With 2013 days away, we're revisiting our interviews with the most buzzed-about up-and-comers Indiewire profiled in 2012. We spoke with the 37 breakout sensations below, all of whom you are likely to hear a lot more about in years to come. This list is by no means definitive so please let us know who your most memorable breakouts this year were in the comment section below. And be sure to click on the names to access the full interviews. (Names are listed alphabetically.)
Breakout Film: "Hello I Must Be Going"
Why We Profiled Him: In the Sundance U.S. Dramatic Competition opener “Hello I Must Be Going,” 25-year-old actor Christopher Abbott more than held his own opposite Melanie Lynskey (“Win Win”) and Blythe Danner as an actor who takes up a steamy affair with a woman (Lynskey) over 10 years his senior. He also turned heads this year as the lovable boyfriend of Allison Williams' preppy character in Lena Dunham's hit HBO show "Girls."
What He's Up To: Shooting the second season of "Girls," which returns in January.
#2. Aneurin Barnard
Breakout Film: "Citadel"
Why We Profiled Him: If there were an acting award for versatility at this year's SXSW Film Festival, Welsh performer Aneurin Barnard was the one to beat. In the Narrative Spotlight selection "Hunky Dory," he sang and acted opposite Minnie Driver as a (yes) hunky high-school student with a voice to melt hearts. And in the Midnighters film "Citadel," Barnard played a young father suffering from agoraphobia and fighting for survival after a pack of feral children attacks him and his family.
What He's Up To: He wrapped shooting "Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes," directed by Francesca Gregorini ("Tanner Hall") and starring Jessica Biel and Alfred Molina. He also stars in the upcoming "Trap for Cinderella," co-starring Alexandra Roach (the young Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady") and directed by Iain Softley ("Hackers").
Breakout Film: "Les Miserables"
Why We Profiled Her: There was no big-screen newcomer more buzzed about this holiday season than Samantha Barks, the 22-year-old UK newcomer who beat out Taylor Swift to nab the part of Eponine in Tom Hooper's big-screen adaptation of the hit musical "Les Miserables" starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried.
What She's Up To: Barks is in talks to join the cast of another movie musical, “Walking on Sunshine,” a musical comedy set to 1980s pop songs, starring Kylie Minogue.
Profession: Writer, director, producer
Breakout Film: "Sound of My Voice"
Why We Profiled Him: The 2011 Sundance Film Festival served as a springboard for a remarkable number of writer-directors. Mike Cahill of "Another Earth," Dee Rees of "Pariah," Sean Durkin of "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and Evan Glodell of "Bellflower" all made strong impressions. Zal Batmanglij, whose "Sound of My Voice" (co-written by star Brit Marling, who was also in Park City with "Another Earth") screened in the NEXT section, saw his film sell to Fox Searchlight and top Indiewire's 2011 mid-year critic's poll. But unlike the writer-directors mentioned above, he had to wait well over a year to see his debut open theatrically, in April.
What He's Up To: Batmanglij and Marling re-teamed with Fox Searchlight for their upcoming thriller "The East," premiering at Sundance in January. In the film, Marling stars as a contract worker tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group, only to find herself falling for its leader. Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Julia Ormond and Patricia Clarkson all star. Batmanglij told Indiewire that he hopes to do another movie with Marling once he's done editing "The East." "We spent so many years laying down the track, and we've got it down a little bit now," he said. "I actually want to now take the train for a test drive and really try it out. I want to write a big movie."