Heidi Klum’s Project Runway catchphrase of “One day you’re in, the next day… you’re out” is certainly applicable to more than just the fashion world. The world of movie stars is just the same, although sometimes the “out” phase of a person’s career can be long and depressing. Just look at Lindsay Lohan. Still, hopefully we’re not all cynical because a few people let excess and misjudged film roles get the better of them. Here we are celebrating sixoutstanding actress that are ready to take over the industry.
This British actress was a breath of fresh air in Tom Hanks’ Thomas Crowne (2011) and has a resume full of popular TV series such as Spooks, Doctor Who and Touch, but it was her role in the period costume drama Belle (2014) that caught most people’s attention. Strikingly beautiful – she could easily play Kerry Washington’s sister in a Scandal guest role, perhaps –- and just as talented, she helped propel the indie flick to arthouse-sensation status. Mbatha-Raw will attempt mainstream dominance in the anticipated Beyond the Lights (2014), a music industry drama for which she has already received award nominations.
Jenny Slate was kicked off of Saturday Night Live after one season in 2009-2010. Unlike other comedians, however, she just keeps getting bigger and bigger roles. She has been hilariously terrible as the recurring Mona Lisa on Parks and Recreation and memorable on House of Lies, and provided the voice of Tammy on Bob’s Burgers, but it was her big-screen breakthrough in Obvious Child (2014) that suggests she’s capable of way more than just “reliable sitcom-ensemble actor.” A rom-com about a woman who wants an abortion may not sound very romantic or comedic, but Slate’s awkward comic styling made it irresistible funny.
Chances are you didn’t see Sparkle (2012), known more famously as being the last film to feature a performance by Whitney Houston. While the film was no great shakes, Carmen Ejogo was a powerhouse in it. She’s spent her time recently predominantly on TV series Zero Hour, but earlier this year she was the best part of The Purge: Anarchy and will be seen in Oscar-hopeful Selma, a biopic of Martin Luther King, Jr., in which she plays Coretta Scott King alongside an incredible cast that includes David Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey, Tim Roth, Common and Orange is the New Black Season Two star Lorraine Toussaint.
This British actress was getting the unfortunate reputation of being the best thing in bad movies. Her talents couldn’t save tired prestige fare W.E. (2011), bad remakes like Brighton Rock (2010) and the bland Hollywood Tom Cruise vehicle Oblivion (2013). In the last year, however, she has impressed in films that are just as good as she, like Shadow Dancer (2013) and the virtuosic Birdman (2014), in which her delightful humor is never grandstanding, but shines bright amongst the large ensemble of actors.
It would be easy to write Yaya Alafia off, given she emerged out of the Tyra Bank’s model factory known as America’s Next Top Model (she finished second), and especially since her next big role is as Whitney Houston in a curious Lifetime biopic. However, she’s proved more than enough of a captivating screen presence in The Kids are All Right (2010), Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013) and indie surprise Mother of George (2013) to warrant future investment. Did I mention she was the runner-up on America’s Next Top Model? So you know she’s a stunner, too.
She is the first actor to make a splash in Paul Thomas Anderson’s near-3-hour Thomas Pynchon adaptation, Inherent Vice (2014). Sauntering in to the beachside residence of her former boyfriend Private Detective Doc Sporletto, played by Joaquin Phoenix, Waterson lets her deep voice carry the necessary weight and baggagge, rather than her skimpy outfit. It’s sure to be seen by the right people and take her beyond the supporting roles in films like Night Moves (2014) and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2014). She was also seen on Boardwalk Empire.