European Shooting Stars, a continent-wide initiative to draw attention to up-and-coming performers coordinated by European Film Promotion, has launched many young thesps into the international film scene. From Feb. 16-19, the 10 actors selected for the 2018 edition will participate in profile-raising workshops, as well as meetings with experts and industry members, all designed to foster their professional networks.
The daughter of Danish helmer Bille August and his Swedish actress-director wife, Pernilla, Alba grew up on international movie sets and appeared in films directed by both parents. But her star rises independently with the release of “Becoming Astrid” from Danish helmer Pernille Fischer Christensen. She plays the young Astrid Lindgren, beloved author of “Pippi Longstocking.” August says: “I just finished shooting a Danish TV show for Netflix, called ‘The Rain.’ It’s been a totally different experience compared to ‘Becoming Astrid’ — fast pace and more action. That has been my dream, to do projects that are as different from each other as possible.”
In Variety slanguage, Coel is a multihyphenate. The award-winning actress, producer, playwright, screenwriter and poet nabbed a 2016 BAFTA for female performance in a comedy program and breakthrough talent for the TV series “Chewing Gum,” which she created, writes and performs. 2018 will feature another season of the show, plus her leading role in Tinge Krishnan’s feature “Been So Long,” a musical about unrequited love. Does she also want to direct? “Just writing next year, still with a focus on screen work,” Coel says. “For now, I am very happy to just focus on writing, acting and producing — that’s a lot going on!”
Matilda de Angelis
An actress, musician and vocalist, De Angelis zoomed to national attention as a young rally car driver in “Italian Race” (2016). It brought her two David di Donatello nominations: one for her performance, the other for singing the title song. Her driving skills also proved handy on the upcoming actioner “A Reckless Life.” De Angelis, who speaks fluent English and “good French,” is also working on her first solo album. “After five years with a ska-reggae band, I need to go back to my origins with a more rock and singer-songwriter genre mixed with some electronic influences,” she says.
Harboe has appeared in stage productions and sang in bands since she was a child. Her first screen breakthrough came as the feisty heroine of the teen comedy “Kiss Me You F—ing Moron” (2013), but her vulnerable turn as a repressed college student in Joachim Trier’s “Thelma” vaulted her to international attention. Using special exercises and breathing techniques, Harboe realistically simulated Thelma’s seizures and heightened states. The physically demanding role also required underwater training and acting with snakes. Harboe says she would love to work with Ruben Ostlund, but most important for her is that “the character is complex and strong, and the story is meaningful.”
Known for his exciting debut as a restless youth turned airline hijacker in “Hostages,” Kvirikadze has been living in the U.S. for the past four years. “When I first moved to New York from Tbilisi, I studied at Stella Adler’s Studio,” he says. “I moved to L.A. nine months ago and absolutely love it here. I’m working on my craft and constantly trying to hone my skills.” He speaks fluent Georgian, English and Russian and is working with a dialect coach to perfect his English accent. Next up, an indie feature from another U.S.-based Georgian that will shoot in N.Y.
Rogowski plays the lead in two German titles that world-premiere in the 2018 Berlinale competition: “Transit,” a WWII-era identity drama from Christian Petzold, and “In the Aisles,” a supermarket-set contemporary drama from Thomas Stuber in which he plays opposite “Toni Erdmann’s” Sandra Huller. Rogowski trained in contemporary dance and broke through in Jakob Lass’s indie film “Love Steaks.” It combined improvisation within a planned narrative structure. He’s also in Terrence Malick’s “Radegund” and is on stage at the Munich Kammerspiele until April. Rogowski says he would like to work with Sofia Coppola.
This versatile, Dutch-speaking performer will soon be seen as the lead in “Gangsta,” from Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah — who are on Variety’s 2018 10 Directors to Watch list — and is in talks to star in an international project that would mark his English-language debut. Which filmmakers are on his wish list? “I really admire the work of Ruben Ostlund,” Simoni says. “His work always is a perfectly balanced mixture of drama and humor. Also, Michael Haneke. He knows how to capture the essence of our existence in a way no one else can.”
Jonas Arent Smulders
Already the recipient of an acting golden calf award, Smulders is also a director-writer currently studying at the Dutch Film Academy. “I first started writing short stories and poems just for myself,” he says. “After a while, I noticed that I felt the urge to visualize some of those ideas. By being on many different film sets I learned a lot about the practical things that are needed to make a film.” He next appears in the romantic drama “Open Seas,” helmed by Michiel van Erp, and he co-directed “Mr. Ricard” with fellow thesps Ko Zandvliet and Martijn Lakemeier.
After creating waves in Oscar foreign-language nominee “On Body and Soul,” Tenki is utter perfection as the lead in Éva Gárdos’ “Budapest Noir.” She’s also a member of Budapest’s Orkény Theatre, where she stars in Ferenc Molnár’s classic comedy “The Swan.” With her fluent English, she could travel far. Which directors appeal to her? “Damien Chazelle, because I adore ‘La La Land’ and ‘Whiplash,’ ” she says. “Besides him, I have some European directors whose works feel close to my heart, especially Michael Haneke and Thomas Vinterberg.”
In “Blue My Mind,” “The Streaker” and “Midnight Runner,” all released in 2017, she plays three very different yet similar girls. “They all find themselves stuck in the most wonderful, but at the same time hardest, period of growing up,” she says. “It’s very fascinating to play roles like that, because through developing/exploring and acting the character I can still learn so much about myself.” Wedler has a degree in contemporary dance, is studying at the European Film Actors School in Zurich and looks forward to playing strong female characters that challenge her.