Ones To Watch: 9 Young Hollywood Stars To Look Out For
Think that summertime means movies with big stars like Will Smith, Christian Bale and Johnny Depp? Well, of course it does. But that doesn't mean that this summer's cinematic slate is without its breakout stars, young actors and actresses trying to elbow their way into the spotlight amidst the big budgets and bigger explosions.
Check out these 10 aspiring thespians -- from a "Step Up" star to a certain Barbadian pop singer -- and remember their names, so you can act like you were hip to their game way before they became famous.
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Movie: Rock of Ages (June 15)
Resume: Mostly teen fare like "Pretty Little Liars," "90210" and "Mean Girls 2"
Why You Should Care: Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand may get the top billing, but Boneta is the center of the 80s-loving Broadway hit-turned-film adaptation, as a star-crossed lover (along with Julianne Hough) trying to make it big. Boneta, who also has a Spanish-language music career, is featured on 9 classic covers on the film's soundtrack.
Movie: Ruby Sparks (July 25)
Resume: Supporting roles in flashy dramas like "Revolutionary Road" and "Fracture," as well as a recurring role on HBO's "Bored To Death"
Why You Should Care: As the writer and star of "Ruby Sparks," which focuses on a make-believe literary character somehow brought to life by a struggling writer, Kazan has snagged a flashy female role in a quirky comedy -- somewhere, Zooey Deschanel is seething. "Ruby Sparks" is the first film from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris since "Little Miss Sunshine," so all our eyes will be on their follow-up -- and, in turn, Kazan.
Movie: Neighborhood Watch (July 27)
Resume: Loads of British TV, most notably the comedies "The IT Crowd" and "The Mighty Boosh"
Why You Should Care: If you've seen the "Neighborhood Watch" poster or trailer, you might think, "Wow, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and... some other guy! What a cast!" In fact, that fourth guy is this 34-year-old U.K. native who is a master of awkward comedy and now gets to pal around with three U.S. all-stars. Don't expect many scenes to be stolen from Stiller, Vaughn or Hill, but Ayoade possesses the well-rounded talent that Sacha Baron Cohen brought over to the States last decade.
Movie: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22)
Resume: Minor gigs in "Kinsey" and "Flags of our Fathers," and a starring role in Broadway's "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson"
Why You Should Care: Because he's playing Abraham Lincoln as a vampire slayer, that's why! The 29-year-old leads this strange, possibly-not-historically-accurate action flick from director Timur Bekmambetov, who helmed "Wanted." Rumor has it that playing a vampire-killing president is a good career move, so score one for Walker.
Movies: Battleship (May 18), Sparkle (Aug. 17)
Resume: A slew of superb pop songs and sold-out concerts
Why You Should Care: Sure, Rihanna and Jordin Sparks aren't necessarily "unknowns," but both music titans are making their acting debuts this summer in what could prove to be their breakout films. Rihanna helps battle an extraterrestrial takeover at sea in Peter Berg's big-budget "Battleship," while Sparks gets to show off her musical chops in "Sparkle," which doubled as Whitney Houston's final film role. After this summer, Rihanna and Sparks might be better known for their silver screen prowess than their radio play. Probably not, but hey, you never know what can happen when big boats or Whitney Houston is involved.
Movie: Step Up Revolution (July 27)
Resume: The little-loved remake of "Fame" and "So You Think You Can Dance"
Why You Should Care: Don't forget, nobody knew who Channing Tatum was before he shimmied into our hearts in the original "Step Up." As the star of the latest installment in the dance-happy franchise, which this time focuses on a professional dancer learning to tear up the streets of Miami with her moves, McCormick is given her best chance yet to take the audience's breath away and leave an indelible impression.
Movie: Savages (July 6)
Resume: The starring role in "Kick-Ass" after nearly a decade in supporting gigs
Why You Should Care: Johnson startled a lot of superhero fans as the title hero in "Kick-Ass," and now he gets to play Oliver Stone's muse in the director's high-octane drama about a kidnaping by the Mexican drug cartel. As a pot enthusiast who has to win his (shared) girlfriend back alongside Taylor Kitsch, the 21-year-old gets to share the screen with John Travolta, Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro.
Movie: Sparkle (Aug. 17)
Resume: A whole lot of "One Life To Live" and arcs on TV shows like "The Game" and "Gossip Girl"
Why You Should Care: After scoring a small role in "Think Like a Man," Sumpter is ready to keep the summer rolling in "Sparkle," where she plays one of Jordin Sparks' character's sister and forms a girl group with the prospective star. Sure, 99% of the "Sparkle" audience will be there to see Whitney Houston's last performance and Jordin Sparks' first one, but Sumpter could finally earn the film breakthrough she deserves.
CHLOE GRACE MORETZ
Movie: Dark Shadows (May 11)
Resume: The foul-mouthed Hit-Girl in "Kick-Ass," and the lovely Isabelle in the Oscar darling "Hugo"
Why You Should Care: At only 15 years old, Moretz has demonstrated a remarkable range, whether as the warm heart of "Hugo" or a 12-year-old vampire in "Let Me In." Before she takes on the title role in the remake of "Carrie," Moretz will increase her profile as Michelle Pfeiffer's daughter in the Johnny Depp vehicle "Dark Shadows."