10 Actors to Watch

Emerging talent on the screen and tube

With more films being produced than ever, it would seem a great time to be an actor. But increased production means increased confusion, and it’s getting harder to distinguish between a true talent and a flash in the pan — at least until we see the work onscreen.

At Daily Variety, we’ve taken up the challenge of divining acting’s next wave of talent. Our international thespian crew ranges from true breakthroughs like Rick Hoffman, who left his job at Jerry’s Deli for life on “The $treet” with Darren Star, to vets Chi McBride, David Krumholtz and Topher Grace. While McBride has been around for some years, his recognition has skyrocketed with “Boston Public.” The still young Krumholtz started early and is now reaching a critical mass with “The Mexican,” “Cheaters” and “Sidewalks of New York.” Grace has been well received on “That ’70s Show” and moves to the big screen in Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic.”

And because the flood of production is an international phenomenon, we also have Brit Paul Bettany, who’ll be opposite Heath Ledger in “A Knight’s Tale”; Aussie hotshot David Wenham, who’s dancing with Nicole Kidman in “Moulin Rouge”; and Irishman Stuart Townsend, who’ll be in next year’s “About Adam.”

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Then there are American unknowns such as Johnny Knoxville, who’ll deal with Stephen Dorff in MGM/UA’s “Deuces Wild”; Reggie Hayes, who’s handling UPN’s “Girlfriends”; and Kip Pardue, who tests his throwing arm in “Remember the Titans.”

It may be a little too early to predict statuettes for these 10, but we can say you’ll remember them. And these days, amid the high volume of screen traffic, that’s an auspicious beginning.