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The Sundance Springboard: Indiewire Picks 10 Actors to Watch in Park City

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire January 16, 2013 at 11:07AM

Brit Marling, Elizabeth Olsen, Edward Burns and Gabourey Sidibe all came to Park City as relative unknowns and emerged as highly sought-after talents. With the 2013 edition of the Sundance Film Festival launching tomorrow, here are our picks for the 10 actors to watch this year.
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"Two Mothers"
Sundance "Two Mothers"

James Frechevile ("Two Mothers")

Why You May Know Him: Australian actor James Frecheville impressed many with his blistering big screen debut in "Animal Kingdom" (which coincidentally premiered at Sundance in 2010), but since then he hasn't made much of a name for himself Stateside, despite appearing briefly in the indie romantic comedy "The First Time."

What Sundance Could Mean For Him: With the Sundance Premieres entry "Two Mothers," Frecheville stands the chance to break out in a bigger way that he did with "Animal Kingdom," thanks in large part to the cast he stars alongside in the buzzed-about drama. In "Two Mothers," he plays the object of Naomi Watts' affection. The catch? Her character's best friend since childhood (Robin Wright) also has the hots for her son (played by "Twilight" hunk Xavier Samuel).

What's Next: In the shopping mall-based comedy "Mall" (apt title), Frecheville will star opposite Vincent D'Onofrio, Gina Gerson and Mimi Rogers. And in the upcoming murder mystery "I Fought the Law," he plays Bobby Fuller, a one-hit wonder from the '60s, whose murder causes a writer to uncover a conspiracy involving the music industry, the L.A.P.D. and snuff films. Giovanni Ribisi, Malin Akerman and Michael C. Hall all co-star.

"This Is Martin Bonner"
Sundance "This Is Martin Bonner"
Paul Eenhoorn ("This Is Martin Bonner")

Why You May Know Him: Seattle based Australian actor Paul Eenhoorn has been making a name for himself in his city's filmmaking industry for the better part of the past decade, after trying to make a break for it in his native country. He's likely best known for playing the villain, Mr. Daniels, in the family comedy "Max Rules" which was voted by audiences as the top U.S. film at the 2004 Seattle International Film Festival. Eenhoorn may also be recognised by video gamers for modelling as the face for "Half-Life 2"'s Arne Magnusson.

What Sundance Could Mean For Him: A whole lot. As the oldest actor on this list, Eenhoorn may very well be the middle-aged breakout of this year's festival thanks to his grounded turn in the affecting indie, "This Is Martin Bonner." In the drama, he plays the titular character; a man who leaves his old life behind and relocates to Reno, where he finds work helping released prisoners transition to life on the outside, while trying his hand at speed dating and passing time as a soccer referee on weekends.

What's Next: Eenhoorn told Indiewire that he recently got cast in "The Dead Men," a "small indie film that's going to shoot out in the desert in California, about a journalist who gets taken hostage in Iraq."

Kaya Scodelario ("Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes")

Why You May Know Her: Best known in the U.K. for her breakout turn as a troubled teen in the controversial hit series "Skins" (which briefly spurred an MTV knockoff Stateside), 20-year-old Kaya Scodelario made a transfixing transition to the big screen in Andrea Arnold's radical take on "Wuthering Heights." She had bit parts in "Moon" and "Clash of the Titans."

What Sundance Could Mean For Her: Touted by many as this year's Felicity Jones-type breakout, Scodelario stands a good chance at making a name for herself in North America with her lead role in the U.S. Dramatic contender, "Emanuel and the Truth About the Fishes." In the film, directed by "Tanner Hall" helmer Francesca Gregorini, and co-starring Jessica Biel and Alfred Molina, Scodelario stars as a troubled young woman who takes a strange fascination to a new neighbor who resembles her dead mother.

What's Next: She'll next be appearing in the Dakota Fanning-starring weepie "Now Is Good."

"The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete"
Sundance "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete"

Skylan Brooks ("The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete")

Why You May Know Him: For a child actor, Skylan Brooks has racked up an impressive amount of credits to his name. He's best known for appearing opposite America Ferrera and Forest Whitaker in the family comedy, "Our Family Wedding."

What Sundance Could Mean For Him: With his lead role in the coming-of-age story "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete," from "Soul Food" writer-director George Tillman Jr., Brooks has a lot riding on him to deliver opposite a cast that includes Jennifer Hudson, Anthony Mackie and Jeffrey Wright. In the film, he plays one of two inner-city youths who are left to fend for themselves over the summer after their mothers are taken away by the authorities. If he managed to carry the picture, Brooks' career should kick into high gear.

What's Next: Nothing official yet.

This article is related to: Sundance Film Festival, Futures







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