It’s inevitable that many young aspiring actors and actresses lack that “star” factor, but there are some who rise above just being a good actor – they are indeed the rising stars of their generation and will most likely have a fan following that will last over 2+ decades. After much research and debate, here are ten young Hollywood actors who have so much potential to be as iconic as the past generation stars under the age of 29. Some you’ll be very familiar with, and some you’ll want to look out for. (Keep in mind I added an age limit on purpose. Had there not been one, established stars such as Natalie Portman and Ryan Gosling would’ve stolen the entire list. Yes, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an astounding actor, but he’s 30. :] )
10. Emma Roberts‘(20) first major role was the Nickelodeon television series ‘Unfabulous’, where she portrayed main character Addie Singer – a 13 year old girl who [literally and annoyingly] wrote and sang her middle school feelings and happenings on a daily basis. The show found great to moderate success during its 3 year run among the targeted crowd, but when the show ended, what was next for our guitar crooner? Roberts focused her career in film and later starred in family-friendly teenage films [Aquamarine and Nancy Drew] which proved to be box office successes. Roberts eventually shifted her focus to more serious and suitable roles [Scream 4, Valentine’s Day, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, and The Art of Getting By] that have luckily shown her acting ability.
I guess it doesn’t hurt much that her aunt happens to be Julia Roberts, but aside from that relation, Roberts has proven – in a short period of time – that she can play more than just one kind of role, making her stand out from many other current stars her age [Selena Gomez, Miranda Cosgrove, etc]. She has the capability to be one of the best actresses of her generation, and hopefully she will rise to the same success as many well-apprecirated Hollywood actresses today.
9. Jonah Hill(27) – best known for his goofball roles in various comedic films – got his first [minor] gig in The 40 Year Old Virgin where he plays an e-Bay customer. Afterwards, he found himself a supporting role in the college comedy Accepted alongside an undiscovered Blake Lively and Justin Long. From Knocked Up to Superbad to Get Him To The Greek, there is absolutely no doubt that Hill is one of the most notable and iconic men in comedy, and in every film he’s been in – whether credited or not – is unfathomable. In the past 7 years, Hill has starred in over 28 films to date, and although each character in almost every film he’s starred in have similar personality traits, at least – with all 28 films – Hill has never failed to make his audience laugh. Recently, Jonah landed a more serious role in the critically acclaimed Moneyball and is expected to release The Sitter (a story about an incompetent, jobless down-on-his-luck guy who babysits a few kids next door and runs into eventual mishap) in the next few months.
With an impressive resume under his belt at a rather young age, it should be very interesting to see Hill’s future grow and exciting to watch his acting skills succeed many veteran acting comedians.
8. Leighton Meester(25) was smart to focus on her career at a very young age. After much commercial work and guest appearances in select television shows [‘Law and Order’, ‘Boston Public’, ‘Crossing Jordan’, etc], Meester landed her most prominent and successful role in 2007 as Blair Waldorf on the hit ‘Gossip Girl’. Since then, she has found fame in various films [Monte Carlo, Date Night, The Roommate, and Country Strong] and has even dabbled into the music industry with moderate success [she was featured in “Good Girls Go Bad” with Cobra Starship and released her own song – “Somebody to Love” – in 2009 which featured Robin Thicke]. Sure, Meester appears to be just a pretty face with not much to offer, but don’t let this impression fool you! At the age of 25, Leighton has shown her wide range of acting skills by playing different characters that doesn’t typecast her as one specific role and has shown off her vocals not only in songs she’s been featured in or released herself but also in select films. She is definitely one to keep an eye on as she practically has the “star” factor that can make her one of the best in the business.
7. Blake Lively(24) is not only just a beautiful face but a role model, fashion icon, and an impressive actress to say the least. Lively got her start in the film industry when she starred alongside America Ferrerra, Amber Tamblyn, and Alexis Bledel in the 2005 coming-of-age box office hit The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. To this day, the 24 year old has maintained a lead role as Serena van der Woodsen in “Gossip Girl” and has gone on to star alongside several of Hollywood’s most successful stars [Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds, Keanu Reeves] in various films that have shown her more serious acting skills [The Town, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, etc]. And it doesn’t look like she’s ready to slow down her workload just yet. Recently, she starred in The Green Lantern as Reynolds’ love interest and is currently starring in independent films. To make a long story short, as her filmography work builds, so will Lively’s movie stardom.
6. Robert Pattinson(25), yes, rose to teenage heartthrob fame when he portrayed Edward Cullen in the successful franchise The Twilight Series, but let’s put that to the side. Pattinson has proven continuously that he can play more than just that irresistible vampire as he starred as leading role in the coming-of-age drama Remember Me, which – despite mixed reviews – showed his more sentimental side and serious acting ability. Afterwards, he went on to star alongside Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon in Water for Elephants in which he was praised for his outstanding performance. There is no doubt that Pattinson has the resources and the “star” factor that can put him in a category with many well-established actors [Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey, Jr, Ryan Gosling, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, etc]. And if you’re still hesitant about his career, let’s be reminded that there are many actors who took the route as Pattinson.
5. Keira Knightley(26) is absolutely no doubt one of the leading rising stars of her generation. At the age of 26, Knightley found much success in the film industry and to this day is still a leading woman in Hollywood. Knightley became a success after starring alongside Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp in The Pirates of Caribbean Saga. Since then, she has gone on to star in different kinds of films [The Duchess, Never Let Me Go, London Boulevard, etc] that showcase her superb acting abilities and charisma. What makes her one of the top leading actresses in her generation is the fact that she is not only a movie star but an icon in the fashion industry. Of course, you’re thinking ‘what exactly does fashion have to do with being a leading young Hollywood star?’ Simple. Because of her trends and her status as a fashion icon, she can be seen – 20 years from now – one of the women who defined fashion; she follows in the footsteps of many of the greatest female stars from passed generations [Audrey Hepburn, Marylin Monroe, Veronica Lake, etc]. And since the industry knows the status of her influence in the fashion world, it’s hard to imagine that in every film she’s been in and will be won’t come with some gorgeous attire to match!
4. Andrew Garfield(28) … He doesn’t even need an introduction. That’s how stellar his performances are. Although he has been active in the movie industry for a little over 4 years, Garfield has given rather memorable and superb performances in the limited films that he has been in. His most notable performance to date – Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network – has earned him various award nominations and wins, and his other work [Never Let Me Go, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, and The Other Boleyn Girl] have showcased his range of acting ability. The fact that he doesn’t play just one character has opened up new opportunities, with one being cast as the lead role of Peter Parker in the upcoming film The Amazing Spider Man. With his newest project, let’s just hope this doesn’t fit him in just one kind of actor and will open more doors for him in the future. Garfield has that star factor to be one of the best in the film industry, and it’s only a matter of time when he gets there.
3. Carey Mulligan(26) got her career started in 2005’s Pride & Prejudice portraying Kitty and from then on has become a household name. Since her debut in the film industry, Mulligan has won and been nominated for many awards for her work in An Education, Never Let Me Go, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and, to maintain that household name, starred in over 18 films that have been deemed a success at the box office. Recently, she starred alongside Ryan Gosling in the critically acclaimed Drive and isn’t stopping there as she will portray Daisy Buchanan in the 2012 release of The Great Gatsby. To make a long story short, Mulligan is as successful as her name sounds, and to write her out would be a huge mistake as she has shown that she does have the utter potential, drive, and proof of experience that she can be and is one of the best in the film industry. And if you’ve never heard of her name until now … seriously, pick up Brothers, Never Let Me Go, An Education, or any film. There’s a huge chance she’s in it!
2. Shia LaBeouf(25) is no stranger in this industry. LaBeouf became a household name when he portrayed the iconic Louis Stevens in Disney Channel’s “Even Stevens”. You’d think that the kid that everyone knew as goofball Louis Stevens would never go anywhere after the series ended, but LaBeouf surprised his doubters when he gave a stellar and magnificent performance in the TV film Tru Confessions – where he played a mentally disabled high school student who struggled through life. His powerful performance led him into theatrical film – with his first being Holes. And you think that would be the end of his career. LaBeouf went on to star in lead roles that made him a successful action star and, by 2008, was given the opportunity to star alongside Hollywood veteran Harrison Ford in the classic Indiana Jones Series. Although his private life was mentioned continuously throughout his teenage years, LaBeouf rose above all obstacles and came back better than ever – becoming one of the most successful young Hollywood stars to have survived that “Hollywood kids” curse (you know, when a child star loses his flair and is never called to play a role). It’s no doubt that LaBeouf is one of the leading young Hollywood stars today and will continue to find the success he knew since his Even Stevens days.
1. Amanda Seyfried(25) … It’s really hard to imagine that Amanda Seyfried is only 25 as she has proven through the many roles she has played that her acting ability is believable, outstanding, and something worth watching. Despite participating in small roles on tv shows, Seyfried’s outstanding career started from the successful teen flick Mean Girls – where she portrayed the not too bright Karen. Although her performance in Mean Girls could have possibly made her a typecast in future films, Seyfried chose wisely the films she starred in – getting her where she is today. Since starting out, she has gone on to star alongside many notable names [Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Chris Egan] and has shown much variety in her filmography by playing different types of roles in her various films. Whether you choose to remember Seyfried as the dumb Karen or the possessed teenage girl in Jennifer’s Body, this girl is no doubt going to be an absolute success in years to come.
Of course, these ten stars aren’t the only ones with that star factor that puts them in a level far from many in their generation. However, these ten listed have shown so much devotion and pride in their career that it’s hard not to notice based on their work, their effect in the media, and their influence in the entertainment business. And as we do proceed into the future, it’s going to be exciting to see what these guys – as well as other fellow stars – have to offer in the film industry. Afterall, they are the face of the future.
Let us know what you think! Which other young Hollywood star out there is most likely going to be here in the next 20+ years?