Rising stars of 2012

Daniel Bettridge
Yahoo UK Movies Features
23 December 2011

2011’s been a great year for movies, but it’s been an even better year for stars like Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Henry Cavill who’ve made their mark with film fans over the past 12 months.

But as the year creaks towards its inevitable conclusion, 2011’s breakout stars are set to graduate into fully fledged familiar faces in their own right, so who will fill their shoes? Daniel Bettridge peers into our cinematic crystal ball to pick next year’s top talent, the rising stars of 2012 who we think are set to burn brightly…

Tom Hiddleston
At 30 years young, Tom Hiddleston has waited patiently for his shot at stardom. After a string of appearances on stage and the small screen, 2011 saw the English actor scoop his breakout role as Marvel’s resident mischief maker, Loki, in ‘Thor’; a character he’ll reprise in ‘The Avengers’ come May. Since then he’s gone on to feature in ‘Midnight In Paris’ and ‘The Deep Blue Sea’; but it’s his role in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming epic ‘War Horse’ that could see him do even better in 2012.

[ See also: Guess the 2011 film by what the critics said]

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence is no stranger to critical acclaim. At just 21 she’s already been nominated for an Oscar for her work on ‘Winter’s Bone’ and has since cemented her place as a rising star with appearances in ‘The Beaver’ and ‘X-Men: First Class’. However in 2012 she’ll try her hand at fronting a franchise with a star turn in ‘The Hunger Games’, which many people have tipped as the next ‘Twilight’. No pressure there then.

Felicity Jones
2012 could be a great year for homegrown talent with Felicity Jones just one of a number of Brits who are set to take the box office by storm. There’s already a real buzz about the Brummie-born star’s role in ‘Like Crazy’, and if her Special Jury Prize from this year’s Sundance Film Festival is anything to go by, there could be a lot more recognition to come.

Anna Kendrick
You may recognise this versatile star from her bit part appearances as Jessica Stanley in ‘The Twilight Saga’, but in recent years she’s also put in some superb supporting turns in films such as ‘Up In The Air’ and ‘50/50’. However, with a hand in five films slated for release over the next year, perhaps 2012 will see this impossibly talented actress make the leap to leading lady as the world begins to cotton on to her undoubted talents.

Tara Lynn Barr
A child star who’s cut her teeth on Disney’s family friendly fodder, Tara Lynn Barr will certainly do some growing up in 2012. A promising appearance in Bobcat Goldthwait’s new dark comedy ‘God Bless America’ might just be the launching pad to take her to the next level.

[ See also: Hardest working movie stars of 2011]

Sam Riley
A Brit hoping to make it big in 2012, you may remember Sam Riley for his breakout performance as Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis in 2007’s ‘Control’. Since then he’s also starred in a rather understated adaptation of ‘Brighton Rock’ but has kept a relatively low profile on the silver screen. However, that could all change over the next 12 months as Riley readies himself to appear as Sal Paradise in Walter Salles’ much anticipated adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s iconic novel ‘On The Road’.

Taylor Kitsch
Fans of the superb US series ‘Friday Night Lights’, will no doubt know all about this Canadian actor who’s been tipped for the top in 2012. To date his silver screen credits include an appearance in ‘The Bang Bang Club’ and a brief stint as the Cajun card slinger Gambit in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’. However over the next 12 months we’ll get a chance to fully appreciate Kitsch’s acting chops as he takes on roles in films like ‘Savages’ and ‘Battleship’ before scooping top billing as the titular hero in Disney’s much anticipated ‘John Carter’.

Jeremy Renner
There’s no doubt that Jeremy Renner is being groomed for the top and 2012 looks set to be a big year for an actor who’s already built up an eclectic acting CV. Of course Renner’s always been a stable actor with appearances in Oscar-winning fare like ‘The Hurt Locker’ and box office fodder like ‘S*W*A*T’; but his star could be launched into another stratosphere thanks to an upcoming appearance in comic book behemoth ‘The Avengers’. Throw in a leading role in a rebooted ‘Bourne’ franchise and it’s shaping up to be an interesting year for a man who might just be Hollywood’s next big action hero.

[ See also: Soap preview 2012]

Chris O'Dowd

He might be a familiar face to fans of ‘The IT Crowd’, but Chris O’Dowd only recently introduced himself to America after a cracking comedic turn in the box office smash ‘Bridesmaids’. Since then casting directors have sat up and taken notice of the Irish actor who’s set to re-acquaint himself with his ‘Bridesmaids’ alumni in next year’s ‘Friends With Kids’, before starring in Judd Apatow’s latest offering ‘This Is Forty’.

Have we included your tip for the next big thing or shamefully omitted the actor that you think is a star in the making? Let us know in the comments below…

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