Variety has selected its 10 Actors to Watch list, unveiling a diverse group of thesps whom the publication’s editors believe to be on the brink of big things. Profiles of the actors will appear in print on Oct. 8, followed by special in-person recognition at the Hamptons Intl. Film Festival the following weekend.
Decided on the brink of the Toronto film fest (where 2011 honoree Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the opening night film, “The Fifth Estate”), this year’s lineup favors actors who’ve distinguished themselves on the festival circuit.
The list includes Michael B. Jordan, star of Sundance audience and grand jury award winner “Fruitvale Station,” and Brie Larson, whose lead role in indie “Short Term 12” earned that film identical kudos at SXSW in March. “Blue Is the Warmest Color” star Lea Seydoux — already quite accomplished in France but poised to become a major international name — shared the Palme d’Or at Cannes for her performance.
Another Cannes breakout was Oscar Isaac, who plays the title character in the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” while frequent James Franco collaborator Scott Haze appeared in both Cannes premiere “As I Lay Dying” and the director’s more recent, Venice-launched “Child of God.”
Both Dane DeHaan and Jack Huston impressed in Sundance-Venice-Toronto selection “Kill Your Darlings,” while Variety editors spotted “Picture Day” star Tatiana Maslany at the Whistler film fest last fall (she since landed the lead in BBC America’s “Orphan Black”).
Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o set last weekend’s Telluride film fest abuzz with her stunning performance in “12 Years a Slave,” which next plays in Toronto. Rounding out the list is David Oyelowo, no stranger to sprocket operas, who drew raves for his performance in “The Butler” and will be seen on the fest circuit this fall with his new film “Complicit.”
Now in its 16th year, Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch list has a long track record of identifying talent early, having spotlighted Jean Dujardin, Jennifer Lawrence, Melissa Leo and Christoph Waltz before they went on to win their Oscars — and many others who’ve been nominated or gone on to land high-profile roles.
According to fest artistic director David Nugent, “The Hamptons International Film Festival is proud to work with Variety again to highlight the actors and performances that have moved us so profoundly this year.”