10 Actresses to Watch & Why 2012: Part Two

#5.

Name: Ashley Greene

Born: February 21, 1987 in Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Credits: LOL / Butter / Skateland / The Twilight Saga

Interest: Ashley is the only member of the Twilight gang that makes my list. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison, Anna Kendrick, Taylor Lautner and Kellan Lutz have all branched out from the Twilight mega-franchise and had moderate success. Ashley has really been kept kind of in the backseat focusing on the red carpet glamour and dating co-star Kellan Lutz. Ashley is the only reason I endure the Twilight movies because if you sit back and watch them she is the only actor
who is really having fun. Why isn’t she being pushed for romantic comedies or some solo projects?

Future projects: In 2012, she’ll co-star in the all-star ensemble farce Butter starring Jennifer Garner and then she’ll back up Miley Cyrus in LOL. Then she will close out the year with the last Twilight film based on the novels. Lionsgate who just bought Twilight studio Summit announced that they are wanting to continue the Twilight franchise after the final film based on the books. Well here is an idea how about a spinoff focused on Ashley Greene’s Alice!

What she needs to succeed: She’s amazing but she needs to branch out quick or miss the window. She needs to find an agent who is going to push her for more projects.  She should be on the lips of every casting agent in town but instead she is barely mentioned. Why is that? She really needs to work with the same people representing Olivia Wilde.

#4.

Name: Rooney Mara

Born: April 17, 1985 in Bedford, New York, USA

Credits: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / The Social Network / Youth in Revolt / Dare

Interest: We can all talk about Rooney’s transformation from a very mousy actress into David Fincher’s version of Lisbeth Sallander for the remake of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Yes it was a powerful transformation for a very flawed film. Rooney’s work with Fincher has pushed her into the limelight and other directors are starting to take notice of her. It is doubtful that Fincher will return if the sequel to Dragon Tattoo is greenlit. The sequel is being debated by the studio
after the lukewarm reception of the first film over the holidays. The second film was my favorite of the original trilogy but a sequel to the new film seems  unlikely at this point.

Future projects: She has moved onto Terence Malick’s Lawless where she will star opposite Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett. This will be her kind reckoning when it comes to what she can do and can she stand up to the heavyweights in this film.

What she needs to succeed: She needs to start booking projects and soon before the shock of her transformation for Dragon Tattoo wears off. With no sequel assured she needs to either work with Fincher on his next film or branch into more indie fair just to keep her name out there. If she doesn’t soon she could become yesterday’s news quicker than her older sister Kate Mara did two years ago.

#3.

Name: Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Born: November 28, 1984 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, USA

Credits: The Thing / Scott Pilgrim vs. the World / Live Free or Die Hard / Death Proof / Bobby / Final Destination 3 / Sky High / Ring 2

Interest: Mary started off as just a Maxim Hottie as she did lots of thankless roles in so many forgettable movies. She’s worked with great directors like Quentin Tarantino, Emilio Estevez Edgar Wright, and George Hickenlooper.

But she really hasn’t become a household name. I placed her at #3 on my list because Mary deserves some recognition. She’s more than just a scream queen but an emerging young actress who needs to be noticed.

Future projects: Mary’s latest film Smashed with Aaron Paul is taking the festival circuit by storm. The critics at Slamdance are praising her work in it and this kind of project could be the one that finally pushes Mary from Scream Queen to full-fledged movie actress.

Also in 2012, she’ll then star opposite Charlie Sheen in  Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III and then she will return to her scream queen roots as she battles Vampires in the book to movie  adaptation of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

What she needs to succeed: I know being a scream queen is paying the bills for Mary but if she is going to finally breakout she needs to focus on quality projects that can showcase her talent. 2012 is an example year of her expanding but she needs to keep it up.

#2.

Name: Jessica Chastain

Born: March 29, 1981 in California, USA

Credits: Tree of Life / Coriolanus / The Help / The Debt

Interest: Jessica is probably one of the most exciting young actresses working in Hollywood today. But her success nearly never saw the light of day. She began her film career in 2006 where in the past six years she has made 11 films. Only 2 saw the light and were released. The rest were shelved until 2011. Then it seemed like the actress was everywhere. She was unforgettable in the smash hit The Help, the thriller The Debt and locked lips  with Brad Pitt in Tree of Life. Jessica actually made Tree of Life over three years ago and because of so many delays it didn’t debut until 2011.  She also reteamed with Sam Worthington (her co-star in The Debt) with Texas Killing Fields.

Future projects: Her success with director Terence Malick in Tree of Life led her to co-star in the director’s next project. That film is only one of four films the actress has coming in 2012. The cream of her crop for 2012 will be starring opposite Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman in John Hillcoat’s The Wettest County. As well as she has been tapped to play the female lead in Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled thriller that details the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. In 2013, she will star opposite Tom Cruise in Tron Legacy director Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi epic Horizons.

What she needs to succeed: She is one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood right now. Her recognition by casting agents and not being afraid to walk  a red carpet or promote her films that have been shelved is definitely an asset. Jessica’s going to be around for a long time, just watch.  She has the pedigree of an A-lister and it’s just only a matter of time for her.

#1.

Name: Elizabeth Olsen

Born: February 16, 1989 in Sherman Oaks, California, USA

Credits: Martha Marcy May Marlene / Silent House / How the West was Fun

Interest: Lizzie is the younger sister of tween phenom twins Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen. She made her film debut in 1994 in How the West was Fun starring her sisters. Since then she hasn’t really been on the radar. It wasn’t until the indie one-two punch of Silent House and the awe-inspiring Martha Marcy May Marlene that this new hot actress was born. Her performance in Martha Marcy was electric and definitely one of the best of the year. Now with an almost guaranteed Oscar nod, Lizzie Olsen is Hollywood’s hottest young actress.

Future projects: In 2012, Lizzie will star opposite Hollywood greats like Jane Fonda, Glenn Close and Robert De Niro. First up will be Bruce Beresford’s Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding with Jane Fonda then Red Lights with De Niro. She’ll try her comedy chops in Liberal Arts and then star opposite Glenn Close in Therese Raquin. Finally in 2013 she will star opposite Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings.

What she needs to succeed: She is on quite the roll which will expand into 2012 and beyond. If she does get an Oscar nod this month then her schedule will probably get even more insane. Stick to the plan and we’ll be seeing plenty more of Lizzie.

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