15 Actors to Watch in 2015
January is not just the first month in a new year. It's also prime time to predict which actors and actresses will be the next to become full-fledged stars. Award season will roll out red carpets filled with starlets ready to shine. The Sundance Film Festival will launch new talent with buzz and bravado. And everyone will play catch-up on all the hyped movies and shows that are drawing attention from the Golden Globes and Oscars. So who's thisclose to hitting their tipping point in 2015?
It's an enticing crop, peppered with adorable child stars, charismatic comediennes, international ingenues and crush-worthy leading men. Allow us to introduce you...
This French beauty has been turning heads with small but memorable parts in American hits like 'Midnight In Paris,' 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel.' But her controversial and critically heralded drama 'Blue Is rhe Warmest Color' has officially paved Seydoux's way to the big time. In 2015, this gorgeous actress goes from art house It Girl to Bond Girl with 'Spectre.' Next fall, you'll see wall-to-wall Seydoux as the new Bond movie advertises everywhere ahead of its Nov. 6 release.
You might know this smoking hot Brit from his starring role in the 2011 alien invasion comedy 'Attack the Block.' Or maybe you know him feom Instagram, where he Taylor Swift-style shakes off his haters. But most likely you recognize him from his already iconic appearance in the instantly viral teaser for 'Star War: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.' This sci-fi epic is all Boyega has slated for 2015. But it's 'Star Wars.' With this alone, the universe is his oyster.
We've loved her on 'Parenthood' and 'Arrested Development' (yes, her), but Whitman's long stint as stellar supporting player comes to an end this year. In February, this talented and tenacious comedienne will headline a wickedly funny rom-com called 'The DUFF,' an acronym for "Designated Ugly Fat Friend." Its tagline is "either you know one, you have one, or you are one." We expect Whitman's DUFF will not only get laughs and the guy (Robbie Amell), but also the kind of attention this affable actress deserves!
After a bevvy of one-off appearances on series like 'Law & Order,' 'Happy Endings' and 'The Mentalist,' this proud Puerto Rican-American is scoring major acclaim for her new drama series 'Jane the Virgin.' While CW offerings are often ignored by the press and awards honors, this show is fast gaining praise and has already earned two Golden Globe nods, one for Best Musical or Comedy Series, and one for Rodriguez as Best Actress. Basically, if you're not watching 'Jane the Virgin,' get on it.
More than just a pretty face, this English model turns actress full-force in 2015 with five films set to hit, including the romantic dramas 'Kids in Love' and 'Tulip Fever,' mystery movies 'London Fields' and 'Paper Towns,' and the dazzling fairytale adventure 'Pan.' All this will play prelude to her dynamic entry into the DC cinematic universe as the aptly named Enchantress with 'Suicide Squad,' a supervillain movie boasting Margot Robbie, Tom Hardy, Jared Leto and Will Smith, that will hit in the summer of 2016.
Formerly of the UK's 'Skins,' this English ingendude won praise last year thanks to his stunning turns in the gritty prison drama 'Starred Up' and the Angelina Jolie-directed biopic 'Unbroken.' O'Connell is in a strong position for award season accolades, but his greatest challenge yet is coming in 2015. Jodie Foster has selected him to play a terrorist antagonist opposite George Clooney's conceited TV personality in her upcoming thriller 'Money Monster.' It's sure to be a battle of onscreen intensity that will make the masses stand up and take notice of this scrappy and stupendous star.
George Clooney factors into the predicted tipping point of this rising star as well. After nearly 15 years plugging away in forgotten movies and bit parts on television, this 'Under the Dome' performer is getting her big moment in Disney's summer tent pole 'Tomorrowland.' The first trailer featured a glimpse of co-star Clooney, but mainly the Brad Bird vehicle that already has sci-fi fans salivating seems to focus on the charming Robertson. It could (and should) prove her perfect launching pad.
Of all those on our list, this cute kid actor is the greenest. He'll make his feature film debut next October in Walt Disney Studio's hotly anticipated live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's 'The Jungle Book.' While animated animals will have voices provided by the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba and Bill Murray, this grinning charmer will play the lost boy Mowgli in the flesh. Being the only actor on camera in a blockbuster is a big responsibility. But having been selected from thousands of kids who auditioned, Sethi seems set to swing into fame with this fun family-adventure.
She first got our attention as the rebellious Lady Rose on 'Downton Abbey,' but now this English ingénue is poised to blow up big time with a double-dose of leading lady actioners. The spring will bring the live-action 'Cinderella,' where James plays the picture-perfect heroine opposite a fiendish and fashionable Cate Blanchett. Then, she'll go from prince charming to butt kicking, fronting 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' as a ninjutsu-knowing Lizzie Bennet! What's not to love?
This stunning British beauty turned heads not once, but twice in 2014. First she dazzled audiences and critics alike as the biracial aristocrat at the center of the period romance 'Belle.' Then she ditched the ornate gowns for skimpy hip-hop gear for the romantic drama 'Beyond the Lights,' and once more won acclaim. She's gorgeous. She's versatile. She's going to be big. This year, look for her in the Channing Tatum/Mila Kunis action-adventure 'Jupiter Ascending' and Renee Zellweger's long-awaited return to the big screen, 'The Whole Truth.'
She was one of our favorite scene-stealers of 2014, and this '22 Jump Street' standout is just revving up. Already, Bell has been scooped up to appear in the live-action 'Goosebumps' movie opposite Jack Black, as well as Seth Rogen's untitled Christmas comedy. Plus, she'll be lending her voice to one of the eponymous critters of the animated 'Angry Birds' movie alongside Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Jason Sudeikis. But we suspect this is just the first wave of Bell's rise. If plans aren't announced for Bell getting a comedy of her own within the next 12 months, we'll riot.
Though raised in New York City, this actress has become a fixture on Italian television. But she'll soon step onto the world's stage, having joined the cast of 'Game of Thrones.' In the wake of the death of our crushed crush Oberyn Martell, the series will open up to include his kin, and that means his vengeance fueled daughter Tyrene, played by Sellers. If this Sand Snake is half as charismatic as her dearly departed dad, Sellers will undoubtedly be the next star to be launched by the hit series.
This former 'Veronica Mars' co-star was absent from the show's spin-off movie in 2014. Nonetheles, Thompson had an outstanding year. She took the Sundance Film Festival by storm with the smart and subversive comedy 'Dear White People,' which gained wider praise upon its theatrical release. Then came the riveting ensemble drama 'Selma.' We expect to see plenty of Thompson on award show red carpets in the next couple of months as the buzzed about Martin Luther King Jr. biopic gains momentum. But more importantly, we expect to see more of this daring and dynamic actress snagging exciting roles in 2015.
With gorgeous period pieces like 'Anna Karenina' and 'A Royal Affair,' this Swedish starlet has been steadily gaining critical acclaim. Yet Vikander will leap into the mainstream this year with a starring role in the Guy Ritchie-directed action-comedy 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' And if that weren't enough, she'll appear opposite fellow rising stars Jack O'Connell and Cara Delevingne in Justin Chadwick's 'Tulip Fever.' But most exciting is her turn in 'Ex Machina,' where she'll play a machine with a startling sense of self-awareness and humanity. It's one of the best trailers to hit for 2015, and -- as big Vikander fans -- we can't wait.
Daughter of '80s icons Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, this Texas-born actress seemed genetically destined for fame. But despite making her screen debut opposite her mom in the 1999 dramedy 'Crazy in Alabama,' Johnson's career was slow to start. After appearances in '21 Jump Street' and 'Need for Speed,' this starlet is primed to hit it big by taking on the sultry (and sometimes scandalous) lead of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' opposite our latest obsession, Jamie Dornan. Need we say more?