Ten surefire A-listers by 2015, plus one wild card
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 2:00 PM Central
Last updated Monday, August 15, 2011 at 9:51 AM Central
by John Couture
Recently, Vulture did a wonderful photo piece in which they highlighted the nine stars they felt would be "anointed big stars in 2011." It's a great read and I highly recommend that you check it out. Don't worry, I'll be here when you get back.
They nailed it, didn't they? While I certainly enjoyed the inclusion of fresh faces such as Elizabeth Olsen, Juno Temple and Nicholas Hoult, anyone could take a look at this year's most hyped movies and pick out the top fresh faces most likely to pop this year.
What takes real talent is being able to project into the future in this "what have you done for me lately" business that is Hollywood and pick out the stars of tomorrow. People get paid a ton of money in Hollywood to do just that and we certainly don't get paid that well, but we like a challenge just like anyone else.
What I have done is compiled a list of five actors and actresses that will be legitimate A-list celebrities by 2015. There isn't really much science behind my choices, but I think you'll get a feel for how I compiled the list. The only real criteria that I kept in mind was to choose actors or actresses with fewer than 10 Hollywood movies on their resume.
I think you'll enjoy the list, but we always welcome any and all feedback. For now, sit back and prepare to travel to the year 2015 where these names below will be as household a commodity as Brad Pitt or Natalie Portman.
Nick has come through the Disney machine much like Annne Hathaway before him and his ceiling looks to be as high as he is tall. Kevin Smith cast him in his upcoming horror flick Red State and his performance was so compelling that Kevin gave him the lead in his last movie Hit Somebody. Having seen Red State a couple of times now, I can attest that he definitely steals the scenes that he appears in. Kevin has an eye for talent and when I see Nick, I think of a young Jason Lee whom Kevin also nurtured into A-list status. Nick has a unique look that will leave a lasting impression upon audiences. So far, his post-Disney choices show that he's wise beyond his years and the path should lead to stardom soon.
Noomi hit the jackpot internationally when she was cast as Lisbeth Salander in the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels. The international best-selling series of books is being made into a Hollywood film (sequels sure to follow) and interest in the original films helped Hollywood take notice of her performance. She landed plum roles in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Ridley Scott's Prometheus set to come out in the next year. From there, Noomi is sure to have her choice of roles and a long Hollywood career.
You probably read his name and said to yourself, who? Trust me, by this time next year, you won't have that problem. By next week, you will be familiar with him. Sam makes the jump to the big screen with this weekend's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in a role that most have caught someone's eye in Hollywood. Off of the strength of his performance, he was cast in next year's Snow White and the Huntsman as the primary love interest in what many regard as the better of next year's dueling Snow White movies.
You're already familiar with Josh (well, at least his body) and you probably don't even know it. In The Social Network, Josh's body was the other Winklevoss twin and his head was replaced by Armie Hammer's in post. I wouldn't feel too bad for him because next year is the year that his head catches up with the rest of his body. Christopher Nolan cast him as a young Ra's Al Ghul in next Summer's surefire hit The Dark Knight Rises. If anyone is an instant A-list maker, it's Nolan. If that wasn't enough, Josh is starring (in a weird twist of fate) alongside the older Ra's Al Ghul Liam Neeson in the board game turned movie Battleship. While I don't have any illusions that Battleship will be a star-making movie, I think that awareness leading into The Dark Knight Rises is a one-two punch straight to the A-list.
Rosie only has one film on her resume, but it's a big one. She was cast as the Megan Fox's replacement in the latest Transformers movie. She is surely our riskiest pick on this list, but if there's one thing that I trust, it's Michael Bay's ability to find and cultivate beautiful women. If you need any further proof, just remember that Transformers was the first movie that Megan Fox did and it seemed to work out alright for her. [ed: Jonathan correctly points out that Transformers wasn't Megan's first movie. This is true, but I think the analogy still holds up]
The only completed work on Jackie's resume is one episode of voice work on the TV series Father of the Pride. So, how could I possibly pick her out as someone who will be a household name by 2015? Well, I've been inundated from all fronts about the casting of this little movie called The Hunger Games. To be honest, I was clueless about its existence before the Internet literally exploded as the casting news was released as slowly as possible. That last time I've seen casting news so highly regarded was either the Harry Potter movies or the Twilight movies. And we all know how well those movies turned out for previously unknowns Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Jennifer Lawrence was cast as the lead, but an Oscar nomination pretty much disqualifies you for this list. Instead, I went with Jackie who was cast as the mute character Foxface who is apparently a crowd favorite in the book. I'll be the first one to say it, not since Silent Bob will a character make such a huge impact by saying so little.
If you were a fan of Stargate Atlantis like I was, then Jason is no stranger to you. Following in the steps of The Rock, Jason hopes to ride his muscles to stardom when he stars in Conan the Barbarian later this year. Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger has short-circuited his comeback before it even got started, there will be an unexpected demand that Jason should fill with ease.
I'm going out on a limb to say that The Hunger Games will be so big that at least another unknown will ride its coattails to the A-list. Willow has been cast as Jennifer Lawrence's character's sister who plays a pivotal role in the action of The Hunger Games, but really takes more of the center stage in the third book. Is it me or does she more than resemble Dakota Fanning?
Lee is no ordinary face in the crowd for those of us who watched him every week as the Pie Maker in Pushing Daisies. But for most of the world, he is a complete unknown for the time being. That will all change later this year when he shows up in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1. Not only will he pop back up in Part 2 next year, but he also scored a coveted role in another two-part blockbuster The Hobbit. On the strength of those four movies alone, Lee Pace will be a household name by 2015.
Lily was the cute daughter in The Blind Side, but it's her future projects that will make you remember her long after the credits stop rolling. Starting with this year's Abduction opposite Twilight's Taylor Lautner, she has a few choice roles lined up. Playing the titular character in The Brothers Grimm: Snow White alongside Julia Roberts will only cement her ascent to the A-list.
WILDCARD: Joel Edgerton
Joel is the one cheat on our list, so I went ahead and moved him to our "wildcard" position. He has way more than 10 credits on his resume, but for some reason, he has yet to catch on with American audiences. You will recognize him as Uncle Owen from the new Star Wars trilogy, but sadly much like Natalie Portman, his acting talents far surpass this one role. It looks like Joel will finally get his big Hollywood break in Kathryn Bigelow's next film Kill Bin Laden.
The best thing about this list? We can revisit it in 2015 and see how well we did. I'm betting that we knocked it out of the park.