×

Sundance: 5 Actors With Breakout Potential

Buzzy thesps on the verge of breaking out thanks to Park City premieres

These busy thesps are on the verge of breaking out thanks to Park City premieres.

Desiree Akhavan
Art imitates life in “Appropriate Behavior,” in which the writer-director — an Iranian-American Lena Dunham, of sorts — plays Shirin, the daughter of a very traditional Persian family who’s trying to put her life back together after breaking up with her first girlfriend. “It’s semi-autobiographical,” admits the openly bisexual Akhavan, who shot the feature debut in just 18 days in her former Brooklyn neighborhood. “I’d just broken up with my first girlfriend and come out to my family, and this was a way of dealing with all that. And it’s a comedy as I wanted to explore complex issues, but with a light touch.”

Astrid Berges-Frisbey
Perhaps the ethereal Spanish actress was destined to play Sofi, the exotic — and deeply spiritual — model in “I Origins.” Director Mike Cahill (“Another Earth”) needed someone “playful, thoughtful, charismatic, provocative” opposite Michael Pitt’s atheist scientist, and after seeing Berges-Frisbey in “The Sex of Angels,” found her acting to be “incredibly compelling, fearless and honest.” The icing on the cake? “Astrid has a rare and wonderful trait called sectoral heterochromia, which means having more than one color per eye. Believe it or not, I wrote that Sofi has this quality. Some things are just meant to be.”

Johnny Flynn
After directing the Brit rocker in “Lotus Eaters,” director Alexandra McGuinness described Flynn as “that rarity: a great musician who’s also a gifted actor.” Now, Flynn is poised to steal hearts — among them Anne Hathaway’s, onscreen at least — in “Song One,” screening in dramatic competition. After Sundance, he will appear opposite Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche in “Clouds of Sils Maria” for director Olivier Assayas (with whom he collaborated on “Something in the Air” in 2012). And he starts a U.S. tour soon in support of his latest album, “Country Mile.”

Boyd Holbrook
A year after attending with “Very Good Girls,” Holbrook returns to Sundance with two projects, one a comedy (“The Skeleton Twins”), the other a rural American tragedy (“Little Accidents”) about a coal miner who survives a catastrophic cave-in. The tortured “Little Accidents” character should earn Holbrook serious cred, which has already been building through roles in such pics as “Out of the Furnace” and “The Host.” He has several more projects upcoming, including roles in David Fincher’s “Gone Girl,” Universal’s “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” “Jane Got a Gun” and an untitled Terrence Malick project.

Josh Wiggins
Searching for a young actor to play “a destructive kid on the brink” in Sundance competition selection “Hellion,” writer-director Kat Candler quickly zeroed in on Wiggins, even though he’d never acted before. “I saw him in some YouTube videos he’d done with friends and brought him in to read. Once he walked in the room and opened his mouth, I just knew, this is my kid.” “Hellion” tells the story of a 13-year-old, motocross-obsessed delinquent (Wiggins) whose Texas family is collapsing around him. “Josh’s performance is so raw and honest,” she adds. “I’d write a role just to work with him again.”

More Film

  • Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big

    Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big At Durban FilmMart Awards

    DURBAN–Female-driven narratives and daring portraits of queer culture around the continent were the big winners at this year’s Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, which handed out awards at a ceremony Monday night at the Southern Sun Maharani Hotel. Among the prize-winners were the story of a Zimbabwean woman [...]

  • Oscar Nominations Reactions Phyllis Nagy

    Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy Runs for Writers Guild Presidency, Citing Agency Stalemate

    Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s incumbent president David Goodman, citing his handling of the bitter stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy announced her candidacy online Monday night, a day before the deadline for filing. She made the announcement  in a private online group as part of Writers for [...]

  • Klaudia-Reynicke

    Locarno: Summerside Picks Up ‘Love Me Tender’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rome-based Summerside Intl. has acquired international sales rights to Klaudia Reynicke’s “Love Me Tender.” The second feature from Peru-born and Switzerland-based filmmaker will receive its world premiere at the Locarno Festival in its Filmmakers of the Present competition, which focuses on first and second features. Summerside Intl. is the world sales agent, excluding and Lichtenstein [...]

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content