Jared Leto Tops Google's 2014 Trending Actors List

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Jared Leto

Matthew McConaughey, Macaulay Culkin and Chris Pratt also made the list

Jared Leto is this year's top trending actor, Google revealed in its year-end topics list. As 2014 comes to a close, here are the other trending actors, according to the search giant.

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1. Jared Leto

The Internet loved Jared Leto this year. In addition to being one of the top searched people in 2014, he was the most searched actor. In March, Leto picked up the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in Dallas Buyers Club after a six-year absence from the big screen. In July, an Instagram post of Leto hugging a tree inspired the hashtag #jaredhugginleto and became a viral Internet meme. More recently, the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman reached trending status when Warner Bros. announced that he would play the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad

2. Matthew McConaughey

Basking in his “McConaissance,” Matthew McConaughey picked up several awards and nominations for his acting in 2014. First, he won best actor for his role in 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club, and later received an Emmy nomination for HBO’s True Detective, among others. In October, the actor gained another surge in popularity after Ellen DeGeneres, Conan O’Brien, South Park, and Saturday Night Live all lampooned his popular Lincoln MKC ads. Then on Nov. 5, Christopher Nolan’s much anticipated science fiction film Interstellar debuted and again brought McConaughey to center stage. 

3. Macaulay Culkin

In addition to experiencing his annual holiday season Google search boost, which is almost certainly the result of his 1990 Home Alone film, Macaulay Culkin got two extra surges in Internet popularity this year when Facebook users circulated rumors that he had died. Both death hoaxes were spurred on by Facebook memorial pages with titles such as “RIP Macaulay Culkin,” the first occurring in April and the second in November. On tour with his Velvet Underground cover band, The Pizza Underground, at the time of the second hoax, Culkin put all rumors to rest with a few tweets and a video of himself making out with Har Mar Superstar.

4. Chris Pratt

GQ’s Man of the Year, Chris Pratt catapulted himself from relative unknown (aside from Parks and Recreation fans) to international superstar in 2014 when he became the year’s highest grossing actor. From February on, Pratt made his voice a familiar one with his portrayal of Emmet in wildly popular The LEGO Movie. In August, he rose to greater heights in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which went on to become 2014’s highest grossing movie in the U.S. and the second most popular on social media after Disney’s Frozen. On Nov. 25, Universal released the trailer for 2015’s Jurassic World, the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise and Pratt’s next movie, which again popularized the burgeoning actor. 

Read More: 'Wolf of Wall Street,' 'Frozen' Top List of 2014's Most Pirated Films

5. Theo James

Although he had been the star of British supernatural series Bedlam and 2013’s crime drama Golden Boy, it wasn’t until he accepted the role of Four in the dystopian sci-fi franchise Divergent that Theo James became the next young adult sensation and one of the U.S.’s top searched actors of 2014. James’s popularity peaked during late March when the first film of the series was released but has experienced recent growth with the Nov. 12 debut of the teaser trailer for sequel film The Divergent Series: Insurgent.

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