That title may be a bit misleading so let me explain this one a little bit. The idea behind this list was to feature 5 stars who I had never heard of in 2009 that managed to make a name for themselves in 2010 and look to show no signs of letting up in the years to come. So, here they are (in order):


Not sure what I think of good ol’ Rooney yet but her career choices are to be commended. From taking the lead role in the biggest Horror remake to date to catching the eye of David Fincher, Rooney seems to be on the fast track to stardom.

KNOWN FOR: A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Social Network
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


To be completely honest, I haven’t seen any of Garfield’s films yet but that hasn’t kept him from finding his way on to my radar. While he’s managed to make some films that I am super excited to see, he’s got your friendly neighborhood Kaiderman’s anticipation in overdrive to see him strap on the old webslinger’s tights.

KNOWN FOR: The Social Network, The Red Riding Trilogy
SOON TO BE SEEN IN: Spiderman Reboot


Any of you who have seen Winter’s Bone know why Jennifer made my list. Plain and simple, the girl’s got acting chops. I fully expect her name to be thrown about come Oscar time and she even managed to get higher billing (on IMDB) than James McAvoy in Matthew Vaughn’s next comic book adaptation.

KNOWN FOR: Winter’s Bone, The Bill Engvall Show
X-Men: First Class, House at the End of the Street


Noomi managed to land the lead role in one of the hottest foreign trilogies ever made (soon to be remade featuring this list’s #5 in the same role). As a result, her name has quickly been kicked around when casting rumors whirl about Hollywood’s next big projects. I fully believe it’s only a matter of time before Noomi pulls a Marion Cotillard/ Audrey Tautou and becomes the next big foreign actress to hit the big screen here in the states.

KNOWN FOR: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire
Sherlock Holmes 2, Untitled Alien Prequel


My regrets to Abigail Breslin (who is a fine actress in her own right) as it seems that you have been replaced as Hollywood’s go to for young female leads. Chloe burst on the seen, swearing like a sailor, in this year’s Kick Ass and has continued to turn in solid work since. She makes my #1 for her ability to do such a great job with the roles she’s given at such a young age. Hopefully, she manages to be one of those actresses that makes it through the awkward years and goes on to enjoy a nice long career as an adult!

KNOWN FOR: Kick Ass, Let Me In, (500) Days of Summer
Hick, Mixtape, Kick Ass 2: Balls to the Wall

And now a question for you, my dear readers… who did I forget?

16 Responses to “MY TOP 5 BREAKOUT STARS OF 2010”

  1. Man, what an awesome 5. Only one I knew would be there right off was Lawrence – who should totally win that Best Actress Oscar, IMHO – but the rest are all legit, too. Geez, really need to watch Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, huh?

  2. I can’t think of anyone you’ve overlooked, then again I’ve spent most of this year in a box avoiding as many films as possible. I agree with you on Chloe, she gets the catch 22 of child stardom. On the one side everyone respects her talent and potential. On the other side she’s destined to a career of being weighed down by a series of crappy redundant film offerings mimicking the same roles she just played.

    Between Red Riding, Social Network, and Never Let Me Go Garfield has had a heck of a couple of years. I’m placing him high on my too watch radar.

  3. Great list…my favorite is Naomi Rapace…she is the one reason I don’t to watch the American version of the Girls with a dragoon tattoo.

  4. Great list Kai! Lawrence was outstanding in Winter’s Bone and she could net a first Oscar nomination as the second younger ever (if I recall right). Not too bad for a “breakout” actress. Have yet to see The Social Network with Mara and Garfield.

  5. Jennifer Lawrence would be my #1. Also, if you were down on 2009, you would have already known about the awesomeness of Chloe Moretz, but she got more time to shine this year.

    Rooney Mara is also one I’d consider and Andrew Garfield would easily make the list as well. I’m hoping to find more revelations from the smaller films that sneak in at the end of the year. I’m always surprised by those great performers that slip under the radar and never get talked about.

    • I need to see more of JL before I can put her at #1 but she certainly blew me away in Winter’s Bone. That film inspired this post and the one going up tomorrow!

  6. That…covers it…

  7. I watched the Girl trilogy last week after my girlfriend read the books. Girl with Dragon Tattoo who Play with Fire are both on Netflix instant! And I went out an saw the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest before it left theaters. Noomi is so awesome in the films. She does so much more with a look then most actress can do in their whole career.

    I gotta agree with Novroz Fincher is a great filmmaker but I don’t think the films will be nearly as good without Noomi. And they’ll probably get Brad Pitt to play Mikael.

    • Actually they got Daniel Craig who I really like for the part. I’m excited for the remakes as I’ve seen the first 2 and think they just miss being reeeeeeally good. Love to see Fincher take a crack at them. He certainly won’t shy from the darker stuff.

  8. I thought Rooney did a good job in Nightmare on Elm Street. Terrible film but she reminded me of Heather Langenkamp. She certainly has the looks for a good career in Hollywood.

    • See, Dan, I totally disagree. She did basically nothing in Nightmare and was nowhere near as good as HL. I also find her kind of average looking. I will always reserve judgement until actors do something other than Horror movies though so we’ll see. Playing Lisbeth Salander is no small task.

  9. Great list. FYI, Jennifer and Chloe starred together in a film called “The Poker House” directed and written by Lori Petty. Excellent performances by both as well as Selma Blair, David Allen Green and Sophia Bairley. A true story and another really good indie that didn’t get enough attention IMO

    • Thanks for the FYI and welcome to the site, Chrissy. I’m more blown away that Lori Petty wrote and directed a movie. Saw her at ComicCon a couple years back and she didn’t look too good. Wondered what she’d been up to.

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