Friday, May 30, 2014

Hollywood's Rising Stars: Part 2

Yesterday I kicked off a two-part look into who could become Hollywood's next batch of superstars. While a few of Part 1's names were far less noticeable, the top five should bring a little more familiarity to the list. But just to quickly recap, here are numbers 10 through 6 once again:

And the Top 5 are ...

Eddie Redmayne catapulted onto the scene as a virtually unknown lead in the Simon Curtis Oscar Nominated film, My Week With Marilyn. This rising star was so impressive in the 2011 movie that it helped land him the role of Marius in Tom Hooper's Les Miserables a few years back. As a fan of the Broadway musical, and someone not particularly in love with the motion picture adaptation, I will admit that Redmayne was one of the film's brighter spots. With upcoming roles in the Wachowski's Jupiter Ascending, James Marsh's Theory of Everything (as Stephen Hawking) and a recently announced lead in Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl (as the first sex-change recipient), Redmayne is destined to become a household name. 

As the grandfather on the list, the soon to be 45 year-old is an Australian actor who's finally making a major impact on Hollywood. In 2012 Jason Clarke converged on the industry as a supporting star in John Hillcoat's Lawless and Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar contender, Zero Dark Thirty. Then, Clarke followed up his breakthrough successes with a small, but impactful, turn in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby just last year. But with all these supporting performances, why does Clarke rate so highly on my list? It's because the late-bloomer has already stocked up on some high profile projects in the near future. Clarke looks to attain stardom after the world watches him star in upcoming blockbusters such as this summer's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and 2015's Terminator: Genesis (as the iconic John Connor character). 

As if I haven't rambled on tirelessly about the mesmerizing Brie Larson already, this beautiful and talented young star reminds me of another indie favorite I have, Michelle Williams. Both blondes possess a natural artistic ability that's so rare these days. While Larson is best remembered as Jonah Hill's semi-love interest in the hit blockbuster comedy 21 Jump Street, that doesn't begin to tell the story of her talents. One of the Academy Awards' greatest tragedies this past year was a failure to recognize Brie Larson's unforgettable work in the must-watch indie drama, Short Term 12. With a staple such as that already on her resume, major upcoming roles in the Judd Apatow comedy Trainwreck and Rupert Wyatt's The Gambler (alongside Mark Wahlberg and John Goodman) can only spell a recipe for success.

With my #2 pick on the list, some may see my selection of Ezra Miller as "going out on a limb". But believe me, there's a method to my madness. For starters, his knack for turning pedestrian characters into monumental ones is beyond comparison. Many have told me that the rather bland character of Patrick in the coming-of-age novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is completely transformed and brought to life by Miller's work in the onscreen adaptation. It's also an underrated supporting performance for which he definitely should have been nominated. Then, by watching his villainous portrayal in the skin-crawling We Need to Talk About Kevin, we're able to see just how far this actor's range extends. Miller has all of the makings of a legitimate and untouchable superstar. I just wonder if his film selection will take him there. Hopefully more exposure in the adulterous tale of Madame Bovary and a spot alongside #3 selection, Brie Larson, in Judd Apatow's next project, Trainwreck, will elevate Ezra Miller to stardom. 

#1. Dane DeHaan

And finally, the top spot on my list of Hollywood's Fastest Rising Stars in none other than Dane DeHaan. Perhaps, with this month's blockbuster release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I'm a little behind the eight-ball. However, DeHaan's talents far exceed where his career currently stands. Not only has DeHaan captivated audiences with exceptional performances in films like Chronicle, Lawless, The Place Beyond the Pines and the indie hit, Kill Your Darlings, the gifted young actor has also shown that he recognizes a strong project when he sees one. With a thin upcoming schedule that includes a role as James Dean in the potentially career-boosting film, Life, I have full confidence that whatever DeHaan decides to work on in the future, it will be positively affected by his greatness. 

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