Thesps blaze new star trails

10 Actors to Watch

Unlike entertainment’s myriad award shows, Daily Variety’s annual 10 Actors to Watch is a gauge of potential rather than achievement. And the potential business is a tricky one to be in.

After poring over the tapes and info and reading the tea leaves, the final tally comes down to incremental differences based on the strength of the performances and viability of the projects involved.

The results are often strong, and surprising — in seasons past the ranks have included Aaliyah and Johnny Knoxville, for example.

This year’s crew looks equally illustrious. Ron Livingston stars not only in HBO’s miniseries “Band of Brothers,” but on David E. Kelley’s Emmy-winning drama “The Practice”; Laurie Holden co-stars opposite Jim Carrey in Frank Darabont’s Capra-esque holiday pic “The Majestic”; and Audrey Tautou, already wowing auds in France, is soon to charm Stateside with “Amelie.”

Actors often confess they are only as good as their material. The same holds true each year when we search for potential talent. Luckily, this year, business is good.

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