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Ten actors and actresses to watch in 2012

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Actors like Michael Fassbender, Elizabeth Olsen and Melissa McCarthy went from being relative unknowns to some of the biggest stars of 2011 over the past year. While it’s hard to predict beforehand which new or second-string actors will click with audiences in a given year, that doesn’t stop us from trying. For instance, we wouldn’t have guessed that McCarthy would have been the breakout star from “Bridesmaids,” but Fassbender was a bit of a given thanks to his roles in blockbusters like “X-Men: First Class” and big name indies like “Shame.”

So we tried our hand at rounding up the 10 up-and-coming names that we think will be household names by the end of next year. Some you might already be familiar with and some might be new to you, but either way, they’re in for some of the biggest years of their careers.


1. Andrew Garfield

Andrew Garfield has been a familiar face around Hollywood since his debut in 2007’s “Boy A,” but 2012 is truly his year to shine. His only major film coming out is “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Sony’s reboot of the blockbuster superhero franchise. But it’s one of the most hotly anticipated films of the new year, and with the Spider-Man series riding on his small British shoulders, the role could make or break Garfield’s career. Judging by the knockout performances he’s had in the past few years in films like “The Social Network,” “Never Let Me Go” and Spike Jonze’s short “I’m Here,” we’re guessing Garfield’s star is only beginning to shine.


2. Jennifer Lawrence

With “The Hunger Games” shaping up to be the next “Twilight” or “Harry Potter”-like film phenomenon, it should come as no surprise that Jennifer Lawrence has earned a spot on this list. After her breakout in 2010 with the indie darling “Winter’s Bone,” Lawrence has gone on to land roles in everything from “Like Crazy” to “X-Men: First Class.” Lawrence plays leading lady Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” in 2012, and also stars in the horror film “House at the End of the Street” which is due in theaters in April. Our guess is she’ll become a household name along the lines of Kristen Stewart or Emma Watson before the year is done.


3. Jeremy Renner

Like many of the other actors on this list, Jeremy Renner is someone who got his big break in the past few years. For him, it was in the Oscar-winning 2009 drama “The Hurt Locker.” Since then, he’s had major roles in “The Town,” “Thor” and “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” but none of those films are as big as the ones he has coming out in 2012. First up there’s “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” a dark, adult take on the classic fairy tale that places him opposite Gemma Arterton. Then there’s “The Avengers,” which is arguably the biggest superhero movie of 2012 (depending on whether you’re a DC or Marvel fan). He’ll finish off the year by picking up the “Bourne” franchise from Matt Damon in “The Bourne Legacy.” That’s not to mention his smaller roles in “Ice Age: Continental Drift” and “Low Life,” both of which are still in development. Talk about a busy year.


4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Probably the biggest name on the list in many circles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt shined in last year’s “50/50” but 2012 is shaping up to be the “Third Rock From The Sun” star’s biggest year yet. Gordon-Levitt has four major films coming out that team him up with the likes of Christopher Nolan, Rian Johnson and Steven Spielberg. Despite his small role in “The Dark Knight Rises” (which could end up being bigger than it seems), the film we’re most excited for Gordon-Levitt to star in is Johnson’s latest, “Looper.” Still, it will be nice to see him in “Lincoln” under the direction of Spielberg, as well as to see him at work in the action thriller “Premium Rush.”


5. Idris Elba

Superhero movie fans became acquainted with Idris Elba best this year when he played Heimdall in Kenneth Branagh’s Marvel flick “Thor,” but he is an actor who’s been around in the industry for some time now (television enthusiasts will always hold a place in their hearts for Elba’s performance as Stringer Bell in “The Wire”). He has two major genre releases in 2012: “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” and “Prometheus.” We’ll admit that we’re a little biased—we’re more excited for his role in “Prometheus”—but Elba should soon be a force to be reckoned with. It only helps that Guillermo Del Toro has cast him in his upcoming monster flick “Pacific Rim,” due out in 2013.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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