30 REESE WITHERSPOON - ACTRESS/PRODUCER
Witherspoon quit as star of self-produced thriller Bunny Lake Is Missing and she hasn’t exactly been whipping through projects post-Oscar. But she remains the world’s highest paid female star ($20m a picture) and bore her acting chops again in Gavin Hood’s Rendition. Reese has range and smarts to spare, generating her own material through production house Type A Films.
What’s next? Yule comedy Four Christmases with Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, should, exceed expectations thanks to The King Of Kong director Seth Gordon. And there’ll be tears and fears in child-in-peril horror flick Our Family Trouble.
29 LEONARDO DICAPRIO - ACTOR/PRODUCER
Issue-heavy Oscar-bait Blood Diamond was balanced out nicely by Marty’s ball-busting (and, finally, Oscar-winning) The Departed. DiCaprio reunites with Scorsese on upcoming mystery thriller Shutter Island and will build on his already stellar rep as his face finally grows into his roles. Bushwhacking eco website and green doc The 11th Hour proves he, like, cares, too.
What’s next? Ridley Scott’s Body Of Lies is shooting, while more Scorsese collabs – The Wolf Of Wall Street and The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt – are in the works. They’ll be backed up by a role as self-made Irish king Brian Boru for writer/director Mark Mahon.
28 ELLEN PAGE - ACTRESS
Sensational and chilling as the 14-year-old avenging angel in paedogeddon revenge-fantasy Hard Candy, Page wasted no time elbowing her way into X-Men: The Last Stand. Clever girl? No kidding. Her turn in adoption indie Juno rubber-stamped that fact: ultra-smart, ultra-smart-mouthed and totally buzzing with star wattage. And she’s only 20 years old. Precocious would be the watch word for this little miss.
What’s next? Oh, the usual. A rom-com (Smart People); a strong female drama (The Stone Angel) – and, umm, a lesbian werewolf horror. Oh yes, we’ll be keeping you posted on Jack And Diane…
27 SETH ROGEN - ACTOR/PRODUCER/WRITER
The Canuck comic with the LOUDEST LAUGH IN THE WORLD lent an abrasive presence to The 40-Year-Old Virgin before showing his softer side in Knocked Up and silly genius in Superbad – which he co-wrote with Evan Goldberg. A brilliant writer, his screen skill will no doubt stretch beyond comedy, too – expect a long and varied career.
What’s next? Stealing a copy of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace in Fanboys; co-starring in stoner action-thriller Pineapple Express, which he co-wrote; hooking up with Kevin Smith for Zack & Miri Make A Porno and co-writing and starring in crime-busting romp The Green Hornet.
26 ARIEL “ARI” EMANUEL - AGENT
The inspiration for Entourage’s larger-than-life talent wrangler Ari Gold, Emanuel has the brains to match his outsized reputation. Since busting out of International Creative Management 12 years ago to found the Endeavour agency, he and his fellow 10-per centers have built it into one of Hollywood’s most powerful agencies. Emanuel has also helped a brilliant list of clients (including Martin Scorsese, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Wahlberg, et al) attain power and independence from the studios.
What’s next? Cohen’s Brüno, Scorsese’s Shutter Island, expanding an outstanding client list.
25 CATE BLANCHETT - ACTRESS
It’s ironic that the only actress who comes close to matching the glamour and stature of Hollywood’s golden-era queens is an Australian. Blanchett’s Oscar-winning, pitch-and-twitch perfect Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator capped an incredible half-career.
What’s next? Indy 4 and Fincher’s The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.
24 CHRISTIAN BALE - ACTOR
Chameleonic and careful with his choices, Bale takes on tough, demanding roles even De Niro might have passed on. Stomach-churning in The Machinist, he lends Batman a primal fear, too.
What’s next? The Dark Knight, then Joe Carnahan’s Killing Pablo before lending his credibility to Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.
23 JOE WRIGHT - DIRECTOR
Two excellent Brit-lit adaps and an Oscar nom for Keira Knightley. But you’ve barely noticed him, have you? Because – like the greatest directors – Wright makes tricky tasks look easy.
What’s next? Hollywood, baby. The Soloist sees Jamie Foxx as a schizophrenic, homeless musician chasing dreams of the LA big time. Did someone say Oscar?
22 SIMON PEGG - ACTOR /WRITER
From Spaced to outer space, Pegg has launched into Hollywood without losing his Brit-com authenticity. Following Hot Fuzz with fellow No 1 Run, Fat Boy, Run shows he can credibly carry a movie solo. Commercial clout and comic chops...
What’s next? Pre-Star Trek he’s wooing Kirsten Dunst in How To Lose Friends And Alienate People.
21 GUILLERMO DEL TORO - DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER
Took fantasy filmmaking to the next level with magical realist masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth. Happy as an arthouse aficionado (The Devil’s Backbone) or Hollywood hotshot (Blade II, Hellboy).
What’s next? Hellboy II: The Golden Army, though a possible shot at The Hobbit has us salivating.