(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)
Last week, we unveiled Limité‘s 2012 class of Young Hollywood filmmakers—seven talented directors under the age of 40. The importance of a director can never be understated; however, it’s the actors who bring the story’s characters to life. Actors are more than just pretty faces who stand in front of a camera and recite lines. The best of them are able to emote and embody their characters. They dig beneath the skin to explore the core of each character, and what results (hopefully) is a transformation.
For Part 2 of our Young Hollywood feature, we highlight 10 talented actors aged 30 and under who we believe will be the faces of their industry for years to come.
The film industry is bursting with fresh, young talent. We encourage you to add to this list by leaving a comment, describing which young talent you think deserves recognition.
by Stephanie Dawson
From: London, England
Select Filmography: The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012), Trishna(2011), Centurion (2010)
Riz Ahmed has already made a lasting mark on the independent film scene, from the BAFTA-winning satire Four Lions (2010) to the romantic tragedy Trishna (2011), and now Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012).
Born Rizwan Ahmed in London, England, the actor graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics before studying acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama. His big acting break was the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear winner The Road to Guantanamo (2006), directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross. Ahmed won Best Actor at the Geneva Film Festival in 2009 for Shifty (2008), and was nominated twice for a Best Actor British Independent Film Award, for Shifty andFour Lions.
Ahmed has also been a hip hop artist since his teens. Performing as Riz MC, his satirical track “Post 9/11 Blues” (2006) was temporarily banned from the airwaves because of its political undertones. He has performed at the Glastonbury Festival, among others, and he started his own music festival in Manchester called Hit & Run. In 2011, he released his first full album MICroscope and is currently signed to independent label Tru Thoughts.
Ahmed was nominated to Europe’s 2012 Shooting Stars, which previously tapped actors Daniel Craig and Carey Mulligan. Soon to be a force internationally, the actor will co-star in HBO drama Criminal Justice, set to premiere in 2013 with James Gandolfini and backed by Oscar-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, 1993).
by Curtis John
From: San Francisco, California
Select Filmography: The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), The Hangover Part II (2011), Sucker Punch (2011)
Not many people who appeared on MTV’s The Real World (Season 14 – San Diego) actually go on to successful entertainment careers, but actress Jamie Chung is on that rare list. Raised by first-generation Korean parents in San Francisco, she may not have found a traditional way of becoming an actress, but Chung’s admirable ethic of working two jobs to pay her college tuition has paid off beautifully. Having appeared on a variety of TV shows since her stint on MTV, including the ABC Family Channel miniseries Samurai Girl(2008), Chung quickly transitioned to feature films. She played Stu’s fiancé in the smash comedy The Hangover Part II (2011), appeared in this past summer’s thriller Premium Rush alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and had a starring role as Amber in the alternative reality movie Sucker Punch (2011).
With her now-recognizable face and charming smile, Chung is currently appearing on ABC’s Once Upon a Time as the legendary Mulan, putting her sword-wielding skills to full use, and currently appears on the silver screen as Lady Silk in RZA’s highly anticipated directorial debut The Man with the Iron Fists.
by Morgan Goldin
From: Rawlins, Wyoming
Select Filmography: Sons of Anarchy (TV), Elektra Luxx (2010),Quinceañera (2006)
Jesse Garcia first came to prominence in Hollywood when was cast in the critically acclaimed independent film Quinceañera. A coming-of-age story about a young Latina who finds herself pregnant as her fifteenth birthday nears, the film was a sensation when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, where it took home the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. Garcia’s role as Carlos garnered him many accolades, and he won the ALMA (American Latino Media Arts) Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture in 2007.
Since coming to Hollywood, Garcia has maintained a career that balances film and television. Aside from appearing in a few notable indie films like Saint John of Las Vegas (2009) and Under the Same Moon (2007), Garcia has acted in a wide array of genres on television, on popular programs like The Shield, The Sarah Connor Chronicles,ER, The Closer, Law and Order: CI, NCIS, Unfabulous, Justice, andSons of Anarchy. Despite a busy schedule, the actor managed to squeeze in an acting stint in Joss Whedon’s adaptation of the popular Marvel comic book series The Avengers (2012), currently one of the highest-grossing pictures of all time. Among all these projects, Garcia has taken on the challenges of directing. Currently in post-production on his debut short film, a war drama titled “The Price We Pay,” Garcia is also in development on his feature film directorial debut.
by Saidah Russell
From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Select Filmography: Red Dawn (2012), The Avengers (2012), Thor(2011)
Who would believe that the star of a huge summer blockbuster likeThe Avengers (2012) got his start on an Australian soap opera? As unlikely as it seems, it happened to Chris Hemsworth. Born in Melbourne, Hemsworth landed his breakout role in the soap operaHome and Away, a role for which he won a Logie Award (Australia’s version of the Emmys) for Most Popular New Talent. He left the show in 2007 and headed for LA to try to make it in Hollywood. While many actors struggle for years before landing a decent role, Hemsworth made the transition from largely unknown television actor to film star pretty seamlessly, and on his first try. His first role in the States—and first film role, period—was as George Kirk, Captain Kirk’s father in J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek (2009). Hemsworth worked on smaller projects for the next few years before being cast as Thor in the 2011 adaptation of the Marvel comic. His career exploded from there.
Following Thor, Hemsworth appeared in the horror film The Cabin in the Woods, which went on to become a critical and commercial success. The film also established a relationship between Hemsworth and the film’s director Joss Whedon, who would also go on to directThe Avengers. If Hemsworth wasn’t already a superstar, then The Avengers solidified his place among the Hollywood A-list. He followed the success of the blockbuster with a starring role alongside Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). He can be currently seen in Red Dawn and will star in a Thor sequel (The Dark World) that is slated for 2013.
by Stephanie Dawson
From: Union, Kentucky
Select Filmography: Red Dawn (2012), The Hunger Games (2012), The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Josh Hutcherson broke into Hollywood at a young age. Now he’s practically a household name after his performance as Peeta in the blockbuster The Hunger Games (2012).
Hutcherson decided to be an actor at the age of four while in his hometown of Union,Kentucky. When his parents discovered Josh cold calling talent agencies, they decided he could give acting a try.
The actor has been working at his craft in television and film since he was nine. He performed motion capture for The Polar Express(2004) and later starred in Zathura (2005). For many years, Hutcherson was best known for his starring role in Bridge to Terabithia (2007), but he has also appeared in franchise projects:Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), and The Hunger Games.
Performances in films such as Kicking and Screaming (2005), Little Manhattan (2005), RV (2006), Terabithia, and Winged Creatures (aka,Fragments) (2008) proved that Hutcherson is equally adept at comedy and drama, even from a young age. His role in The Kids Are All Right (2010) gave him footing in the indie film scene, and this year he starred in 7 Days in Havana (2012), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Hutcherson can be currently seen in the remake of Red Dawn. He recently executive produced horror/comedy/sci-fi mashup Detention(2011), which opened at SXSW in 2012. He will reprise his role as Peeta in the highly anticipated Catching Fire next fall.
by Janice Y. Perez
From: Beverly Hills, California
Select Filmography: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), The Three Musketeers (2011), Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
Before Logan Lerman reached mainstream success with the titular role in 2010′s Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Lerman was better known as one of only three actors who played another actor’s son in a film and then went on to play the younger version of that same actor’s character in another film. For Lerman, it was as Mel Gibson’s youngest son, William, in The Patriot (2000), and then later that same year as young Nick Marshall to Mel Gibson’s lead role in What Women Want.
The 20-year-old Beverly Hills native began acting at the age of four after seeing a Jackie Chan film and asking his mom at age two-and-a-half if he could be an actor. Lerman’s family has been in the prosthetics supply business since 1915, and albeit his parents’ assent for him to pursue acting, Lerman considered show business as more of a hobby and never as a serious career until about 2004′s Jack & Bobby on the WB television network, in which he played Bobby, a 12-year-old Missouri outcast destined to be President of the United States.
Lerman’s latest film, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is an adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s 1999 bestselling book of the same title. Lerman plays the main character Charlie, a performance already being hailed as one of Lerman’s most masterful work. The actor next appears in director Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, to be released in 2014.
CHLOË GRACE MORETZ
by Curtis John
From: Cartersville, Georgia
Select Filmography: Hugo (2011), Kick-Ass (2010), (500) Days of Summer (2009)
Declarations are often hard to verify, but there’s no doubt that Chloë Grace Moretz is set to be a big star. Preferring to be called Chloë Grace, rather than just Chloë, this youngest of five children began her career as a child model. She transitioned to acting, and despite some earlier roles, her breakthrough came as the pint-sized, potty-mouthed super hero Hit-Girl in the comic book adaptationKick-Ass (2010), from which Moretz drew critical acclaim and the attention of the world-at-large. Her background in ballet and gymnastics made the stunt work easier, though Moretz admits that if she ever uttered one of those curse words at home she’d be grounded for years. Later, she starred in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning film Hugo (2011).
As Interview magazine posited, “Moretz has all of the stuff that makes studio executives drool: precocious talent far beyond her years, an expressiveness that can convey both wonder and worldliness, a wide-eyed beauty, [and] an old-soulfulness … ” Moretz doesn’t seem to fit the stereotypical “teen actress” mold. She’s more along the lines of a Christina Ricci, taking her share of independent movie roles, like the lead in the dark comedy Hick (2012), concurrently with bigger films like this year’s remake of Dark Shadows for Tim Burton and the title role in the remake of the horror classic Carrie(set to release in 2013).
Moretz has about nine more films in various states of production, including reprising her role in Kick-Ass 2 (2013). Actors twice her age wish they were even close to being this coveted.
by Janice Y. Perez
From: Los Angeles, California
Select Filmography: The Hunger Games (2012), Colombiana (2011)
The additional L in her first name is there for a good reason, asAmandla is the Zulu word for “power.” And what a fitting etymology it is for this budding 14-year-old bi-racial actress who dealt with a recent barrage of racist tweets and comments about her portrayal as Rue in this year’s highly anticipated film The Hunger Games, based on the wildly popular book by Suzanne Collins, with class and dignity. The half-African-American, half-Danish actress was unfortunately treated to the harsh remarks of die-hard Collins fans who disapproved of Stenberg portraying the role of a “dark brown-skinned” girl in the book.
Stenberg, for her part, steered clear of all the vileness and thanked all the appreciative fans instead. But even before The Hunger Games, Stenberg had already displayed much of that power as she performed her own action-packed stunts in 2011′s Colombiana, wherein she played the younger version of Zoe Saldana’s lead character.
In addition to Stenberg’s acting abilities, she is a gifted musician, playing the violin, drums, and guitar. She also dabbles in voice-over work for film, television, and commercials. When not in front of the camera, Stenberg is actively advocating for the non-profit organization Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign (www.nokidhungry.org), which aims to end poverty among children in the United States.
by John Lee
From: Phoenix, Arizona
Select Filmography: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), The Help (2011),Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
Emma Stone is undoubtedly Hollywood’s “It Girl” right now. Stone started acting at 11 as a member of the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. She starred in over 16 stage productions, and at 15 she decided she wanted to pursue acting full time. Moving to LA in 2004 with her mother, she quickly scored guest starring roles on television shows like Medium, Malcolm in the Middle, and Lucky Louie.
In 2007, Stone made her feature film debut in the comedy Superbad(2007), co-starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. After her 2009 role in the horror/comedy Zombieland with Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson, she scored her first lead role as Olive Penderghast in the 2010 indie comedy Easy A. The film was a box office hit and the actress received wonderful notices for her vibrant and charming performance, including a Golden Globe nomination.
Stone then changed gears from comedy and scored a dramatic lead role in 2011′s Oscar darling The Help, an adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel of the same title. She scored her biggest box office success with this year’s The Amazing Spider-Man, a reboot of the blockbuster franchise. The film received mixed reviews, but critics pointed out her and Andrew Garfield’s performances as highlights. Next for Stone is the 2013 crime-dramaGangster Squad with Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling.
by Daniel Quitério
From: Somerset, England
Select Filmography: The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Killer Joe (2012),Atonement (2007)
In less than eight years working, Juno Temple has over 30 credits—a rarity for an actor of any age, but in particular for a 23-year-old whose roots are planted firmly outside Hollywood. Location seems irrelevant in Temple’s case, though, as her upbringing in a showbiz household no doubt helped influence her decision to become an actor at the age of four. The London-born actress’s mother is producer Amanda Pirie and her father is director Julien Temple, who has directed videos for dozens of musical icons.
The elder Temple gave Juno her first taste at film acting when he cast her in his 1998 narrative feature Vigo. (Unfortunately for Juno, her scenes were cut from the final film.) Temple later appeared in her father’s 2000 film Pandaemonium before she was cast during an open call for the 2006 Oscar-nominated drama Notes on a Scandal, in which she plays the daughter of a teacher (Cate Blanchett) who has an affair with one of her teenage students. Temple’s breakthrough role, though, came the following year in Joe Wright’s time-spanning epic Atonement, in which she plays a manipulative girl who cries rape and incites the film’s main plot. The actress’s ability to play a troubled teen has proven an asset to her, particularly in the 2012 gritty drama Killer Joe, in which the actress bares all—both physically and emotionally.
With over 20 films under her belt and another nine in various stages of production, the would-be fashion designer is a commodity in Hollywood. Among her next appearances is a role in the Angelina Jolie-starring Maleficent, a Sleeping Beauty story.