Who to Watch

Rising Stars of 2013: Eddie Redmayne, Rebel Wilson & More (PHOTOS)

See photos of the actors and musicians poised to become household names over the next 12 months.

Getty (6)

Getty (6)


Rewind the clock 365 days and it’s unlikely anyone anticipated that 2012’s biggest movie star would be the guy from Step Up, or that he would capture the zeitgeist with a critically lauded, audience-cheered film about … male strippers. But hello, Channing Tatum. Similarly, few could have predicted that by year’s end we’d all know how to pronounce the name of young Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quevezhané Wallis, or know that the “We Are Young” band spells its name, fun., with a lowercase “f” and a period at the end. But every year has its surprise rising stars. Who can we expect to break out in 2013? Here’s a look at a few of the likely suspects.

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Sam Claflin

When readers were first introduced to Finnick Odair in the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, the character, a veteran tribute, is wearing nothing but a fishing net with some strategically placed knots for modesty. In other words, Sam Claflin will be announcing himself in quite the memorable way next year. The role requires an actor with chiseled features and charm to spare, but also enough gravitas to handle what becomes an increasingly emotional character arc, and Claflin, who had roles in the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean film and Snow White and the Huntsman, reportedly beat out like the likes of Taylor Kitsch and Armie Hammer for the part. The rest of 2013 will be busy for Finnick too: he stars alongside Hilary Swank in the HBO movie Mary & Martha, in the thriller The Quiet Ones, and in the car-thief drama Overdrive.

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Zoe Kazan

At 29, Zoe Kazan already has had a respectable screen career, making strong impressions in supporting parts in films like In the Valley of Elah, Revolutionary Road, and It’s Complicated—not to mention her work onstage in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and the recent Broadway revival of The Seagull. But 2012 was the year Kazan announced herself not only, finally, as a captivating leading lady, but also, perhaps, as the next great indie screenwriter, with her self-penned star vehicle, Ruby Sparks. Kazan will follow up Ruby Sparks with another turn as a beguiling romantic lead in 2013 opposite Daniel Radcliffe in The F Word. She’ll also take on a pivotal role in the big-screen adaptation of the acclaimed play Some Girl(s), will co-star in the Joss Whedon-penned In Your Eyes, and will lead the comedy The Pretty One, from the Black List script about a woman who assumes her dead twin sister’s identity.

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Dane DeHaan

Dane DeHaan had an interesting 2012. The year began with the 26-year-old leading the surprise sleeper hit Chronicle, in which he played an awkward teen who becomes destructively disturbed when he and his friends inadvertently attain super powers. It ended with a blink-and-miss it turn in the opening scene of Lincoln, for which he is billed as “Second White Soldier.” Expect 2013 to play more like the beginning of 2012 for DeHaan, who will play Lucian Carr in the much-anticipated beat-generation biopic Kill Your Darlings (which will star Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg) and a friend of the recently vindicated West Memphis Three in the Reese Witherspoon-led drama Devil’s Knot. Expect DeHaan’s card to fill up even more after just landing the sought-after role of Harry Osborn in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man sequel, originally played by James Franco in last decade’s Spider-Man trilogy.

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Rebel Wilson

2012 was the year Rebel yelled, and the echo will be heard throughout the next year. Rebel Wilson followed up her scene-stealing turn in 2011’s Bridesmaids with a star-making turn in Pitch Perfect this fall. Her Fat Amy was a brilliant, unusual, and, most of all, delightful comedic creation, and Wilson couldn’t have been more winning while on the press tour for the film. In 2013, Wilson will co-star opposite Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain. Her sudden surge in popularity also led ABC to (wisely) green-light a second try at the TV pilot she created for CBS last season but which wasn’t picked up. Called Super Fun Night, it could be the answer to our collective dreams: Rebel Wilson beamed into our homes on a weekly basis.

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Josh Gad

Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells were the toast of Broadway for over a year, playing the two lead young missionaries in the original cast of The Book of Mormon, which garnered both actors Tony nominations for Best Actor. Now the duo will reunite, in a way, on NBC’s comedy lineup. Rannells has been starring as an expectant gay dad in the sitcom The New Normal, and Gad will soon join him on the peacock network when his series 1600 Penn premieres Jan. 10. Gad co-created the series, in which he stars as the bumbling son of the president of the United States, and, judging by NBC’s incessant promotion, the network is banking on it being a hit. 2013 also will see Gad playing Apple genius Steve Wozniak opposite Ashton Kutcher’s Steve Jobs in Jobs; starring opposite Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell in The Internship; and featuring in the ensemble of the sex-addiction film Thanks for Sharing alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Ruffalo, and Pink.

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Eddie Redmayne

In a year when the Best Supporting Actor Oscar contenders are the usual suspects—Tommy Lee Jones, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Arkin, Robert De Niro—the sudden momentum building behind Eddie Redmayne for his turn as Marius in Les Misérables is refreshing. Judging by the raucous applause at an early screening following his big solo “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables,” even if Redmayne doesn’t score that Oscar nod, he’s poised to be America’s Next Big Crush. The star, who already has a Tony Award under his belt and has featured in a slew of films, including My Week With Marilyn, is already seeing the buzz pay off. He was just cast opposite Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis in Andy and Lana Wachowski’s big-budget sci-fi project Jupiter Ascending and is rumored to be up for the lead role in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Samantha Barks

In Les Misérables, Samantha Barks gives the epitome of a Star Is Born performance. She plays Éponine and is tasked with belting out “On My Own,” the iconic torch song that every musical theater nerd has had memorized since age 9. No shortage of A-listers were up for the role, including Taylor Swift, Lea Michele, and Scarlett Johansson, and Barks, with no film credits to her name, was put through months of auditions before finally being cast. That she beat out all those big names is one thing. That she plays the role and sings the song and makes audiences forget the dozens—if not hundreds—of actresses who have played Éponine before her—is a whole other remarkable story. Expect Hollywood to embrace the 22-year-old Cinderella, and for big things to come.

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Jeremy Jordan

Broadway newcomer Jeremy Jordan got a series of big breaks last year. He originated two lead roles in one theater season: Clyde Barrow in the musical version of Bonnie and Clyde, and Jack Kelly, the part played by Christian Bale in the movie, in the smash Newsies, earning a Tony nod for Best Actor. Then, as quickly as he became Broadway’s breakout star, Jordan was cast as Katharine McPhee’s love interest in the soon-to-premiere second season of Smash. After viewers catch his megawatt smile and hear his swoon-worthy voice, expect Jordan to be one of this year’s biggest breakout TV stars.


Tom Holland

Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor may be two of their generation’s most gifted actors, with films like 21 Grams, Moulin Rouge!, Trainspotting, and Mulholland Drive highlighting their résumés. It’s no small praise, then, that 16-year-old Tom Holland not only holds his own against the film vets in The Impossible but is easily the most affecting part of the disaster movie, about the tsunami that devastated South Asia in 2004. It’s an astonishing big-screen debut, and for Holland, who previously starred in the title role of the West End production of Billy Elliot: The Musical, it signals a long movie career to come. First up in 2013: the drama How I Live Now.

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Ed Sheeran

2012 was singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s breakout year in the United Kingdom, but 2013 will be all about his U.S. takeover. His debut album, +, vaulted to No. 1 on iTunes on some serious cross-Atlantic buzz. In June, he sang Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” at the London Olympics closing ceremony, and in March he began production on his second album. His 2013 omnipresence includes two tracks he wrote for One Direction’s new album and a duet on Taylor Swift’s smash album Red, and he’ll be the country-pop mega-star’s opening act on her upcoming arena and stadium tour.

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Sky Ferreira

She’s yet to release an official debut album, but already Sky Ferreira has built a rabid following with aurally mesmerizing tracks like “Lost in My Bedroom” and “Everything Is Embarrassing.” “Bedroom” was featured in a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and “Embarrassing” was named Song of the Year by New York magazine, while appearing on year-end best lists in The Guardian, Pedestrian, and more. The industry is taking notice of Ferreira’s rising stock, with her surprise presence in the phone banks at the recent 12-12-12 charity concert, alongside James Gandolfini and Ben Stiller. The perfect mix of buzz and talent should lead to a breakout 2013 for the young singer.

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Angel Haze

When you’re a 21-year-old female rapper with just one EP to your name and a career that’s in its infancy, there’s probably no more flattering comparison to be made than to Biggie Smalls, as Fader did. But Angel Haze is such a force of nature onstage, her songs so provocative, and her personality so unfiltered—she’s openly bisexual—that Haze may just have the talent to live up to that comparison. The hype surrounding tracks like “New York” and “Cleaning Out My Closet,” her account of childhood sex abuse laid over a sample of Eminem’s song of the same name, has led to feverish anticipation for her 2013 debut album. In a female rap game in which Nicki Minaj, Azaelia Banks, and Kreayshawn have already found great success, Haze may have the creative talent to soar even higher.