Next Gen 2012: Actresses

2012-40 FEA NextGen Zosia Mamet P

From her political-activist lesbian on "Mad Men" to a sex-obsessed teen in "The Kids Are All Right," the offspring of David Mamet has never played it safe.

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.


Co-Star, Ben and Kate

The daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson -- and granddaughter of Hitchcock icon Tippi Hedren -- the Austin-born actress is fronting one of the fall's most well-received freshman series with Nat Faxon and proving herself a leading comedic actress after a string of small film roles.

Industry Mentor: My grandmother. I remember feeling really weird after watching Marnie, thinking, "Who is this woman?"

Career Inspiration: I watched Mary Poppins every day, and the "A Spoonful of Sugar" scene, with all the drawers opening and the toys dancing around, is the most amazing thing ever.

Best Advice: Sleep whenever you can -- even if it's for five minutes. And always be eating.

Biggest 2012 Accomplishment: The fact that I haven't yet died carrying this show. I think it's a big accomplishment that I'm still on my feet.

When I'm Not Working I'm: So lazy. I would love to just lay around. Give me the option of going on a beautiful hike or watching movies, and I'd be like, "Let's f--ing watch movies, man."


Star, Ginger & Rosa

Fanning is the rarest commodity in Hollywood: a teenage actor more poised and soulful than most adults. Following in the footsteps of her older sister Dakota, the Conyers, Ga.-born actress has tackled big action flicks (Super 8), moody indies (Somewhere) and, this fall, gripping drama in Sally Potter's film Ginger & Rosa -- a role that's giving the actress her first serious awards buzz.

Big Break: When I was 2 years old, I played my sister at a younger age in Jessie Nelson's I Am Sam. I got to swing on a swing with Sean Penn.

Career Inspiration: I used to watch Grease over and over again. I loved getting to see '50s style. It's so cool. These people get to dress up, have different hair and pretend like they're in different decades. That's so neat to me.

Biggest 2012 Accomplishment: This is a big one: I used to bite my nails really bad, so I finally grew them out enough to be able to put polish on them. Right now I have on a sheer pink.

I Fall Asleep At: 11 p.m. T

The Last Thing I Do: Mark off what I've done on my Barbie calendar. I write with my special pink pen everything that I have to do that day, so then the last thing I do is cross off what I've done.


Star, Emily Owens M.D.

After years of quietly crafting her career onstage, in small films and on TV (she was a regular on ABC's short-lived 2011 drama Off the Map), Meryl Streep's eldest daughter (and wife of actor Benjamin Walker) is grabbing her own headlines now as the star of the new medical dramedy on The CW.

Industry Mentor: Aside from my mom? I say the person I go to for advice is Claire Danes.

Biggest 2012 Accomplishment: Emily Owens. Carrying the show and its development and getting up every day to try my best.

Best Advice: My dad [sculptor Don Gummer] always says, "Start by starting."

Can't-Miss TV: I can't wait for Girls to come back. I miss it. It makes me feel stronger.

Movie Fix: The Last Unicorn. It's a cartoon movie I watch whenever I go home. I pull out the VCR and pop it in. It makes me feel 8 years old.

When I'm Not Working I'm: Eating, drinking and then trying to get through yoga class.


Star, Super Fun Night and Pitch Perfect

After a breakout role as Kristen Wiig's roommate in Bridesmaids, the Aussie actress is one of 2012's most ubiquitous scene-stealers: She's not only headlining Super Fun Night, the Conan O'Brien-produced comedy pilot for ABC, but she also has appeared in a half-dozen features, including Leslye Headland's comedy Bachelorette, the celeb-studded What to Expect When You're Expecting and the hit musical comedy mashup feature Pitch Perfect from director Jason Moore.

Big Break: When I auditioned for Bridesmaids. I improvised for Judd Apatow and Paul Feig for an hour -- I was initially reading for the Melissa McCarthy role. They gave me my first job in America. I was like a comedy ninja in that movie. Kicked some ass, and then left.

Best Advice: I had lunch with Amy Poehler at the Chateau Marmont. She said, "Whatever you do, you have to generate your own material."

Can't-Miss TV: I love reality shows: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Dance Moms, Flipping Out.

Biggest 2012 Accomplishment: I came out with six movies this year. I thought, "Wouldn't it be great to be in one American movie? Everyone at home would be so impressed." But six?

Online Obsession: I'm on IMDb a lot. People send you scripts, and you're like, "Who are these people?" You don't want to go in a meeting and say, "Rock of Ages sucked!" and realize one of the people in the room was the producer.


Co-Star, Girls

From her political-activist lesbian on Mad Men to a sex-obsessed teen in The Kids Are All Right, the offspring of David Mamet has never played it safe. Mamet (originally from Randolph, Vt.) surprised again as virginal goofball Shoshanna on HBO's Emmy-nominated comedy.

Career Inspiration: I grew up in an industry family, but if I grew up on a farm in Iowa, I'd like to think that I would still want to do this. My mom was onstage when she was pregnant with me. I think it's just in my blood.

10 Years From Now: Still working on projects I love -- TV, film, stage -- as long as it's a challenge. Give me an 18-hour day on set or in the theater, and I will be the happiest person alive.

Worst Day: When we were shooting the crack episode for Girls. I had walking pneumonia and was half-naked running through the streets of Brooklyn and had to be energized enough to be on crack. It was fun but such a challenge.

When I'm Not Working I'm: Sitting in a corner reading a book, or riding my horse.