Andrew Garfield... And Five Other Young Actors Who Deserve Their Big Break

With relative unknown Andrew Garfield confirmed as the new Spider-Man last week, we paused to consider another five young actors who are off the radar and could just be on the verge of some very big things indeed...

5 - Georgina Reilly

A dead ringer for Anna Faris, Reilly broke out in 2008 Canadian horror Pontypool as ex-soldier Laurel-Ann Drummond. Although her role there was minor there was enough to see that her natural charm and easy-going style have plenty of potential. Subsequent roles have continued to be in relatively minor films leaving her primed to be picked up by a studio looking for a 'relative unknown'.

4 - Ginnifer Goodwin

Breaking out in 2009's He's Just Not That Into You, Goodwin appeared to be everything that that film wasn't: genuine, heartwarming and funny. Since then, she's largely disappeared but will return opposite Kate Hudson and John Krasinski for rom-com Something Borrowed in 2011. If she moves out of the romance market, we could be looking at a very fine actor.

3 - Johnny Simmons

Simmons played the character who seemed most 'hard-done by' by Diablo Cody's off-kilter screenplay for Jennifer's Body, largely getting little to work with and a problematic departure. The actor though, who has also appeared in The Spirit and Evan Almighty, showed potential as emo-hipster boyfriend Chip. In better and more box office friendly material, Simmons has the potential to be a star.

2 - Rose McIver

Although she's spent quite a decent amount of time starring in Power Rangers RPM (which could be a problem), McIver was probably the standout performance in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. Hailing from the director's native New Zealand, her roles have thus far been limited mainly to television, making her supporting turn as Saoirse Ronan's sister the perfect opportunity to catapult her towards bigger things.

1 - Paul Dano

Staying close to the indie projects that have been his lifeblood since Little Miss Sunshine, Dano will next be seen in The Extra Man, a New York set comedy with Kevin Kline. Whilst Dano's choices mark him out as a principled and intelligent actor they've also left him slightly flying under the radar of the mainstream, a fact which might change shortly through turns in Knight And Day and Jon Favreau's next film, Cowboys & Aliens.


  1. Paul Dano has always rubbed me the wrong way. He's just so passive and blah all the time which usually means there's only one kind of role he can play (the indie one you mention). He was pretty awful in Knight and Day (but he was underused in that one so I'll give him the benifit of the doubt) but even in There Will be Blood he couldn't hold his own next to Daniel Day Lewis like say Leo Dicaprio did in Gangs of New York.

  2. I don't mind him but I do take your point about holding his own opposite Day Lewis. Having said that, I don't think the film suffers because of it (it's become one of my favourites of recent years). Dano's really here because I see him as similar in style, build and role choice to Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg. He's arguably enjoyed less success than those two though and I'd like to see him in a bit more mainstream stuff. Thanks for stopping by to comment Mike!

  3. Goodwin is in that HBO show, right? There's that.

    I like Dano.

  4. Yeah I noticed on IMDb when I was putting this together that she'd been in a series for a while. I'm pretty sure I'm right in saying that that never made it over to the UK. Seems strange given its cast list.

  5. Haha, I feel like I have this connection to Rose McIver. My French teacher used to look after Rose when she was younger. She's a wonderful actress.

    And I totally agree about Ginnifer Goodwin, she was great in He's Just Not that Into You, so that means she'll be great in much more...?

  6. Cool! Great anecdote! I was really very impressed with her in THE LOVELY BONES. Suggested to someone on twitter the other day that she might actually make a good Mary Jane opposite Garfield? Either way, looking forward to seeing her in more things.