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Hollywood Hype Machine / Too Early to Call

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  • Emma Roberts was heavily hyped as being the next big thing due to her relation to Julia Roberts (she's her niece) and roles in a few high-profile movies. After an adaptation of Nancy Drew in 2007 (among other flops like Wild Child and, which both went Direct-to-DVD in North America), it looked that she was never going to break out. Despite the obvious fact that no-one was biting, Hollywood continued to push her, which led to lackluster performances of Scream 4 and The Art Of Getting By. Emma's still around, but it will take a major hit film to turn things around for her. On the brighter side, hooking up with Ryan Murphy helped - she got positive reviews for her role on American Horror Story: Coven, returned for American Horror Story: Freak Show and American Horror Story: Cult, and starred on Scream Queens (2015).
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  • Gerard Butler. After roles in such films as Dracula 2000 and the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider sequel, People magazine predicted he would become a megastar upon the release of the movie version of the musical The Phantom of the Opera (2004). However, not only was that film a modest performer at the box-office, but Butler turned out to be a big reason for the fandom's Broken Base. In early 2006, he finally attracted big-time attention via 300, and since then has alternated between action films (Gamer, Law Abiding Citizen) and Chick Flick/Romantic Comedy fare (The Bounty Hunter, The Ugly Truth). He's getting plenty of work, but The Onion probably had a point when it joked that saying Butler is starring in a film is just false advertising.
  • Alexander Skarsgård got a lot of attention for True Blood and for dating former starlets, but what his current fans perceive as famewhoring and paparazzi baiting seems to be turning them off. He's on the fence until future efforts succeed in replenishing the ranks. Solid and Ho Yay-riffic work on Generation Kill seems to be doing the trick. He also won lots of acclaim for his turn in Big Little Lies.
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  • Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Hollywood seems entranced by the both of them, despite their continued failure to gain traction with audiences. The movie Bloom turned down, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, performed under expectations, and even Maggie's presence in The Dark Knight hasn't been enough to bolster her career, with most of the praise she received only being in comparison to Katie Holmes, the woman she replaced. Her unconventional facial appearance (big jowls and looking much older than the current crop of young starlets) is part of it as well. But the suits seem undeterred, so who knows? Maybe someday, one of them will hit it big. Family Guy, naturally, was not above pointing all of this out with a cutaway gag in which the two bickered over which one was "more offputting" and "more unappealing in a lead role."
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  • The fictional character Batwoman. When the character was announced as appearing in the weekly comic series 52 in 2007 there was a massive media response, even branching into non-comic related formats. The character was a recreation of the classic character from the 1950's, but was written as a lesbian involved with one of the primary characters for the series. Most of the media focus was on her sexuality, and she became regarded as the highest profile gay superhero in The DCU. Dan DiDio, Chief Editor of DC Comics, has said that even he was completely unprepared for the massive news fixation on the character, and did not know how to properly respond. Though unconfirmed, rumors circulate that the Batgirl series being published at the time of her introduction was canceled in order to make room for her character. However, the amount of coverage on the character was completely out of proportion to her role in the series, which was a supporting role spread out over a year, and she spent the following two years as a minor and unused character, only appearing in guest spots in other series. However, in 2009 she became the headline character in Detective Comics and received a well-received title-series by Greg Rucka that effectively delved into her backstory. 2019 even had a further mainstream push with her own TV show, albeit only the first season will star the character of Kate Kane, with the next putting a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
  • Justin Bieber rode an immense wave of success in the early years of his career (despite releasing the same album three times note  and a Christmas album), with his third album (and second album of all original music) going platinum in several countries. He was a major sensation to pre-teen girls, but like most people with that target fanbase, their careers are prone to flaming out quickly. The biggest threat to Bieber's career as a mature performer was initially people getting completely sick of him, as he saturated every form of media out there, even appearing on shows and in magazines that have nothing to do with his target demographic of young children and teens. Hype Backlash was thus a major concern.
    • The early 10's were not so kind to him — in 2012, a certain British boy band started to cannibalize his fanbase. He did manage another successful album (Believe, considered to have grown the beard) and another successful world tour... but his next concert film flopped and his subsequent album was withdrawn from iTunes. He soon got an arrest and a DUI under his belt, adding to the likeliness that he would burn out.
    • The tables finally turned in 2015. After spending the first half of 2015 on an apology tour and doing his best to undo the damage of his 2014 scandals, along with the surprise hit with Skrillex and Diplo "Where Are Ü Now", his highly-promoted comeback single "What Do You Mean?" debuted at #1 on the Hot 100, something that One Direction never achieved; his subsequent album Purpose was released on the same day as 1D's, and went on to trounce it, debuting at number one (subsequently ending 1D's perfect #1 album streak at 4) and having two enormously successful followup singles ("Sorry" and "Love Yourself"), which were the two biggest hits of 2016. Two more tracks featuring Bieber, Major Lazer's "Cold Water" and DJ Snake's "Let Me Love You", were also smash hits in the summer of 2016. While he's still on shaky ground (and 1D arguably still has a bigger "hardcore" following), he gained a larger casual following than he or 1D ever had. It's certainly a positive turning point and the future looks bright.
  • The boys of Supernatural. Both Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have gotten incredible praise for the show (including helping to raise it above the Sci-Fi Ghetto), and for being a couple of members of "Young Hot Hollywood" who can actually act instead of relying on their good looks. However, both of their attempts at film careers after starting Supernatural (Jensen in My Bloody Valentine 3D and Jared in the Friday the 13th (2009) remake) went nowhere. The big test will be when they branch out of the sci-fi/horror genre, and when Supernatural ends they can be choosier about film roles (since right now they are limited to what they can do while Supernatural is still on the air).
  • Patrick Dempsey had a serviceable but unremarkable film career for a while. Once Grey's Anatomy became successful, Hollywood started trying to promote him as the next big thing. Of the leading-man roles he's had since then, only Enchanted was really a critical and/or commercial success, and that one was arguably helped by having the Disney name behind it as well. His other roles haven't really set the world on fire, though he readily admits that his acting on Grey's mainly helps finance his auto racing career and he wouldn't mind pursuing motorsports full-time.
  • Gemma Arterton began being hyped as the next big UK starlet after a One-Scene Wonder role as Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace (managing to overshadow even lead female Olga Kurylenko). However, none of her post 007 roles (The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Tamara Drewe, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Clash of the Titans, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) have managed to meet the hype. There's still a slight chance that she could pull it off but it's looking very unlikely.
  • Justin Timberlake has been a very successful singer since his days in *NSYNC, but his movie career has had a lot of ups and downs. His entrance into Hollywood was rough: Alpha Dog had mixed reviews, but his performance was mostly praised. Then Southland Tales, Shrek the Third, and The Love Guru ruined the careers of everyone involved, including him. Nobody cared for The Open Road, but then The Social Network gave him a massive career boost. From then on it was bumpy again: voicing another CGI character, picking the wrong sci-fi thriller to star in, and being hit or miss with the rom-com genre. A supporting role in Inside Llewyln Davis may keep him afloat acting-wise in the short term; to work with both David Fincher and The Coen Brothers illustrate that some big-name directors still have a lot of faith in him.
  • Seth Rogen has been dancing around this trope for a while. He's been acting since the late nineties but he got his biggest push from Knocked Up in 2007. Like Michael Cera, he was then on the receiving end of criticism for playing the same character (The vulgar but loveable slacker) too many times in films that weren't successful or were despite his presence. The biggest exception was Observe and Report, in which he played against type as a delusional, sinister mall cop, but it received mixed reviews. Though he earned back quite a bit of cred with his surprising dramatic performance in 50/50 which have made people view him in a better light, and This Is the End, which he co-wrote and starred in, was a commercial and critical success, as was his follow-up Neighbors and his infamous North Korea comedy The Interview. Some of his works after like Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising weren't as successful though he did have another hit with the rated R animated film Sausage Party.
  • Emily Blunt became known outside of the UK in 2006 with her performance in The Devil Wears Prada and a Golden Globe win for the drama Gideon's Daughter. But since then, her career has been a rollercoaster of critical hits (The Adjustment Bureau, Sunshine Cleaning, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and major misfires (The Wolfman (2010), The Five-Year Engagement). She actually had to decline the role of Black Widow in Iron Man 2 (and the subsequent appearances in films like the box-office juggernaut The Avengers) because of a scheduling conflict with Gulliver's Travels, which was a box office bomb during the 2010 holiday season. However the year 2014 was very good to her with hits like Edge of Tomorrow and Into the Woods and the repeated commercial success of Sicario and The Girl on the Train, plus a one-two punch in 2018 with A Quiet Place and Mary Poppins Returns seems to have kept the ball rolling.
  • Guy Henry, better known as Henrik Hanssen in Holby City has become critically acclaimed, and has avoided things such as Small Name, Big Ego etc. Unlike Justin Bieber, he isn't criticised or the subject of jokes, and is considered attractive by a lot of women - as much as the aforementioned individual.
  • Beth Behrs, from 2 Broke Girls has also received critical acclaim as well, and time will tell if this lasts or not. However, her Germans Love David Hasselhoff status - in the United Kingdom - probably counts for this too.
  • Viola Davis has had a string of very well-received roles over the past few years starting with the acclaimed Doubt. However she hasn't done anything really big since then; this isn't due to lack of talent, but more of how what kind of roles Hollywood offers black actresses. Davis' later films included small supporting parts in Ender's Game, Beautiful Creatures, and Prisoners; something she's not very happy about, calling these roles "mammy-ish" and "down-trodden". But she landed her own series with How to Get Away with Murder on ABC which got renewed for a fourth season, and resulted in her winning an Emmy. She was also praised for her role as Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad (2016) and won a well-deserved Oscar for her performance in Fences, which showed that her career is going steady for her.
  • Although prominent since Clueless, character actor Paul Rudd's stint as a Hollywood leading man has been built upon the popularity of the Judd Apatow films he has appeared in. He had a promising start with Role Models and I Love You, Man, but practically every film since then have been either box-office flops or disappointments. This Is 40 has gotten a lot of praise though and he's guaranteed a career in prominent supporting roles. His performance as Scott Lang in the 2015 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Ant-Man boosted his career a bit.
  • Andrew Garfield had a string of indie successes (Lions for Lambs, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) before hitting it big with The Amazing Spider-Man. Even critics who didn't care much for it praised him in the title role, favorably comparing him to Tobey Maguire (who also found the right balance between big budget films and small dramatic films). Although, he left the Amazing Spider-Man franchise over creative disputes with Sony, he became a critical darling with his acclaimed roles in fare such as The Social Network (which many felt he was overlooked for at the Academy Awards), Silence and Hacksaw Ridge (which did earn him his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor). As such, it's looking hopeful he'll stay big for a long while.
  • Emma Stone also fits, with Spider-Man crowning a rise after a series of well-received movies (Zombieland, Easy A, The Help). She later earned an Oscar nomination for Birdman. Then in 2016, she earned a lot of praise for her performance in the musical film, La La Land, for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical and an Oscar for Best Actress. Later, she got nominated again at the 2019 Oscar in the supporting category for her role in The Favourite.
  • Jeremy Renner initially did well with this trope, helped by the fact that he is much older than most of the stars usually being hyped. While he'd been working pretty consistently since 1995 and got attention for his roles in Dahmer and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, it was The Hurt Locker in 2008 that brought him huge acclaim and an Oscar nomination. He's since followed it up with critical acclaim and another Oscar nomination for The Town, a supporting role in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and a central role in The Avengers (2012) as Hawkeye. While Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and The Bourne Legacy did well at the box-office but not so well with critics, the Marvel Cinematic Universe helped keep him working consistently. Unfortunately, in 2019 a snowballing series of embarrassments and worse seriously damaged his reputation: his musical side-career and a failed app became subjects of mockerynote , and his ex-wife accused him of Domestic Abuse. Combined with ongoing fandom snark about Hawkeye being the lamest hero in a series featuring Loads and Loads of Characters, and his future in the franchise uncertain with the aforementioned allegations (not to mention that the MCU is planning on the introduction of the second, female, Hawkeye), the end may or may not be in sight.
  • Ever since the Pussycat Dolls split up, Hollywood has been trying their absolute damnedest to make Nicole Scherzinger a pop superstar. She had one album, long stuck in Development Hell, released in 2010, to mild success. She's also won a season of Dancing with the Stars, had multiple TV spots, including judging spots on the UK and US versions of The X Factor and her own episode of Behind The Music. It's still up in the air if all of it will finally pay off.
  • The entire cast of Star Trek (2009) has gotten huge hype from their roles but arguably none more so than Chris Pine, playing the role of Captain Kirk. While he had some hits and critical acclaim before, it was his role in the 2009 reboot that put him firmly on the A-List. Since then, he's had some great success with roles in Unstoppable, This Means War (2012) and Rise of the Guardians. He was also cast as Jack Ryan in the film of the same name, taking over a role previously held by Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck. His latest major role as Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman has done much favors for him as the film was not only a critical and commercial hit, but many praised his performance and chemistry with lead Gal Gadot.
  • Australian star Jason Clarke, similar to Jeremy Renner, is an older actor who is gaining huge success in his forties with roles in Zero Dark Thirty, Lawless and The Great Gatsby (2013) as well as a leading role in the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Terminator Genisys. Time will tell if he can keep it up.
  • Tom Hardy was once considered the next big star with a role in Star Trek: Nemesis. However the film flopped badly and nearly killed his career before it got started. This resulted in Hardy falling into an addiction to alcohol and crack which he eventually overcame. His role in Bronson helped revive his fortunes but it was his role in Inception that made him big again. He followed it up with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Warrior, This Means War (2012), Lawless and, most notably, his role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises which was a colossal hit and earned him huge acclaim. 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road opened to rave reviews, ending up being the most critically acclaimed film of the year, and The Revenant nabbed him an Oscar nomination, so don't expect Hardy to fade into obscurity anytime soon. Even the maligned Venom made a lot of money and had reviewers conceding that as bad as the movie was, Hardy at least made it watchable!
  • Aaron Tveit has kicked around Broadway for a few years with the occasional recurring part, but the Powers That Be have been actively looking for a vehicle to introduce him to the mainstream. It finally happened with a turn in the film adaptation of Les Misérables (2012) and the new show Graceland. However, as seen under Amanda Seyfried's entry, much of the attention of Les Mis was directed toward Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman, and while he's getting great praise for Graceland, its status as a darker show on the normally bright and optimistic USA Network has made its reception a little lukewarm.
  • Michael Shannon had been kicking around for years in prominent supporting roles in films such as 8 Mile and Bad Boys II but it was his scene-stealing role in Revolutionary Road in which he just about stole the film from Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates with ten minutes of screen time, that earned him huge praise and an Oscar nomination. Since then, he has gone from one success to another with acclaimed starring roles in films like The Iceman and Take Shelter, rave reviews for supporting roles in Premium Rush and The Runaways and most notably his role in HBO's Boardwalk Empire and his role as Zod in blockbuster Man of Steel. He later received another Oscar nomination for Nocturnal Animals and was praised for his performance in The Shape of Water. While he may not exactly be anyone's idea of a leading man, it is likely he will stay around for a while.
  • Bryan Cranston has been acting for over three decades, but 2008 onwards have seen him make his way up to the A-List. Already famous and acclaimed for his role in Malcolm in the Middle, it was his role on Breaking Bad that saw him win enormous acclaim, three Emmys and has since been considered one of the best actors on television. His film career has been shaky with his some flops (Total Recall (2012), Rock of Ages, John Carter) and some big hits (Argo, Godzilla), but he was not the major box-office draw of these films. Like Michael Shannon and Jeremy Renner, he has the advantage of being considerably older and having a more distinctive presence than most other actors and he has a hugely dedicated fanbase, with type casting being a lesser issue as he has already proven he can reinvent himself even late in his career. Time will tell what happens next.
  • Cranston's costar from Breaking Bad Aaron Paul is less lucky. He won three Emmy Awards for his role as Jesse Pinkman. However, the films he starred after his breakthrough, Need for Speed and A Long Way Down, were critical flops. He has had some success with his involvement in Bojack Horseman, though and is cast for the third season of Westworld.
  • Boy Band One Direction took America practically overnight. While they had a slower rise in Europe, they were relatively unheard of in the United States—and then they started appearing everywhere. Although initially pegged as rivals to fellow rising boy band The Wanted, One Direction made short work of them, and The Wanted's career fizzled after one big hit. Then, the band's eyes were set on Justin Bieber. One Direction shocked the world when they defeated Justin Bieber at the 2012 Video Music Awards, which was a sign that Bieber's reign atop the teen world was coming to an end. One Direction proved that the victory was no fluke by continuing to dwarf his accomplishments and sales. Not only were the Brits' popularity skyrocketing past the Canadian's and closing in on his peak, but it was also obvious that Bieber's popularity was starting to fall (his own behavior would hurt it even worse). It's quite clear that One Direction are the biggest teen phenomenon since *NSYNC.
  • Taylor Kitsch has been having a rough time with this trope as of late. He first rose to prominence with his role in Friday Night Lights showing he could be a very good actor in addition to being fan service like in The Covenant. His post career has been very rough with 2012 proving a disastrous year with three high-profile disasters in Battleship, Savages and most notably John Carter, which was one of the biggest box-office disasters in recent memory. He does have an advantage in that he wasn't blamed for any of the failures, with John Carter's attributed to a very poor marketing campaign and an enormously bloated budget, and the fact that critics and audiences already know how well he can act. He's been confirmed for the second season of True Detective but earned mixed reception for his performance which doesn't help that the second season was not as good as the first.
  • Channing Tatum broke out into the mainstream with Step Up and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. This had the effect of typecasting him as either a bland meathead or a Mr. Fanservice. Although he attracted a swarm of Estrogen Brigade, critics didn't think too highly of him, nicknaming him 'The Charming Potato' - though he had proved that he did have some acting prowess in his earlier roles in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and Stop-Loss. The year 2012 was very successful for him - with both 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike proving to be Box Office smashes and critical successes. Both were followed up with successful sequels, and he won lots of acclaim for a dramatic turn in Foxcatcher as well as a wildly against type role in The Hateful Eight. The Box Office failure of Jupiter Ascending and the Development Hell for his Gambit movie seems to be throwing a bit of a wrench into things however. Though his work with Steven Soderbergh has won him considerable acclaim and earned him a new life as a more respected actor.
  • Chris Evans has had his ups and downs with this trope. After his role in Not Another Teen Movie, he got a number of prominent roles, most notably as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four franchise. While most of his films did fairly well, they were usually not well-received by critics, and he never broke out as a major star. While he did get some positive press for his roles in Sunshine and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, they didn't do very well at the box office. However, his career started to pick up in 2011, when he was cast as Captain America in Captain America: The First Avenger and the subsequent Marvel Cinematic Universe films. While his films outside it (The Iceman and Snowpiercer) have been only moderately successful, his Marvel roles should keep him around for a while. Especially with the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If anything kills Evans's career it may well be Evans himself; he's expressed ambivalence about his blockbusters and stated that he may well retire after his Marvel contract is up to focus on directing. He has seemed more enthusiastic during the lead-up to Avengers: Age of Ultron, though, and suggested he may be willing to extend his contract until Avengers: Endgame which is his last movie as Captain America.
  • Since Divergent is considered by several in terms of hype to be "The New Hunger Games," being a film adaptation of a popular Young Adult book series (and every new such franchise launched between the two has bombed), there are already some press that are hyping up Divergent star Shailene Woodley as "The New Jennifer Lawrence." Adding to this comparison is the fact that both got their first break on low-budget cable series (The Bill Engvall Show for Lawrence, The Secret Life of the American Teenager for Woodley.) The box office success of The Fault in Our Stars is certainly a step in the right direction but after Allegiant bombed so badly, she refused to return to the final movie which was regulated as a TV movie. Fortunately, her performance in Snowden and Big Little Lies was praised which means there's hope for her.
  • Olivia Wilde was featured in a slew of supporting roles on film and TV before being cast as Thirteen on House. The ratings success of that series brought her onto the radar of a larger audience. Afterwards, she was given a big push through starring roles in such blockbusters as TRON: Legacy, Cowboys & Aliens, and In Time, only for most of these movies ending up under-performing. However, in 2019 she branched into directing, which proved much more fruitful when her debut feature Booksmart received widespread critical acclaim.
  • 5 Seconds of Summer are an Australian pop rock boy band who got their big break opening for One Direction, and the success they experienced was enormous, becoming the only boy-band able to stand toe-to-toe with them. Groups like The Wanted and Big Time Rush had their careers flushed down the toilet by their rivals, whereas upcoming groups like Emblem3, Midnight Red, and Union J were unable to take off, so 5 Seconds of Summer was expected to suffer the same fate. But instead, the group debuted at number-one with their first album, outsold One Direction's opening, got 5 top 40 hits in only three months, and are apparently next in line for the teen idol throne.
  • Michelle Dockery came to national attention for her role as Lady Mary in the worldwide hit Downton Abbey and much was expected of her. She didn't do much work outside of Downton so it remains to be seen if she'll remain prominent now the show has ended. She was given her own TV series in America; Good Behavior, in which she goes wildly against type to critical acclaim. This led to leading roles in more TV series, including Godless and Defending Jacob.
  • Lily James has received a lot of good press, coming from Downton as well. She was at one point touted as "the next Keira Knightley" and was brought to national attention with her widely praised role as the title character in Disney's live-action remake of Cinderella. Her first follow-up to that - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - playing with her 'English Rose' typecasting, was a Box Office Bomb. But she already had Downton and another well-received role in the BBC adaptation of War and Peace to fall back on, so time will tell. Starring in Edgar Wright's hit Baby Driver is certainly promising. She also had a prominent role in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which was a commercial and critical success.
  • Her Cinderella co-star Richard Madden has received similar hype, he too coming from a hit TV-show (Game of Thrones). His first follow-up - the film Bastille Day didn't make much headway and got mixed reviews. Then, he got the lead role in BBC's Bodyguard which earned him critical praise and a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He stars in Elton John's biopic, Rocketman (2019), as his music manager and is cast in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film, The Eternals.
  • Kevin Hart is climbing up this ladder as we speak, in large part thanks to his highly respected stand up career. While the films he's starred in, like Ride Along and Grudge Match, haven't been well-received by critics, audiences have enjoyed them more thanks to box office gross. Forbes even named him the top-paid comedian of 2016 with $87.5 million, surpassing long-time record holder Jerry Seinfeld. More recently, he has had a couple of commercially and critical successful films that costarred Dwayne Johnson: Central Intelligence and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle as well as having a role in the highly successful animated film The Secret Life of Pets. He was supposed to host for the Oscars 2019 but after two days since the announcement, he dropped out after a series of his old homophobic tweets resurfaced which he apologized on the next day.
  • Sarah Rogers, ITV news reporter has had critical acclaim and her Twitter feed is popular - although it's very much a dry type of Twitter, with no controversial tweets. She was believed to be in Strictly Come Dancing but that never got anywhere, amd she's covered many dark and edgy news topics, sometimes news stories with An Aesop in them, and she is considered a good up-and-coming reporter who deserves national attention. Time will tell if she becomes as big a star as Scarlett from Gogglebox.
  • Carolin Roth from CNBC is well-known to the fanbase who watch Street Signs on CNBC weekday mornings 9am-11am UK time, but recently, she's become very popular and has been well-received for her appearances with Louisa Bojesen on Street Signs and her ability to present, with an interesting mixture of Technician vs. Performer. Although it's too early to call, she is still getting a cult following from viewers, and people are expecting her to be on reality shows by 2017 (although the probability of that is anyone's guess).
  • Irish actor Jack Reynor was given a lot of hype thanks to his breakout role in What Richard Did. Hype Backlash set in pretty quickly, especially after his turn in Transformers: Age of Extinction, which had some viewers questioning whether the former was just a fluke. He did earn critical acclaim for his parts in smaller films like A Royal Night Out, Sing Street and the 2015 adaptation of Macbeth so time will tell.
  • Felicity Jones had a slow climb to the top, starting out as a child actress in The Worst Witch. She had a series of respectable roles in well-received films, before netting a lot of acclaim for Like Crazy. Her attempt at joining a franchise - namely as Felicia Hardy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - didn't go so well when Sony sold the Spider Man rights back to Marvel. But an Oscar nomination for The Theory of Everything gave her a real boost and she headlined three films in 2016 - Dan Brown's Inferno, A Monster Calls and the Star Wars spin-off Rogue One. Time will tell if this translates into superstardom.
  • Around The New '10s, Hollywood was clearly looking to give Lily Collins a breakout role. As the daughter of famous musician Phil Collins, she attracted a lot of attention from guest spots on the revival of Beverly Hills, 90210 and a supporting role in the Oscar-nominated The Blind Side. However her first attempts at leading roles - as the love interest in the Taylor Lautner vehicle Abduction and Snow White in Mirror, Mirror - were unsuccessful. The former was trashed by critics and was a Box Office Bomb, while the latter was overshadowed by the other Snow White film Snow White and the Huntsman. The Hype Machine really got behind her with the announcement that she would play Clary Fray in the film version of the hit Urban Fantasy The Mortal Instruments. The film ended up becoming a flop with audiences and critics, the sequel was cancelled and the franchise rebooted as the Netflix series Shadowhunters with a new cast. Lily was however praised for her performances, some even comparing her to Audrey Hepburn, and she did earn a Golden Globe nomination for 2016's Rules Don't Apply, lots of acclaim for the Netflix film To The Bone and was chosen to co-lead the 2019 biopic Tolkien - so time will tell.
  • Emilia Clarke is slowly rising on the top ever since she was cast as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones which got her an Emmy nomination. By then, she landed a role as Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys which received negative critical reviews and most of these reviews panned her performance. Although she quickly recovered with her starring role in Me Before You, her film career was hampered by the commercial failure of the film Solo. With Game of Thrones's disastrously-received finale in 2019 — which her character was at the center of — only time will tell if she will stay on top or be remembered as a one-hit wonder.
  • Tom Hiddleston has been gradually climbing to the top ever since he first gained mainstream exposure as the villainous Loki in Thor with subsequent reprisals as the villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe only adding to his stardom. In between starring as Loki, he has been finding consistent, critically-acclaimed work like The Night Manager, which netted him a Golden Globe award. His biggest hit that he headlined outside of the MCU was Kong: Skull Island, which received good reviews and grossed over $550 million world wide though some felt that his otherwise solid performance was overshadowed by the All-Star Cast. What helps Hiddleston stand out from the other MCU cast members is how takes an active role in smaller budget productions to garner goodwill from critics and avoid high-profile flops that could tarnish his record. For the time being, Hiddleston seems to be doing well and may be on his way to securing A-list stardom if he can continue his consistent track record.
  • Tessa Thompson suddenly started attracting a lot of praise with well-received roles in Creed and Dear White People. This led to her getting a prominent role in Westworld, and she was brought to international attention when cast as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame. She was noted to be the standout of the cast, and her star power was enough to make her feel comfortable to propose an all-female team-up movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She also earned roles in Men in Black: International and the live-action adaption of Lady and the Tramp.
  • Jon Hamm has had an odd relationship with this trope. After a few years of doing bit work and supporting roles, He burst onto the scene with Mad Men and won huge acclaim for his role and he has made a few forays into film such as The Town and Bridesmaids, the latter of which allowed him a chance to prove his comedy skills. But he hasn't fully made the leap to film success yet. This is partially due to his admitted aversion to franchises that require long contracts, ruling him out of superhero films even though many had been and still are pushing for him to play Batman in the DC Extended Universe, something which Hamm has said he'd be up for if the script were good enough. Like some other actors on here, his older age gives him a degree of protection from being replaced and his acclaimed work on TV means he'll be around for a good while. He also had a huge hit with Baby Driver so the possibility of him breaking out as a film star is definitely still there.
  • Margot Robbie, although somewhat well-known in her native Australia, got a lot of attention after being in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, where she turned out to be surprisingly talented for an actress in a role that could've easily been written off as Ms. Fanservice. Then, she starred in several films such as Focus and The Legend of Tarzan, neither of which performed that well with audiences or critics. Her starring in the financially successful but critically panned Suicide Squad (2016) also didn't help, although her performance as Harley Quinn was noted to be one of the more enjoyable parts of the move. However, she made a quick recovery by gaining critical praise for her performance as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in the Biopic I, Tonya, which got her numerous nominations during the awards season including a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical and an Oscar for Best Actress. For what it's worth, she is willing to pursue roles in different genres to avoid typecasting and her willingness to perform her own stunts in Suicide Squad and I, Tonya does sell her as a committed actress. Not to mention that Warner Bros. is willing to give her more creative input on Birds of Prey movie, going so far as to bump her up to the producer role and letting her choose the writers and director. She also had the major role in Quentin Tarantino's 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Sharon Tate, a performance that was well received and even earned approval from Tate's sister. Time will tell if Robbie will indeed live up to the hype and keep a good career going.
  • Barry Keoghan became a household name in his home country of Ireland with a starring role in Love/Hate. He's been given the opportunity to star in high profile films such as Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Black 47 - though not as a lead yet. Time will tell if he can live up to the hype.
  • Domhnall Gleeson had some hits with Harry Potter and a supporting role in Dredd and was known in his native Ireland for being the son of Brendan Gleeson but it was About Time that really launched his career. Since then, he's been on a major critical and commercial hot streak with Ex Machina, Brooklyn, The Revenant, American Made and, most notably, a major role in the Star Wars sequel trilogy among other films. If he can continue his ability to choose good projects and mix respected smaller films and major commercial hits, he will have a very successful career ahead.
  • Gal Gadot started out playing a supporting roles in The Fast and the Furious, but her big break came when she played Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe. Although the character debuted as a supporting character in the polarizing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gadot's performance was well-received even by the film's harshest critics. The subsequent Wonder Woman origin movie was a critical and commercial success with many critics positively comparing Gadot to Robert Downey Jr. and Christopher Reeve as the generation's most iconic superhero actor. Not only that, but a Wonder Woman sequel was fast-tracked while many other DCEU movies linger in Development Hell, ensuring that she will keep playing Wonder Woman even as her co-stars Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck have a much more uncertain future in the franchise. Outside of The Fast and the Furious and DC movies, she had a voice role in Ralph Breaks the Internet and managed to surprise many by being not only a decent voice actor but also a good singer. If anything, Gadot may become the new face-of-the-brand player for the DCEU just like Robert Downey Jr. has become for the rival MCU.
  • Tom Holland. Although he started out in the stage adaptation of Billy Elliot and The Impossible, his mainstream break-out performance came when he played Spider-Man in the MCU starting with Captain America: Civil War. Holland's performance was highly praised for balancing both the wisecracking action hero and nerdy everyman aspects of Spider-Man. Although his role was primarily comedic, many fans and critics noted how Holland was also surprisingly adept at dramatic performances with Holland improvising the much lauded death of Peter Parker in Infinity War. Even with his tendency to accidentally spoil movies and leak production secrets hasn't hurt his popularity since he goes out of his way to show utmost humility and avoid burning bridges. Even at his young age, he holds much clout in the film industry as Holland personally convinced Disney CEO Bob Iger and Sony Pictures Chairman Tom Rothman to form a new deal to keep Spider-Man in the MCU after negotiations initially broke down. Outside of the MCU franchise, some of his movies were a mixed bag: Onward, where he voiced the lead character, earned him a nomination from the Annie Award while Chaos Walking (2021) flopped badly. Though he was cast as Nathan Drake for the film adaptation of Uncharted and is set to star in The Crowded Room. Holland noted to balance his career of acting in franchises and doing indie work.
  • Pedro Pascal played a lot of minor and supporting TV roles in the past until he played the dashing Prince Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones which earned unanimous praise from critics and viewers. Later, he was given one of the lead roles in the Netflix series, Narcos and was cast in The Great Wall, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and The Equalizer 2. This boosted more on his star power which eventually led him to getting the role of Maxwell Lord in Wonder Woman 1984 and playing the titular character for Disney+'s The Mandalorian. The Mandalorian proved wildly successful during its first two seasons, and when WW84 ended up premiering one week after the second season finalenote , Pascal earned acclaim for proving he could deliver subdued and boisterous performances with equal pathos. After that, he eventually earns the role of Joel Miller for the TV series adaptation of The Last of Us.
  • Jennifer Lawrence had a huge boom throughout the first half of the 2010s but failed to keep up that momentum through the rest of the decade, leaving her career in a bit of a flux. She first came to critical notice with Winter's Bone which earned her an Oscar nomination and then won one for Silver Linings Playbook at only 22. She then had huge financial success with The Hunger Games from 2012-2015 and some of her earlier X-Men movies (including 2011's X-Men: First Class) but struggled to pick the right projects post-Hunger Games which lead to commercial and critical troubles, especially being seen phoning it in the latter X-Men movies. Her first big budget outing after the former franchise , Passengers (2016), was a critical and commercial flop. Her next two films: mother! and Red Sparrow (2018) both were financial and critical misfires. Her performance in her last X-Men outing, 2019's Dark Phoenix, was lambasted and the film was poorly received and one of the costliest flops of all time. She then decided to take a break and figure out where to go next. She's still only 30 and a very talented actor in the right role so she shouldn't be counted out just yet.


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