Next Gen 2012: Actors
Bright young things? Bring 'em on, as The Hollywood Reporter recognizes the 35 superstars 35 and under who are moving up fast (and having fun) in film, TV, digital, law and news.
ANDREW RANNELLS, 34
Co-Star, The New Normal
Rannells picked up a Grammy and Tony nomination for his role on Broadway's The Book of Mormon. The actor from Omaha, Neb., has segued into a co-starring role on the NBC comedy and an arc on HBO darling Girls.
Industry Mentor: Judith Light. She was doing a play in New York while I was on Broadway. I've come to depend on her ear quite a lot.
Big Break: Book of Mormon changed my life. I'd been working for 10 years before that -- off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway and regionally.
Best Advice: Mark Ruffalo once said, "Your career is happening right now, it's not something that will start when you get a certain job."
10 Years Ago: I was directing Saturday morning cartoons for a company called 4Kids Entertainment: Sonic the Hedgehog and Kirby.
Can't-Miss TV: American Horror Story because I'm in love with Jessica Lange. She's so bonkers.
When I'm Not Working: I'm cleaning, much to the horror of my boyfriend. I love ironing and vacuuming.
JOEL KINNAMAN, 32
He started his career as a kid on a primetime soap in Sweden and didn't win over U.S. audiences until his compelling turn as a morally nebulous detective on AMC drama The Killing. The role netted him just enough cred to nab the coveted lead in Jose Padilha's remake of RoboCop, slated for 2014, alongside the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman.
Industry Mentor: Stellan Skarsgard.
Best Advice: Stay true to your taste and don't get misled by all the bullshit around the business.
Biggest 2012 Accomplishment: I shot a scene with Gary Oldman [for RoboCop] that might be the best thing I've ever done.
Movie Fix: When I was a kid home sick -- or faking a stomachache -- the Star Wars movies and Indiana Jones series were my recipes for a two-day hiatus from school.
Online Obsession: CNN.com. I'm pretty obsessed with the election right now. I hope it goes Obama's way, as the rest of the world does.
When I'm Not Working: I love to climb and play chess -- the kind of activities where you're forced to not think about anything else except keeping your concentration in the moment.
STEPHEN AMELL, 31
The Ontario-born Amell is the face -- and abs -- of The CW's DC Comics adaptation, which premiered to an impressive 4.14 million viewers and particularly strong reviews. The bow marked the network's best premiere since The Vampire Diaries' 2009 debut and earned the series a full-season order after two airings.
Career Inspiration: I was offered a full-time position at an insurance brokerage that scared the shit out of me. I quit and went into acting.
10 Years From Now: I hope to be standing in my office looking at a big picture from Arrow's 100th episode party. I'm interested in directing and producing, too. I'd love to have the final word.
Biggest 2012 Accomplishment: Starting episode two, because Arrow was just an audition and the pilot was just a pilot.
Movie Fix: The People vs. Larry Flynt.
Lunch Spot: Cabo Cantina. Lunch usually involves a Corona.
SURAJ SHARMA, 17
Star, Life of Pi
The novice makes an auspicious acting debut in Oscar-winning director Ang Lee's hotly anticipated adaptation of the hit novel. The adventure drama, which opens Nov. 21, is garnering awards buzz for the Indian actor, who, in his role as a boy stranded on a boat with a tiger, tackled a Cast Away-like acting feat.
Career Inspiration: I never really intended to become an actor. Even today, I don't even know if I can act! All I am sure of is that I want to be a storyteller and make movies.
Best Advice: From Ang Lee: "You can be great at what you do. But humility and staying grounded and remembering where you're from is what makes you a good human being."
Biggest 2012 Accomplishment: This movie is the only thing I've done, so it's definitely my proudest moment.
Can't-Miss TV: I don't watch too much because then I can't study. [He's studying philosophy at St. Stephen's College in New Delhi.]
Worst Day: One day on Pi, 12 hours in, they were checking another wave sequence and I was on the boat trying my best to prove that I could still stand up. I felt like I was going a little mad.
TAYLOR KINNEY, 31
Star, Chicago Fire and Zero Dark Thirty
After playing an EMT on NBC's drama Trauma and a werewolf on The CW's The Vampire Diaries, Kinney landed a starring role in Dick Wolf's newest drama, NBC's Chicago Fire. The Lancaster, Pa.-reared actor (who happens to be dating Lady Gaga) also snagged a role in Kathryn Bigelow's awards-bait drama Zero Dark Thirty, a chronicle of the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Career Inspiration: I got sick of roofing. I did carpentry work growing up. My buddies from home will call and say, "I'm on a roof and it's 100 degrees," and I think to myself, "I'm so lucky."
10 Years Ago: I left college my junior year, moved to Hawaii and was framing houses. I was homeless and broke and had a 1970s truck.
Best Day: When I booked Zero Dark Thirty. It was pretty secretive. They called to ask if I had a valid passport and said I would be traveling to the Middle East. I took a backpack and a duffle bag and was gone for a few months.
Worst Day: I remember it was a Thursday. We got a call after I had gone saying [Trauma was] canceled. I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone.
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