The following list highlights the actors and actresses on television and on the big screen who really caught viewers’ attention throughout this year. They appear in no particular order:
1. Travis Fimmel – Travis isn’t a newcomer to television, as he starred in the short-lived shows Tarzan and The Beast (with the late Patrick Swayze) and before that he was a Calvin Klein model, but it was his lead role of Ragnar Lothbrok in the History Channel mini-series Vikings that caught viewers by surprise. He will appear in next year’s box office film Overdrive with Twilight franchise alum Jamie Campbell Bower and is rumored to have a role in the film adaptation of the video game series Warcraft.
2. Ambyr Childers – The All My Children alum who played Colby Chandler for two years made waves in the much-buzzed-about box office film The Master, starring alongside Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix. She also had a leading role in the 2010 Mexican horror film remake We Are What We Are and she had small roles in the 2013 films 2 Guns, Broken City and Gangster Squad. She also appeared in two episodes of this year’s new Showtime drama Ray Donovan.
3. Anthony Starr – This New Zealand actor landed the lead role of Lucas Hood in the Cinemax drama Banshee. Prior to that he appeared in the New Zealand shows Mercy Peak and Outrageous Fortune as well as the Australian shows Rush, Tricky Business and Lowdown. He also appeared in the 2012 independent film Wish You Were Here alongside Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer.
4. Ahna O’Reilly – Ahna appeared in an episode of CSI: NY and The Vampire Diaries and the made-for-TV movie Call Me Crazy: A Five Film as well as small roles in the box office films Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Help and Fruitvale Station. But, it was her role of Chris Ann Brennan in the Ashton Kutcher-led film jOBS that got her attention. She will also be seen in the upcoming box office films CBGB, Lucky Them and As I Lay Dying.
5. Avan Jogia – The Canadian actor got his first big break in the 2006 made-for-TV movie A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story and then he appeared in three episodes of the short-lived Caprica. In 2010, he was a series regular on the Nickelodeon teen comedy-drama Victorious before landing the lead role on the ABC Family mystery thriller Twisted.
6. Matthias Schoenaerts – Matthias has a long resume of roles throughout Europe, but it was his appearance in 2012 independent film Rust and Bone alongside Marion Cotillard that turned heads. He will next be seen in the box office films Animal Rescue with Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace, Suite Francaise with Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas, The Loft with Karl Urban, Rhona Mitra, James Marsden and Wentworth Miller, A Little Chaos with Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman and Stanley Tucci and Far From The Maddening Crowd with Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen and Juno Temple.
Emily Bett Rickards
7. Emily Bett Rickards – This Canadian newcomer quickly became a fan-favorite on The CW series Arrow in her role of IT expert Felicity Smoak, a role that was made her a series regular in the show’s ongoing second season. Before landing a role on Arrow, though, Emily appeared in the Lifetime made-for-TV movie Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story and the direct to DVD movie Flicka: Country Pride. She will also be seen in the independent film Dakota’s Summer, co-starring with Keith Carradine.
8. Sharni Vinson – The Australian beauty turned heads in the horror comedy You’re Next, but she got her start on the long-running Australian soap opera Home and Away and has appeared in episodes of CSI: NY, Cold Case and NCIS. She also appeared in the 2010 film Step Up 3D and the 2011 direct to DVD sequel Blue Crush 2. She is also expected to be part of the buzzed-about all-female Expendables project from producer Adi Shankar that already includes among its cast Katee Sackhoff and Gina Carano.
9. Aneurin Barnard – While Aneurin originated the role of Melchior Gabor in the London West End production of the hit musical Spring Awakening and he appeared alongside Doctor Who alum Karen Gillan in the BBC film We’ll Take Manhattan, it was his role of Richard, Duke of Gloucester in the Starz mini-series The White Queen that got him noticed. He will soon be seen alongside Michael Sheen, Sam Neill, Ioan Gruffudd and Lena Headey in the box office film The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box.
10. Liam James – TV viewers will recognize Liam as Young Shawn on the long-running US Network dramedy Psych in which he appeared from 2006 to 2010, and as Noah Curtis in the box office film 2012. But it was his role of Duncan in this summer’s critically acclaimed film The Way, Way Back that got him noticed. He also appeared in the 2010 made-for-TV movie Christmas Comes to Canaan and the AMC drama The Killing.
11. Cristin Milioti – Typically, I avoid TV comedies, but the casting of [FINALLY] “The Mother” on How I Met Your Mother was big news. Cristin landed the much-wondered-about role after years of speculation as to who was The Mother. Among her previous credits are appearances on TV shows like The Sopranos, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie and 30 Rock as well as originating the role of Girl in the Broadway musical Once for which she earned a Tony nomination. Up next is a role in the box office film The Wolf of Wall Street alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.
12. Tom Mison – As most TV viewers know by now, Tom plays the unexpected time-traveling fictional character Ichabod Crane in the FOX thriller Sleepy Hollow that became the, excuse the pun, sleeper hit of the fall. Prior to his role in this series, he appeared in the pilot episode of Secret Diary of a Call Girl and the BBC shows The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard, Inspector Lewis and Poirot. He also had a role in the mini-series Parade’s End and the box office films Lost in Austen, One Day and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
13. Lupita Nyong’o – Her first role (ever – outside of stage production) was as Patsey in the acclaimed 2013 film 12 Years a Slave, a role she landed three weeks before graduating from the Yale School of Drama. Lupita was born in Mexico but raised in Kenya and educated here in the US. She will next be seen in the Liam Neeson-led box office film Non-Stop. Her stage work includes The Winter’s Tale, Uncle Vanya, The Taming of the Shrew and Elijah.
Also, there were two groups of people (from film and TV) that got quite a lot of attention during the past year and they include:
The Cast of The Sapphires
1. The Cast of the indie film The Sapphires – Irish actor-comedian Chris O’Dowd (Girls, Bridesmaids and Family Tree), played Dave Lovelace, a talent scout who discovers four talented Aboriginal girls – Gail (Deborah Mailman), Julie (Jessica Mauboy), Kay (Shari Sebbens) and Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) – making them into The Sapphires and setting off to Vietnam in 1968 to perform for the troops.
The Unholy Trinity of The Following
2. The “Unholy Trinity” from The Following – Actor Adan Canto and Nico Tortorella and actress Valorie Curry starred in the first season of the disturbing FOX thriller The Following as what became to be known as the “Unholy Trinity” (Paul, Emma and Jacob) of serial killer Dr. Joe Carroll (James Purefoy).
Who are some of the new faces from this year who caught your attention either on television or in film? Please share.
TOMORROW: New Faces of 2014
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