and more interesting by the episode – this Spring’s Season 6 could hold very big things for this extraordinarily talented teenager. Plus she was great fun playing herself on the short-lived (sob, sob) Don’t Trust The B— in Apartment 23.
Where Next? More Mad Men on AMC, and she also stars in Sundance pick Very Good Girls
From What? City of Ember, Fish Tank
Why Them? It’s always difficult to separate twins, but that’s what I’ve done here, picking Harry over the slightly older Luke (sorry Luke). But I’ve always been more drawn to Harry’s choices of film, as diverse as children’s sci-fi fantasy City of Ember, alongside Saoirse Ronan, to big British drama such as Control and Fish Tank (where he’s a powerful supporting role) to comedy Cockneys vs. Zombies. His next couple of films may just hurdle him into the big league, and deservedly so – if he can repeatedly catch my eye during viewings, then it won’t be long before he’s drawing in Hollywood, too.
Where Next? Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger alongside Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, and the Jeff Buckley biopic Mystery White Boy
From What? Parks and Recreation, Safety Not Guaranteed
Why Them? There are many actresses in the indie world right now doing sterling work, but Aubrey Plaza has one up on all of them – she is wickedly funny. A constant favourite for her dead-pan delivery on NBC’s Parks and Recreations, she has the talent to transition into film effortlessly but the smartness not to sell out at the same time, which is why I think she’s a special actress to watch out for. Her projects so far have been fresh and interesting, and she continually chooses to work with gifted and funny individuals, such as my list opener Donald Glover.
Where Next? The To Do List (snap), and ensemble extravaganzas 10 Years and A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
From What? X-Men: First Class, Antiviral
Why Them? I wasn’t the biggest fan of Brandon Cronenberg’s body horror fame obsession debut film, but what I came out of it thinking (more than I HATE NEEDLES) was the terrifically visceral performance by Caleb Landry Jones. Interesting to look at, even more interesting to watch – he brought a fearlessness to the role that I just couldn’t shake off, and had to include him on the list. I’m absolutely fascinated to see how he transforms into the X-Men franchise, but I also hope he continues to seek out weird and challenging roles as I think he’s made for it.
Where Next? X-Men: Days of Future Past (though not strictly official yet) and vampire flick Byzantium.He’s also, VERY excitingly for me, just joined the cast of Xavier Dolan’s next film Tom à la Ferme
From What? Girls, Mad Men
Why Them? Just as Pretty Little Liars, I had to highlight one of the Girls to potential stardom, and out of all of them Zosia Mamet’s ditzy and loveable Shoshanna is by far my favourite, and to my eyes, criminally underused by Lena Dunham. I think it’s the contrast here to her bold and savvy character in Mad Men which made me realise just how good Mamet is and her skills in embodying each personality. And I’m not the only one to have noticed – the daughter of the famous playwright will be making big waves soon.
Where Next? Girls has just been commissioned for a third series by HBO, and she also has fantasy movie The Last Keepers out this year
From What? What Richard Did
Why Them? The Irish actor (though technically born in the US) was unbelievably good in the recent dramaWhat Richard Did as the titular character wracked by grief after a moment of recklessness rocks his small community. His inevitable rise to fame has come somewhat early though, as Michael Bay has snapped him up to be the “new” Shia LeBeouf and the lead in his new Transformers sequel. Quite a departure from a powerful, domestic drama set in Dublin to a multibillion dollar action bonanza, but I have high hopes Reynor isn’t walking into a typecast situation and will remain true to his roots.
Where Next? That biggie, Transformers 4, alongside Mark Wahlberg and The Delivery Man, the American remake of Starbuck
From What? Like Crazy, Chalet Girl
Why Them? Slightly bias here (hey, it’s a list of 20 people, I can afford to have one as a personal pick!), but I adore Felicity Jones and will watch her in anything and I’m hoping 2013 will be the year everyone else starts to take notice, too. From her bright eyed days as Ethel in The Worst Witch, she’s come far with roles in Cemetery Junction, Hysteria, Brit teen flick Chalet Girl but most notably in last year’s Like Crazy when she was brutally brilliant playing a British student who outstays her visa to stay with her American boyfriend (Anton Yelchin, who also makes this list… yes, yes I’m just trying to make you all go out and watch Like Crazy). She’s just delightful, and instead of me waiting and telling you so when she makes it big, I’m letting you all know now.
Where Next? Teaming up with director Drake Doremus again for Breathe In, she will also star in Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman, and next year’s The Amazing Spider-man 2
From What? The Impossible
Why Them? This is a very recent choice, having only seen The Impossible last month but it had a major impact on me, and not least for the staggering debut performance of this young lad, Tom Holland, who’s barely just started his two year course at acting school (clearly not that he needs it). He more than shone when up against Naomi Watts in the tsunami disaster film, and his work earned him two huge merits – the National Board of Review’s Breakthrough Actor award, and the London Film Critics Circle’s Young British Performer of the Year for 2012. Remember his name!
Where Next? Kevin Macdonald’s How I Live Now, an adaptation of the Meg Rosoff young adult novel with Saoirse Ronan
From What? Suburgatory
Why Them? One of the hidden comedic gems of the current US Network slate, ABC’s quirky sitcomSuburgatory has made a star out of its lead actress Jane Levy, who plays wise-cracking teen Tessa Altman. She’s whip smart and calls her dad (Jeremy Sisto) by his first name George, but for all the potential annoyance of a character that obnoxious, Levy is likeable, funny and you absolutely root for her. It’s a strong footing as she begins to get her film career off the ground, where she’ll both easily excel in comedy, drama and – well, horror…
Where Next? She has the lead role in the upcoming remake of The Evil Dead, which actually looks pretty darn fantastic. She’s also just signed onto thriller In A Dark Place
From What? Girls, J Edgar, Lincoln
Why Them? His film roles have been small, but it’s been his performance as Adam in Girls as Hannah (Lena Dunham)’s on-off slightly sociopathic boyfriend that has brought him to my, and many others, attention. His character is so surly and infuriating, but Driver manages to give him this softness and dependency that makes him so complex, utterly watchable and an invaluable part of the show – he’s strong enough to be a lead alongside the four main girls. Just like many others on my list who are conquering television, the films are now beginning to roll in so watch this superb young actor flourish.
Where Next? The Coen Brothers new film Inside Llewyn Davis, and Noah Baumbach’s eagerly anticipated Frances Ha
From What? Skins, Wuthering Heights
Why Them? It would be crazy for me not to include one of the many young stars of E4’s adolescent dramaSkins in this list – and we can all see how well Nicholas Hoult is doing for himself these days! But his former female co-star may just be about to join him up there. Kaya Scodelairo played Effy in the long-running teen phenomenon, but has now made the jump to films with appearances in Now is Good but more prominently as Kathy in Andrea Arnold’s raw and lush re-telling of Wuthering Heights. She has both film and TV work in her near future, proving she’s not rushing off to Hollywood just yet, but A-list stardom can only be around the corner.
Where Next? She leads the Sundance selected Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes and will also star in the upcoming C4 drama miniseries Southcliffe
Kate McCall – @_culturemouse