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Next Gen 2013: 5 Rising Stars to Watch

Issue 40 FEA 5 Next Gen Stars - H 2013
From left: Taylor Schilling, James Wolk, Lupita Nyong'o, Miles Teller, Bella Thorne

This year's class of hot on-camera talent includes a fearless first-time Oscar contender, the man behind "Mad Men's" buzziest character (Bob Benson!) and others on the biz's "must-hire" list.

This story first appeared in the Nov. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

LUPITA NYONG'O, 30

Hot project: Best picture frontrunner 12 Years a Slave.

Unique provenance: Born in Mexico, raised in Kenya.

Showbiz start: Worked as a PA on the 2005 Africa-set feature The Constant Gardener.

Big break: Landing the role of Patsey in 12 Years three weeks before graduating from the Yale School of Drama.

Best career advice: "Only be an actor if you feel there is nothing else in the world that you want to do."

LIST: Next Gen 2013: Hollywood's New Class 

TAYLOR SCHILLING, 29

Hot project: Netflix's prison dramedy Orange Is the New Black.

Hometown: Boston

Education: New York University

Big break: Getting the lead in NBC's [hospital drama] Mercy just out of school.

Inspirations: Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange and Gena Rowlands

When I'm not working: I'm in the back of a hardware store or having scrambled eggs with friends.

If I weren't acting, I'd be: In a psychiatric hospital.

MILES TELLER, 26

Hot projects: James Ponsoldt's hit 2013 indie The Spectacular Now, 2014's Divergent with Spectacular's Shailene Woodley

Hometown: Downingtown, Pa. 

Growing up, I wanted to be: A baseball player.

Big break: Rabbit Hole

I get starstruck around: Athletes. I saw Kobe Bryant at a CAA party. That was surreal. 

If I weren't acting, I'd be A struggling musician. 

My proudest moment in 2013: Having my entire family at Sundance with me.

PHOTOS: THR's Next Gen Class of 2013 

BELLA THORNE, 16 

Hot project: 2014's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner

Hometown: Miami Beach 

Big break: I was the first and only child to ever be a spokesperson for Texas Instruments. 

I get starstruck around: Quentin Tarantino and J.J. Abrams

Craziest thing I've done to get a role: Convincing Disney, at 12, that I could do the job of the [teen] actors they were casting.

JAMES WOLK, 28

Hot project: CBS' Robin Williams comedy The Crazy Ones and AMC's Mad Men

Hometown: Farmington Hills, Mich. 

Growing up, I wanted to be: An illustrator like Norman Rockwell

I get starstruck around: People I grew up watching (Robin Williams). 

When I'm not working: I'm running.

If I weren't acting, I'd be: A lawyer or doctor. My Jewish grandparents are still hoping I'll find my way to graduate school.