Top 5 Up-And-Coming Young Actors.

We know Hollywood is essentially a man's world. Even in the acting world, males dominate the scene. Sure, there are the female superstars, but it typically takes longer for them to break out than perhaps a male. For a guy, it might take a few minor movies and one big movie and they're a major star (yes, there are females that have pulled this off, but it's rarer). Look at my female list from yesterday: their film resumes were in the mid-to-high teens with a mix of minor and major films, but they're still not all that big of names. Of course, there are rare reverse instances (Chloe Moretz becoming more popular than Aaron Johnson). It makes you wonder, though, due to the sexualized nature of the entertainment business why this is... but that's another article.

My point here is that it's tougher to find a male up-and-comer, because most of them are already big, household names... and I don't consider them 'up-and-comers' if they've already arrived. Taylor Lautner? Daniel Radcliffe? Michael Cera? And even, to a lesser degree, Jesse Eisenberg, Clark Duke, and (regardless of him being too old for this list, but just to make a point) Zach Galifianakis AKA "The dude from The Hangover"? They all essentially had one major film and became instant superstars.

So my list here might have some names of actors who have been in big-name movies, but they aren't quite major house-hold names (sorry Jo-Go... I don't think you can make my list anymore).

Top 5 Up-And-Coming Young Actors.

5. Kyle Gallner
Current Age: 23
# of Movies: 16
Probably Recognized From: A Nightmare on Elm Street (remake), The Haunting in Connecticut
Details: He's kind of a "that guy" for young actors. Every time I see him in something, I'm like "Oh, I recognize him." His acting isn't bad, but like the following young actor, he has yet to really shine in anything. Though he was pretty good in Haunting, despite the movie only being OK at best.


4. Logan Lerman
Current Age: 18
# of Movies: 13
Probably Recognized From: Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief, 3:10 to Yuma
Details: Logan became a bigger name after Percy Jackson, even to the point he had been rumored to take over as Peter Parker for the Spider-Man reboot. As Percy Jackson, he showed some comedic timing, action skills, and a whole lot of "WTF is going on?" He showed similar traits in the incredibly disappointing Gamer. In 3:10 to Yuma, however, he was more hard-headed and much more dramatic. He's been in other recognizable films, but nothing really in a major role.


3. Jimmy Bennett
Current Age: 14
# of Movies: 20
Probably Recognized From: Hostage, Star Trek, Orphan
Details: I first saw this kid in the Bruce Willis/Ben Foster thriller, Hostage. He did great as the crafty but scared little boy. But he's gotten to be tougher and tougher the more movies he's in. In Orphan, he's the upset older brother. And in Star Trek, for instance, he plays young James Kirk. But one movie that's like "Ho-ly Crap" is one of his earlier films, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. In this (really, really messed up) movie, he plays the son of a drug-addicted whore who uses him and is, well, not a good mother. That is a very difficult movie to watch--probably one of the most depressing I've seen (when Marilyn Manson plays one of the more likable characters, and he's still a total perverted sleazeball on screen for maybe 5 minutes, you know what's up). But Jimmy Bennett does amazingly well in it.


2. Aaron Johnson
Current Age: 20
# of Movies: 13
Probably Recognized From: Kick-Ass, The Illusionist, Shanghai Knights
Details: This guy has actually surprised me. I didn't know he was in those latter two movies before looking him up. He plays the young Edward Norton in The Illusionist, and the young Charlie Chaplin in Jackie Chan/Owen Wilson's Shanghai Knights. But, of course, his biggest claim to fame was the recent Kick-Ass. As I stated earlier, Chloe Moretz gained more fame through that movie than Aaron Johnson, but with the sequel in pre-production, I'm sure he'll garner more fame soon. And to top it off, his acting skills aren't too shabby (and he looks almost nothing like he did in Kick-Ass, strangely).


1. Anton Yelchin
Current Age: 21
# of Movies: 19
Probably Recognized From: Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, Charlie Bartlett, Alpha Dog
Details: Anton Yelchin is an anomaly. He's starred or co-starred in quite a few major Hollywood films, yet you go to your average moviegoer and say "Anton Yelchin," you'll probably get a "who?" But then you say something like "the kid from Charlie Bartlett," and you'll receive a fairly even mix of "Never seen it" and "Oh, I love that movie!" I think his first semi-big role was in Morgan Freeman's Along Came a Spider when he was about 12. But I don't think I first recognized him until the Bruce Willis/Ben Foster (huh...) drama Alpha Dog (OK, so it's more Emile Hirsche/Ben Foster, but I just felt like going the other way). He was excellent in that rather depressing film, and his performance at the end of that movie is just heartbreaking. But after that movie, he popped up quite a bit, from a great quirky comedy (Charlie Bartlett) to two major Blockbusters (Star Trek and Terminator Salvation). While Salvation was decent at best, Yelchin was easily the best part about it as a young Kyle Reese. Sure, his voice might grate on some... but his movies are worth sitting through. And I think out of all the up-and-comers, he's probably the one who will do the best (he already has, really... but people just can't latch on to that name).

(P.S. I'd love to add Joel Moore to this list, but he's unfortunately too old for it... oh well...)


  1. Kyle Gallner will impress your socks off with season 2 of VERONICA MARS. [Obviously I'd recommend watching season 1 first, but season 2 is more centric to his character] His movie work has really been a step down from his stellar performances in the show.

    Agreed about Logan Lerman - I'm actually a tad sad he wasn't cast as Peter Parker, 'cuz I think he woulda been a great 15-year old version of the character instead of going the 26-year-old-playin'-high schooler; definitely since Sony seems interested in pursuing the high school-centric ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN years.

    And yeah, Anton Yelchin - he's gonna do great things, no doubt. Great list, sir!

  2. Aaron Johnson has that depth in his acting skills, to not be another one like Eisenberg or Cera.

  3. "My point here is that it's tougher to find a male up-and-comer, because most of them are already big, household names... and I don't consider them 'up-and-comers' if they've already arrived."

    Yeah, I don't think even Yelchin belongs on a list like this anymore. He might not be a household name, but he's not far behind someone like Emile Hirsch, if you ask me.


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