Rising Stars 2007


For the second year in a row, Popcorn N Roses has announced its list of 20 young actors and actresses we think you should keep an eye on. Given our track record, it’s a good bet that one or more of these talented young stars will explode sometime in the next year or so…


The lovely Miss Baquero shot to stardom this year in the Oscar nominated smash Pan’s Labyrinth, but she’s been acting for a while now, starring in a number of spanish and italian language projects over the years. She’s poised to star in a number of projects over the next year or two and as this 14 year old continues to grow, not only will she become better known as an actress, but as quite a young beauty as well…


Although you may not know her yet, you will. Nikki is starring as Tracey Turnblad in the musical remake of John Waters’ hilarious "Hairspray", hitting theaters in a couple weeks, and it’s going to make this 18 year old a household name. Blessed with a voice like a dynamo, and acting talent to boot, this former employee of her local Cold Stone Creamery is about to step onto the rollercoaster that is Hollywood Fame…and chances are more than good she’s gonna ride it all the way to the top!


A lovely young actress with a resume already a mile long, Sarah is about to break huge. She’s one of the stars of the tongue-in-cheek feature film version of the video game D.O.A., and has also been a regular on the CBS series SHARK for the past couple of years. With several more tv and film projects already lined up, I think Sarah is soon to join the A List of in-demand young actresses out there…


Yes, Daniel Craig is in his late 30s..but lets face it…did anyone REALLY know who he was BEFORE he stepped into the infamous shoes of the most famous spy in the world, James Bond, in CASINO ROYALE? If you did know him before then, kudos to you! Daniel has been in a number of films over the last few years, and is best known for LAYER CAKE. Later this year, he’ll hit theaters in THE INVASION and THE GOLDEN COMPASS, both co-starring Nicole Kidman (and GC also co-stars his CASINO ROYALE Bond Girl, Eva Green). And now that being Bond…James Bond…has brought him up on the attention scale, he’s going to be one of the most fast-rising actors out there.

Evans continues to have his rep for choosing very quirky roles and it’s a rep well deserved. In addition to making his rising star "flame on" as Johnny Storm in the FANTASTIC FOUR movies, he’s also careful to choose quality projects. With critically-acclaimed roles in movies like LONDON and CELLULAR already behind him, he’s got a ton more on the horizon, including the forthcoming Griffin Dunne-helmed flick FIERCE PEOPLE and the police drama STREET KINGS about to hit theaters. A local boy, from Middleton MA, we’ll be keeping our eye on Chris and how far his red-hot career continues to grow…


What can you say about this charming lass that hasn’t already been said? One of the most natural child actresses ever, Dakota has already starred in a number of popular films, including THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, I AM SAM, THE CAT IN THE HAT and CHARLOTTE’S WEB. She courted controversy at this year’s Sundance Film Festival playing a young Elvis fan who becomes a rape victim in HOUND DOG, and she’s got no less than SEVEN films in her immediate future. And she’s BARELY 13 years old! The sky is the limit for this youngster, and as she moves from kids to teen roles, there appears to be no stopping her! And we don’t want to, either! 


The natural ability to play comedy is a gift very few people have. Trevor is one of the lucky ones. He moved to Hollywood to give acting a try when he was just 18, and managed to do a few projects here and there. But he was almost ready to get out of the biz, when his old friend Jeff Anderson, who directed and starred with Trevor in NOW YOU KNOW, gave him a call when Kevin Smith was looking for someone to play the teenage space caded Elias Grover in CLERKS 2. The rest, as they say, is history. Trevor more than held his own against old pros at upstaging others, like Jason Mewes and the aforementioned Jeff Anderson. He has some of the funniest lines in the movie, and he earned TC’s Poppy last year for Breakthrough Performance – Male. And it’s only a matter of time before his comedic talents make him a household name.


WOW….that’s all I can say….Oh, whoops, waitaminnit…she’s on KIM’s list, isn’t she? Heh heh heh…seriously, though, Megan absolutely KICKS ASS as Michaela in TRANSFORMERS. She and co-star Shia LaBoeuf have an incredible chemistry. Best known for her role in the sitcom HOPE AND FAITH, she’s moving onto the big screen with a vengance. In addition to her role in HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND ALIENATE PEOPLE, due next year, she’s bound to show up in the inevitable sequel to TRANSFORMERS, tenatively due in 2ummer 2009….I reinterate…WOW!!!


Although better known in the US for his turn as the goofy, video game obsessed best friend in the cult classic SHAUN OF THE DEAD, Nick has made his mark in half a dozen BritComs over the years. He and longtime partner Simon Pegg have starred together in several, as well as the aformentioned SOTD and this spring’s hilarious buddy-cop sendup, HOT FUZZ. Nick’s comic genius is the kind that can be over the top (see his hit UK comedy SPACED) or low-key, as in HOT FUZZ. Now that his movies are clicking with US audiences, Nick is on the fast track to superstardom…


Patrick became one of my favorite young actors when he starred in the hit movie ALMOST FAMOUS in 2000, playing a fictionalized version of that films’ writer/director Cameron Crowe. Since then he’s had a number of supporting parts in everything from comedies like SAVED and thrillers like SPUN. Now, Patrick is about to see his star rise among general fans with the release later this summer of the already critically-acclaimed drop-dead-hilarious black comedy WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY, which has already been named as TC’s #3 Pantheon film of all time, and it’s not even out yet! Follow that with another raucous comedy, BICKFORD SCHMEKLER’S COOL IDEAS, and another WRISTCUTTERS like turn in THE GOOD LIFE, and I think you’ll be seeing Patrick everywhere before too long…


Ah yes, another in the long line of gorgeous Bond girls! Eva has been around a while, making her debut in the film THE DREAMERS with Michael Pitt, and then bouncing through featured roles in other movies before landing the part of Vesper Lind in CASINO ROYALE. Already in the future, she’s reunited with CASINO ROYALE co-star Daniel Craig in this Christmas’ blockbuster THE GOLDEN COMPASS, and has several more movies on her slate after that. Keep an eye out for this beauty…


Harding grabbed my attention with his electric performance as terrorist Ahmed Al Nami in the gut-wrenching UNITED 93, and I think he’s got a bright future ahead of him. This UK native has done various roles before and since that movie, most recently starring in the UK films THE HEART IS A HIDDEN CAMERA, and the 2007 release O JERUSALEM. He’s also concentrated on theater work, where he recieved much of his training. If the right role comes along, watch for Harding’s career to take off to new heights…and remember, you heard it here first!


Already an accomplished actor at the age of 14, Highmore has made a mark for himself in a number of critically acclaimed roles in FINDING NEVERLAND, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and the upcoming AUGUST RUSH. You’d never know he was british if he’s playing an american, because his accent is nowhere to be found. Next on tap for him – the highly anticpated movie based on the successful children’s book series  THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES.  When someone as respected as Johnny Depp personally suggested him for CHARLIE after working with him in NEVERLAND…well, that says it ALL…


Emile is riding high right now. He’s been around doing tv shows and smaller movies like THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS and THE GIRL NEXT DOOR for about five years, and his star is just starting to break big. He won critical raves for his work as skateboard legend Jay Adams in the far-underrated LORDS OF DOGTOWN in 2005, and took to the screen as scummy, chain-smoking, drug-dealing cokehead Johnny Truelove in Nick Cassavetes’ gritty ALPHA DOG earlier this year. Now poised for a possible Oscar run with his fall film, the Sean Penn-directed INTO THE WILD, and following that, jumping into the title role in the big screen live action version of SPEED RACER due next summer, he is developing into one of the most in-demand young actors in Hollywood.

It’s kind of hard to forget someone with such an unusual name – it sticks out in your mind. But it’s Shia’s talent that really shines. Acting since the age of 10, and already a household name with teens who watched his popular Disney channel sitcom EVEN STEVENS for five seasons, he made the move to starring roles in features with movies like the Project Greenlight film THE BATTLE OF SHAKER HEIGHTS and the Disney film HOLES a few years ago. Now with two huge hits – his spring sleeper hit DISTURBIA and the juggernaut that is TRANSFORMERS – under his belt, not to mention his voicework in the hilarious and underrated animated feature SURF’S UP,  this uber-talented 20 year old has his sights set on bigger things, namely that of co-star in George Lucas’ INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, where he’s rumored to be playing Indy’s son. What more could a young rising actor ask for? 


Already a very well known comic actor in the UK, Pegg, like his pal Nick Frost, is shooting for US stardom as well. SHAUN OF THE DEAD made him recognizable; now HOT FUZZ has cemented him as someone to keep an eye on. As the always-on-duty Sgt. Nicholas Angel, Pegg was deadpan hilarious in this movie. And this fall, with RUN FAT BOY RUN poised to continue his tradition of winning comedies, he’s got a lot going for him. His stellar track record thus far makes him a fair choice for a superstar of the future.


John is the second LORDS OF DOGTOWN alumni to top my list, last year’s topper being his co-star Michael Angarano. John is one of the most underrated young actors in the business today. He’s been preparing for an acting future since his early teens, and got his big break in Gus Van Zant’s chilling take on the Columbine massacre, ELEPHANT. Then he stepped into what amounted to a a no-win role as a physically and sexually abused teen who abused other teens at the behest of his crazy religious fanatic father in Asia Argento’s THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS, a truly LOATHSOME movie that I went out of my way to watch because of John and it was John that got the movie’s few good notices. Then came his top-notch role as skateboard legend Stacy Peralta in LORDS OF DOGTOWN, and people started noticing him more. He’s done a critically acclaimed turn in the well thought of, barely seen western SEREPHIM FALLS, and has two absolutely hilarious scene stealing cameo turns in TRANSFORMERS. The sky is the limit for John, and I think he’s going to become a true superstar in the months and years ahead.


This aussie beauty has great things in store for her. On screen in TRANSFORMERS as computer expert Maggie Madsen, she proves that beautiful and smart can go hand in hand, not bad for someone who got their big break in the horror film SEE NO EVIL starring WWE wrestler Kane. Next up, the wine comedy BOTTLE SHOCK with Alan Rickman and the horror film SHUTTER. And you never know…maybe she’ll show up in the sequel to TRANSFORMERS as well…just hope she ditches the Anthony Anderson character along the way. Keep an eye on Rachael, she’s definately on the rise.


Mary Elizabeth first got my attention as Gwen in last year’s Disney comedy SKY HIGH. And sky high is proving to be the limit for her talent. Already in huge demand, she’s starred in the horror film FINAL DESTINATION III, had a role in the critically-acclaimed BOBBY, was part of the arthouse film FACTORY GIRL, and was the star of the DEATH PROOF segment of GRINDHOUSE. And all that just inside of 18 months – WOW! She just hit screens as Bruce Willis’ daughter in LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, and she’s going to continue to wow audiences no matter what movie she’s in, because she’s just electric in whatever she does.


Rudy had the unenviable task of carrying an entire film on his own, and it happened to be his very first feature, MEL GIBSON’S APOCALYPTO. As Jaguar Paw, his character is front and center in nearly every scene, and he manages the task with great aplomb. He was the primary reason the movie made my Top 20 Pantheon list early last month.  Now, the future is looking good for Youngblood. Although no committments have been made for future movies as yet, you can bet it won’t be long before this young man continues the splash he started last year. And he definately deserves all the success he’s going to have!