In a surprise move, and likely a reflection of this weak year for breakout film stars, THR’s annual Next Gen list for 2012 is dominated by television actors. Out of ten, only four are film actors: Elle Fanning, Rebel Wilson, Joel Kinnaman and Suraj Sharma.
The other six, though some may have dabbled on the big screen, are all new stars of new series on the small screen. Dakota Johnson impressed us with a brief turn in David Fincher’s “The Social Network”, but THR is recognizing her now for her role on new Fox comedy “Ben and Kate.” Andrew Rannells went directly from a Tony-nominated Broadway role in “The Book of Mormon” to being the star of NBC’s “The New Normal.” Stephen Amell has made a career out of guest-starring on various TV series before landing a big break starring on The CW’s “Arrow.” And while Taylor Kinney may have a role in Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming “Zero Dark Thirty”, he’s more recognizable as the lead of “Chicago Fire.” Mamie Gummer is Meryl Streep’s daughter as well as the star of new CW series “Emily Owens, M.D.” while Zosia Mamet – daughter of David Mamet – is contributing her considerable comedic talents to HBO’s “Girls”, in which she plays scene-stealing Shoshana.
Talented as they may be, all these rising TV stars are, for the foreseeable future, committed to their respective shows and are unlikely to even have time or opportunity to star in any movies. So let’s turn our attention to the four budding movie stars who also squeezed their way onto THR’s list this year.