The 2008 PNR Rising Stars Honors List
For the third 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…
TC’S RISING STARS 2008 (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
Tom has been acting for years, but is only now getting the attention he deserves. He started his film career in kids movies like THE SANDLOT and LASSIE in the 90s and has grown by leaps and bounds as his career has moved forward. Tom won the 2007 Poppy award for "Breakthrough Performance- Male" for his incredible, heartwrenching turn as Terry McKay in the excellent indie film BLACK IRISH, a role for which he also won several awards on the film festival circuit. You can also catch him in the short-lived NBC series THE BLACK DONNELLYS, which is now available on DVD, and in the upcoming drama YONKERS JOE.
|YIFEI (CRYSTAL) LIU
There is no doubt in my mind that this young beauty is destined to follow in the hard-to-fill footsteps of asian beauties like Gong Li, Maggie Chung, Cheng Pei-Pei, Xyang Ziyi, and Michelle Yeoh. Just 20 years old, Ms. Liu is absolutely fantastic in her screen debut as Sparrow in the Jackie Chan/Jet Li/Michael Angarano starrer THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM. Already a fast rising actress in her native land, she has also launched a successful music career, and big things are in this young lady’s future, that’s for damn sure…
This young beauty more than holds her own in an ensemble piece like CLOVERFIELD, and continues to act in more and more projects. Her first big break came in the Steven Strait starrer THE COVENANT, and since then she’s had recurring roles on TV in CSI, and was one of the stars of the hit Canadian TV series EDGEMONT. She has two more features, AMUSEMENT and DRAG ME TO HELL, on the upcoming release list, so keep your eyes peeled for her…
Take one look at Lauren and you see the classic beauty of three or four superstars in her face. She has the eyes of Katherine Hepburn, the wistful smile of Keira Knightly, the cheekbone structure of Lauren Bacall, among other features. And her acting talent is no slouch either, considering she’d NEVER set foot in front of a camera before being cast as Macy, the smart-talking, obviously caring best friend to lead character Alex in Gus Van Sant’s superbly sublime PARANOID PARK. Now completing work on her second film, STREET, Lauren is obviously going to continue her career, and with her looks and talent, she’s going to be to PARANOID PARK what Rosario Dawson was to KIDS – it’s breakout leading lady…
Not since Michael Angarano’s turn as Sid in LORDS OF DOGTOWN have I been so captivated by a performance like the one Gabe delivers as Alex, the main protagonist of Gus Van Zant’s absolutely incredible skateboard mystery PARANOID PARK. Gabe, who had never acted before and who won the role of Alex through a MySpace audition, is an absolute natural in front of the camera. He exudes teenage charm and teenage angst with such charisma that you cannot help but care about his character. Although Gabe has not yet made up his mind whether or not he’s going to pursue a career path towards being a fulltime actor, I for one hope he does. To not continue acting would be criminal – robbing the film world of someone who has the untapped potential to be one of the most powerful young actors of today’s generation – he’s just THAT DAMN GOOD.
Taylor is a spirited young lady, who at 14 is the youngest of this years’ crop of rising stars. Although she has only a few scenes as Little Inez in last summer’s infectiously wonderful HAIRSPRAY, you cannot take your eyes off of her. Able to act, to dance, and to sing, she’s the total package of talent rolled into one dynamite person. In addition, she’s appeared in episodes of CARPOOLERS and EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS and is looking to make her mark on the acting world more with each passing day.
Like Tom Guiry, Michael is another veteran of the short-lived NBC drama THE BLACK DONNELLYS. But it’s as Rob, a young professional whose big promotion gets sidelined as he and hundreds of other New Yorkers try to survive in the top-notch monster/disaster flick CLOVERFIELD where he really shines. Michael has the unenviable task of carrying most of the weight of this movie filled with unknown actors, and he does the task complete justice. Not one to rest on his laurels, he recently appeared off-Broadway in THE OVERWHELMING with Sam Robards and Linda Powell. Next up: THE PROJECT, an Official Selection at this year’s SlamDance Film Festival, hitting theaters later this year.
Jim has apparently been hiding under a rock somewhere, away from potential US fans, because for the past ten years, he’s been plying his trade in his native UK, where he’s done dozens of films and TV projects. But now his star is on the rise all over the world, thanks to two recent films that put him front and center – as Jude in Julie Taymore’s incredible ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, and as the star of the MIT-Based gambling drama 21. With three more films – CROSSING OVER, FIFTY DEAD MEN WALKING, and HEARTLESS – already completed and heading for theaters over the next year or so, Sturgess is destined to achieve true stardom in this business. And if the rumors about him starring in the upcoming Julie Taymore/U2 collaborative version of a SPIDERMAN musical come true…it’s going to be incredible…that’s all I can say….
What can I say about Yelchin that so many critics haven’t already said? He is truly the next big thing! With his good looks, and his acting talent, it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a true superstar. One look at his past credits – FIERCE PEOPLE, ALPHA DOG, CHARLIE BARTLETT – tells you that he is no ordinary young actor – he’s out to capture the hearts of movie fans all over. Presently set to jump into two HUGE film franchises – as Cadet Pavel Chekov in the JJ Abrams reworking of STAR TREK and as the young Kyle Reese in TERMINATOR: SALVATION, which will hit theaters just TWO WEEKS apart in May 2009 – Yelchin’s star is about to go supernova, and I for one cannot WAIT!!!
Odette is one of the most gorgeous, truly talented young actresses on the planet today. Although people might know her from her regular roles on television, in shows like SOUTH BEACH and OCTOBER ROAD, it’s as Beth in Matt Reeves’ monster masterpiece CLOVERFIELD where she gets her most exposure. She made her acting debut as one of the kids in the Governator’s hit KINDERGARTEN COP years ago, and hasn’t looked back. She also had bit parts in TRANSFORMERS and WALK HARD:THE DEWEY COX STORY, and is starring in the upcoming horror film THE UNBORN, scheduled to hit theaters in February 2009.
KIM’S RISING STARS 2008 (IN RANKED ORDER)
|1. OLIVIA THIRLBY
Lovely Olivia has been a model for years, and began acting a few years ago, starting with some episodic television and a bit part as one of the doomed passengers in the intense UNITED 93. Since then she’s grown by leaps and bounds, and over the past year took two huge leaps towards stardom, as the nerdy girlfriend of Michael Angarano in SNOW ANGELS and as Leah, the fruitcake best friend of Juno MacGuff in JUNO. She’s also appeared in several movies due out in the next few months including Sundance favorite THE WACKNESS and five more coming in 2008 and 2009.
|2. CRIS LANKENEAU
Although acting in QUIET CITY was just for a lark, it’s not something Cris hadn’t thought of. The young man had always thought acting would be fun, but never had given it a real shot, despite the fact that he had a number of friends in the business. As the immeasurably sweet Charlie, Cris lights up the screen, and is also credited as a writer, since he and co-star Erin Fisher primarily improvised most of their scenes. Here’s hoping Lankeneau, now a full time DJ in Florida, decides to take another shot at acting sometime in the near future…
|3. SARAH JONES
Sarah’s career is just getting off the ground. As Kerri, the lead female in the upcoming indie film STILL GREEN, it’s easy to see the kind of talent that abounds in this young lady. She has also appeared several times in the hit FX series THE RICHES, and is a regular on the HBO series BIG LOVE. With two more feature films – THE BLUE HOUR and CAIN AND ABEL – under her belt, you can bet that the best is yet to come for her.
|4. KATIE CORRADO
Katie charmed our socks off as Stella, the lead in director Decker’s fabulous romantic comedy ONCE UPON A FILM last fall, and we both think she has stardom written all over here. Since that wonderful leading role, Katie’s appeared in STEP UP 2 THE STREETS and in the upcoming indie PAPER COVERS ROCK. It’s only a matter of time before this blonde beauty with the stellar acting chops gets noticed by the general public, and when it happens…look out!
|5. ERIN FISHER
The female half of the lead duo in director Aaron Katz’ wonderful structured improv piece QUIET CITY doesn’t really have any designs on being an actress full time, although she continues to act in various projects, including a small part in the critically acclaimed Sundance favorite THE FOOT FIST WAY. An artist by trade and by choice, it’s her natural likability that makes her such a success in QUIET CITY. Seeing her in this movie was like watching Julie arriving in New York for the first time on the first episode of the first season of THE REAL WORLD – Erin’s character, Jamie, is trusting and kind, and hopes to be treated the same way. If Erin continues to act, she’s got a very bright future ahead of her.
|6. KAT DENNINGS
As the beautiful and rebellious Susan, daughter to the principal of the school in the truly hilarious and criminally underrated comedy CHARLIE BARTLETT, Kat shines – she’s funny, ascerbic, and knows how to push buttons, both that of Charlie, played by Anton Yelchin, and her father, played by Robert Downey Jr. A veteran of numerous episodic television appearances, she’s about to hit the big screen again in THE HOUSE BUNNY, and has several more feature film projects in the works. Her classic beauty also will start to shine as more and more people notice her work, and she’s on the road to being one of this generations hottest young performers.
|7. NOAH SEGAN
Segan is already well known for picking and choosing his roles carefully. He first came to our attention as the drug-addled Dode in Rian Johnson’s 2006 debut BRICK, and will soon be shining again as emotionally tortured young artist Sean in the amazing STILL GREEN. With featured roles in several critically acclaimed movies of the past year, including SELF-MEDICATED and THE VISITATION, and about to appear in no less than EIGHT upcoming features including CABIN FEVER 2, the mystery CHAIN LETTER and the already-cult-favorite FANBOYS, Segan’s work as one of the most talented young character actors you can find out there will take him to the heights of a true star before long.
|8. JAMIE CAMPBELL BOWER
Jamie has only been acting for a couple years, but he’s already got chops bigger than a lot of people. He starred as "Anthony" in the film version of SWEENEY TODD over the holidays last year, and has several more movies in the wings. His fantastic voice and his drop dead gorgeous looks are going to propel him to true superstardom. He held his own opposite Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter, not to mention classic scene stealer Alan Rickman, and that says a LOT about where he’s going to be going in the future…
|9. CAMILLA BELLE
This 21 year old beauty has been around for years, growing up on TV and in the movies from a young teen to the female lead in the recent big budget special effects extravaganza 10,000 BC. Roles in critically acclaimed indie favorites like THE CHUMSCRUBBER and mainstream films like WHEN A STRANGER CALLS now under her belt, she’s on the brink of true stardom, which her forthcoming film PUSH should help "push" forward…heh heh heh…
Korean pop star Jung Ji Hoon, who goes by the moniker Rain, was already a musical and acting superstar in his native land when he auditioned for landed the role of the somewhat cagey race car driver Taejo Togokahn in the feature film version of SPEED RACER, and quickly made the best of it, electrifying millions of girls around the world. Voted one of People magazine’s "Most Beautiful People" in 2007, he is already working on his second film for the Wachowski Brothers, called NINJA ASSASSIN. Rain is on his way to making himself a household name in parts of the world outside his native South Korea, and we think he’s going to do just fine at it, too…