It’s a new year, and that means a new group of actors are gearing up to make waves in Hollywood. Some of the following faces may be familiar, while others are complete strangers, either way, they all have one thing in common: they’re stars on the rise. Who will be the next action hero of this decade? Who’ll become the new it boy and girl for this generation? Check out our list of the Top 10 Actors to Watch in 2011 and see who’s caught our attention!
10. Jeremy Irvine
- Where He’s From: Bedfordshire, England, UK
- Where You’ve Seen Him: Irvine’s only professional credit is the short-lived UK series “Love Bites.”
- What’s Next: The young actor beat out hundreds of up and comers to land the lead in Steven Spielberg’s next film War Horse. It’s a drama based on the novel of the same name and you guessed it, it’s about a boy and his horse during the war. The title is pretty self-explanatory.
9. Sam Claflin
- Where He’s From: Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK
- You Know Him From: TV mini-series The Pillars of the Earth
- What’s Next: Claflin will appear in the highly anticipated sequel Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides opposite Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. With Orlando Bloom’s exit from the series, Disney needed to fill his spot with someone young, British, and attractive. Claflin fills that void with his character Philip, a missionary who falls in love with a beautiful mermaid. We smell another Elizabeth and Will coming on!
8. Lily Collins
- Where He’s From: Guildford, Surrey, England, UK
- You Know Her From: She played Sandra Bullock’s daughter in Oscar nominated film The Blind Side.
- What’s Next: Collins will play Paul Bettany’s niece and Cam Gigandet’s love interest in the 3D vampire flick Priest this summer. And speaking of vampires, she’ll have to beat off Twilight fans with a stick when she stars as Taylor Lautner’s girlfriend in the action movie Abduction this September. We hope she sleeps with all her windows and doors locked. The Jacob lovers won’t be happy.
7. Alex Pettyfer
- Where He’s From: Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, UK
- You Know Him From: Tormented, Wild Child
- What’s Next: He’s already appeared as the lead character in the DJ Caruso film I Am Number Four and the Beauty and the Beast adaptation Beastly, but he’s still got one more bullet in the barrel. Pettyfer will star in the Logan’s Run inspired drama Now opposite Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. The actor is young, blonde, and British, and if he plays his cards right, Hollywood is his for the taking.
6. Zoe Kravitz
- Where She’s From: Los Angeles, CA
- You Know Her From: The Brave One, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, “Californication”
- What’s Next: Over the past three years, Kravitz has been earning her acting stripes through small parts in small films, but that stops in 2011. The actress will appear in the Fox blockbuster X-Men First Class as Angel Salvadore opposite James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. Early next year she’ll begin work on George Miller’s long awaited sequel Mad Max: Fury Road with Tom Hardy and Oscar winner Charlize Theron. It’s been a slow build for Kravitz, but she’s finally going balls to the wall with her career.
5. Sebastian Stan
- Where He’s From: Constanta, Romania (raised in Vienna and New York)
- You Know Him From: “Gossip Girl,” The Covenant, Black Swan
- What’s Next: This fall, Stan will co-headline the supernatural thriller The Apparition with Ashley Greene about a college couple that’s haunted by a spirit, but before that he’ll hit the big screen as James Barnes aka Bucky, the spunky sidekick to Chris Evans‘ Captain America in the Marvel tentpole The First Avenger. Stan will fight Nazis this summer and ghosts this fall. That sounds like a logical transition.
4. Nicholas Hoult
- Where He’s From: Wokingham, Berkshire, England, UK
- You Know Him From: About A Boy, “Skins,” A Single Man
- What’s Next: Hoult has been steadily working since he was a kid, but he’s just starting to make his mark as an adult actor. This summer he’ll play Hank “Beast” McCoy in X-Men First Class followed by the title role in Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer in 2012, and just like First Class co-star Zoe Kravitz, he also has a part in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Our little Nicholas is growing up!
3. Rooney Mara
- Where She’s From: Bedford, New York
- You Know Her From: A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Social Network
- What’s Next: Mara beat out several of Hollywood’s most popular young actresses to land the lead in David Fincher’s U.S. adaptation of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. She’ll star as Lisbeth Salander opposite Daniel Craig in the mystery thriller. Her interpretation of the internationally established character will be a make or break moment for her career.
2. Noomi Rapace
- Where She’s From: Hudiksvall, Gavleborgs Ian, Sweden
- You Know Her From: The Millennium Series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest).
- What’s Next: Speaking of Lisbeth Salander, Rapace originated the role in the Swedish film adaptation of the Millennium book series. Her portrayal caught the world’s attention, and actors and directors where soon knocking down her door. In December, Rapace will appear alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in the sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. And next year she’ll lead an all star cast in Ridley Scott’s latest film Prometheus as the strong willed explorer Elizabeth Shaw. Rapace is definitely striking the iron while it’s hot.
1. Henry Cavill
- Where He’s From: Jersey, Channel Islands
- You Know Him From: “The Tudors,” Stardust
- What’s Next: Cavill has two feature films hitting theaters this year: Immortals and The Cold Light of Day. The latter is a thriller that centers on an American who tries to save his kidnapped family while in a foreign country and it co-stars Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. Immortals is a fantasy piece about a Greek warrior who battles the gods. Guess who’s the warrior? Beyond those films there’s one thing that makes Cavill the hottest commodity around…he’s Superman! He’ll play the title character in Warner Bros’ reboot Superman: The Man of Steel. With great power comes great responsibility, and we hope he uses it well (yes, that was from Spider-Man, so what!).
What actor are you looking forward to seeing this year?