March 13th, 2013
Last year was a career achievement for Jennifer Lawrence, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway. All three starred in a line-up of critically-acclaimed films and box office blockbusters. Two of them even went on to win Oscars at last month’s Academy Awards.
A new year gives the opportunity for fresh faces to become breakout stars and already established actors to go to the next level of their careers. Below are my predictions of five actors who will emerge as this year’s defining stars in film.
1. Shailene Woodley
The next two years are shaping up to be major for the star of The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The fifth and final season of the teen drama is ending this year, paving the way for Woodley to focus on her film career. Television stars usually struggle to transition into film. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Claire Danes have made attempts in the past, but always ended up back on the small screens.
Woodley is proving to be an exception. Ever since her breakout performance in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, the 21-year-old has been collecting coveted roles and films. She won the lead role in the teen trilogy, Divergent, and the role of Peter Parker’s red-haired girlfriend, Mary Jane, in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. To maintain the indie cred she gained by working with an auteur, she’s stars in James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now and Greg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard.
If that wasn’t enough to rival Jennifer Lawrence as the most in demand young actress, Woodley is a top choice to star in Josh Boone’s adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars. The story is about two teenage cancer survivors who meet in a support group, and bond over a philosophical novel and their shared sense of humour. It was named Best Fiction Book of 2012 by Time Magazine.
2. Dianna Agron
The cast of Glee is full of triple threats that can sing, dance and act, but like most teen shows; only a handful will likely have successful careers after it ends. Of the continuously growing cast, I predict the stunning Dianna Agron to have the most success transitioning into film. The 26-year-old has a classic beauty that stands out from countless Hollywood blondes, an angelic singing voice and charismatic screen presence.
Ms. Quinn Fabray made a failed attempt in the 2011 sci-fi film, I Am Number Four, but that role required nothing more than to look pretty. This year she has another chance to prove herself on the big screen. Agron plays the daughter of Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer’s characters in Luc Besson’s Malavita. The thriller is due for an October 18 release. This role could make or break her film career. If you can stand out next to screen legends like De Niro and Pfeiffer, then Hollywood will take notice.
3. Darren Criss
Remember that Canadian show, Breaker High? If you grew up as a child in the 90s and watched YTV, then you knew Ryan Gosling before he became the international movie star he is today. My pick for the next current teen idol to make it big is Darren Criss. Glee Season Four has basically become the “Blee” show. Criss’ character, Blaine Anderson, was promoted to a lead character after breaking out in Season Two.
In between Glee, his worldwide solo concerts and performances with StarKid, the 25-year-old managed to fit in a leading role on Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Next up, Criss plays Kristen Wiig’s romantic interest in Girl Most Likely, due in theaters on July 19.
4. Douglas Booth
The 20-year-old British model already has the teen heartthrob look, but does he have any talent? He played Miley Cyrus’s love interest in the 2012 film that nobody saw, LOL. Booth is back this year with a more prolific film and co-star. He plays Romeo in the latest Romeo and Juliet adaptation, opposite Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld. Next year, he is part of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah with Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Logan Lerman. If he can stand out in those star-studded films, then he has a bright future in Hollywood.
5. Kodi Smit-McPhee
The 16-year-old Australian first made a name for himself back in 2009’s post-apocalyptic film, The Road, starring opposite Viggo Mortensen. He followed that up with the 2010 horror film, Let Me In. This year looks like his busiest yet, with four films coming out: Romeo and Juliet, A Birder’s Guide to Everything, The Wilderness of James, and The Congress.