The career paths of Hollywood performers are largely unpredictable. Who’s to say which young actresses are going to be around for years to come, which are going to burn out early and which are going to end up on reality TV shows, sucking up to Donald Trump and gracing the pages of TMZ?
Then again, a few standout names always emerge from each new crop, turning heads and snatching up award nominations like no one’s business. Here are 10 young actresses who’ve demonstrated a certain degree of staying power early in their careers.
Jennifer Lawrence is one of those freakishly talented types who get nominated for an Academy Award at an age when most people have trouble getting nominated for… well… anything. At just 20, she’s already a sought-after commodity in Hollywood, and unless she pulls a pretty extreme turnaround, it’s likely to stay that way for some time.
Having been cast in the titular role of the American film adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara is set to blow up in a big way within the next few months. You might recognize her as Mark Zuckerberg‘s girl who got away in The Social Network, or as one of Freddy Krueger’s intended victims in the 2010 remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street.
Amanda Seyfried has come a long way since playing the token idiot blonde in Mean Girls. Now recognized for her talent as a dramatic actress, Seyfried is in a position to assert herself as one of the best of her generation, provided her choice of roles stays on par (we’ll call Red Riding Hood a fluke and leave it at that).
The fresh face who matched Clooney pace-for-pace in Up in the Air and smacked around Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim Versus the World, Anna Kendrick looks poised for one hell of a career.
Tim Burton’s young muse put up a memorable performance through the over-the-top production that was 2010’s Alice In Wonderland. More memorable, however, was her role in recent indie favorite The Kids Are Alright, which drew accolades for Wasikowska and cemented her reputation as a young up-and-comer.
A cursory glance at Emma Stone‘s list of upcoming roles should be enough to convince anyone of her status as an in-demand actress. The Superbad star is keeping busy with parts in the new Spider-Man reboot and a role alongside Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love, among other notable gigs.
Don’t let the Twilight stigma fool you. Somewhere under those layers of summer blockbuster grime is a talented actress waiting to take on edgier roles. Check out Adventureland or The Runaways for proof.
Abbie Cornish has been teetering on the edge of full-blown fame for some time now, and a somewhat weak showing in the first half of 2011 (think Limitless and Sucker Punch) likely won’t help her cause. At the same time, though, she’s always fun to watch on screen, and it’s no stretch at all to picture her finally landing that one defining role.
At the moment, Emma Roberts seems to be the new face of the quirky coming-of-age indie flick. That’s not always a good thing, but it gives her an opportunity to flex her skills as a dramatic (and occasionally comedic) actress while putting some distance between her and her teenybopper days.
Amber Heard is scoring some choice roles lately. This year she’ll appear alongside Johnny Depp in the much-anticipated Rum Diary, an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s early novel, and after that she’ll play one of the original Playboy bunnies in Playboy. She also proved her comedy chops in Pineapple Express and her ability-to-put-up-with-Nicolas-Cage chops in Drive Angry. I think we have a winner here.