Take a journey back to January 2015. Did you honestly know who Alicia Vikander or Dakota Johnson was? Would you have been able to recognize any of the actors in Straight Outta Compton on the street outside of Paul Giamatti? Would you have been able to pick Daisy Ridley or John Boyega out in a crowd? Probably not and that’s one small part of the fun in hitting your local multiplex. You’ve often seen the entire plot of a movie given away in a trailer or (worse) a TV spot, but it’s the performance from those breakout stars that often truly captivate.
At this point in a release cycle you can usually survey contacts at numerous studios and get a laundry list of actors in different projects that are on the cusp of becoming popular enough that directors have them on their audition lists before casting directors do. 2016 has surprisingly fewer potential stars to hype, but there are two events that should immediately pay close attention to.
The first is quite obvious. Over the past 25 years the Sundance Film Festival has probably launched the careers of more up and coming talents or cast previously known actors in an unexpected light than any other cinematic event. It’s partially because of the inherent nature of indie cinema, but it’s also because outside of a synopsis and stills almost the entire festival is unknown until it screens.
The second is in danger of seriously becoming overhyped, but that sill won’t stop the upcoming Everybody Wants Some as being showcased as an ensemble of future Hollywood stars. That’s partially a credit to director Richard Linklater who has some success in that regard with his 1993 breakthrough Dazed and Confused which featured relatively unknowns Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Anthony Rapp, Ben Affleck and Parker Posey. So, as we profile some potential breakouts for 2016 don’t be surprised if there are a few actors from Everybody in the mix.
Keeping all that in mind, here’s a rundown of 10 actors on the cusp of something new and where they’ll likely make their mark.