Every year Hollywood shows off plenty of fresh talent on the big screen, and 2010 was no exception. Young breakout stars took the movie world by storm in films such as “The Social Network,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Karate Kid.” And, even if their film wasn’t the biggest box office it, the young leads of “Let Me In,” “Kick-Ass” and “Winter’s Bone” left fond memories in everyone’s minds that seems to bode well for their careers.
With the New Year right around the corner, we decided to celebrate the 10 biggest breakout stars of 2010, reflecting on the films that tossed them into the spotlight and looking forward to what they have coming up next.
Breakout Role: Jesse Eisenberg might be in the running for Best Actor Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards, but Andrew Garfield stole the show in “The Social Network.”
Why He’ll Stick Around: Garfield is tapped to play Peter Parker in the upcoming “Spider-Man” reboot, and from what we’re hearing he’s going to totally rock the role.
Breakout Role: Emma Stone was already beloved for her supporting roles in “Superbad” and “Zombieland” by the time “Easy A” came out, but in “Easy A” she proved that she’s got the right stuff to be a leading lady. The film was both a critical and box office success, and Stone has since been tapped to star in a whole bunch of other big projects.
Why She’ll Stick Around: Just like Garfield, Stone is set to star in the “Spider-Man” reboot. She’ll play Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy. She’s also starring in the upcoming adaptation of the Oprah-endorsed novel “The Help” and has supporting roles in “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “Friends With Benefits.”
Breakout Role: I think everyone can pretty much mutually agree that “Kick-Ass” really should have been called “Hit-Girl,” because Chloe Moretz was the most awesome thing about that very awesome movie. She also earned her cred this year in “Let Me In” (and was apparently in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”?) but it was her performance in “Kick-Ass” that really convinced people that she was an actress to be reckoned with.
Why She’ll Stick Around: At 13, Moretz has already been tapped to star in Martin Scorsese’s next project, “Hugo Cabret,” an accomplishment that would make any actor proud. She also has a whole bunch of leading roles in the films “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” “Hick,” “Dance of the Miriltons” and “The Fields” on tap, and she’ll like return as Hit-Girl in “Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall.”
Breakout Role: “Inception” might have been Leonardo DiCaprio’s starring role, but it was Tom Hardy who created one of the most interesting and entertaining characters in that film. He made a big impression on more than just his audience, though, because director Christopher Nolan is bringing him in for a role (maybe Dr. Hugo Strange!) in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Why She’ll Stick Around: If Hardy is playing the villain in “The Dark Knight Rises” he’ll be following up Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance, likely certifying himself as a big-league Hollywood actor by 2012. Before then, he’ll tackle roles in “Warrior,” “This Means War” and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” so he’ll be a household name by the time “The Dark Knight Rises” hits theaters.
Breakout Role: When Tim Burton cast Australian actress Mia Wasikowska in “Alice in Wonderland,” she was best known for a small role in “Defiance” and was surrounded by A-listers like Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway. But she managed to hold her own against them all, and also left a very indelible mark in the indie darling “The Kids Are All Right,” which is getting plenty of love this awards season.
Why She’ll Stick Around: Wasikowska has already been tapped to play Jane Eyre in the upcoming adaptation of the classic story, and she already finished filming her leading role in Gus Van Sant’s latest, “Restless.” She’s also been cast in the upcoming drama “Albert Nobbs” (written by Glenn Close!) which places her opposite Michael Gambon, Aaron Johnson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. While she might not be starring in big action blockbusters, Wasikowska is sure to remain a force to be reckoned with in the indie circuit.
Breakout Role: Though we already said that Chloe Moretz totally stole the show in “Kick-Ass,” it was also leading man Aaron Johnson’s time to shine. Between that and his role as John Lennon in “Nowhere Boy,” he is certified fresh.
Why He’ll Stick Around: In addition to the previously mentioned “Albert Nobbs,” Johnson is justthisclose to being cast in Bryan Singer’s “Jack the Giant Killer.” Even if that doesn’t pan out, Johnson also has “Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall” to look forward to.
Breakout Role: The film that’s going to catapult Rooney Mara to superstardom, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” is filming right now, and it was mostly because David Fincher announced that Mara was going to be his Lisbeth Salander that we paid attention to her other two roles this year. She starred as The Girl Who Lives, Nancy Holbrook, in the lackluster remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” and also had a small but awesome role in Fincher’s “The Social Network” as the girl who inspired Mark Zuckerberg to make Facebook.
Why She’ll Stick Around: Stieg Larsson’s “The Millenium Trilogy” is just about the hottest fiction property around, and the fact Mara is starring as Lisbeth is a pretty big deal. If it’s successful (and it’s really likely that it will be), Mara has the series’ two sequels to star in, as well as plenty of other feature offers.
Breakout Role: Somewhere between the unimpressive “Clash of the Titans,” the unimpressive “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” and the underplayed “Tamara Drewe,” Gemma Arterton stole our hearts this year. “Tamara Drewe” was pretty well-received by critics and should earn Arterton a couple acting nods this awards season and, though the other two films sucked, they solidified the James Bond franchise vet’s (she appeared in “Quantum of Solace”) status as an Action Hero’s Dream Girl.
Why She’ll Stick Around: Love them or hate them, “Titans” and “Persia” made lots of money, so we have at least two more sequels to look forward to. Though it isn’t announced yet, we’re guessing Arterton will be back for the already greenlit “Wrath of the Titans” and for “Prince of Persia 2″ (should that one get made) and hopefully gets a couple better roles in the meantime.
Breakout Role: You can argue that Jaden Smith actually broke onto the Hollywood scene in 2006’s “The Pursuit of Happyness,” but really he was just Will Smith’s adorable son playing Will Smith’s adorable son. In “The Karate Kid,” he proved that he could carry a film on his own, and thanks to the help of his co-star Jackie Chan, the film was a well-liked surprise box-office smash the world over.
Why He’ll Stick Around: Smith’s upcoming collaboration with M. Night Shyamalan, “One Thousand A.E.,” was announced in late October, giving Smith his second crack as a leading man. This film will be both Shyamalan’s chance to prove he can still make a hit and Smith’s chance to prove that his success in “The Karate Kid” wasn’t just because of the source material.
Breakout Role: It’s not a stretch to say that Jennifer Lawrence will at least get nominated for an Academy Award for her role in “Winter’s Bone,” which seemingly unanimously impressed critics and audiences in its limited release. Considering the only major role she had before she starred in “Winter’s Bone” was on “The Bill Engvall Show,” I’d say that’s pretty impressive.
Why She’ll Stick Around: Thanks to the success of “Winter’s Bone,” Lawrence finally has some roles that will catapult her into the mainstream. She’ll star opposite Anton Yelchin in the romantic drama “Like Crazy,” has a major role in Mel Gibson’s “The Beaver” (which, coincidentally, also stars Yelchin), will be the Girl Who Lives in the horror flick “House at the End of the Street,” and, most importantly, will be playing Mystique in the upcoming “X-Men: First Class.” We have a feeling this actress will be around for a while.
Which breakout star impressed you the most this year?