Once a star gets to a certain level of fame and familiarity, they move from having to audition for roles to having roles offered to them. Having said that, even actors at the very top level of fame have to audition sometimes, particularly for one of those monstrous roles or from something totally different from what they’ve done before. You know countless stars who are at this stage in their careers. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Gosling—stars like these don’t audition. If they do, it’s for a very specific reason. Do we even have to mention Meryl Streep? No. You know all the big names. You know all those actors who have been at the top for ages. Where’s the fun in naming them all again for you?
So, we won’t be doing that. Instead, we want to look at which new stars have reached this status. We can use the term A-list to make things easier. Essentially, that’s the list each of these stars have had their names placed on. For these newly-minted actors, auditions are a thing of the past. They’ve proven enough and have shown enough versatility that many even have roles written with them in mind. These are the new leaders of the industry. They are the actors who have proven themselves capable of carrying a film or a TV show all on their own. Here are 15 Stars Who Don’t Ever Have to Audition Again.
15. Alexander Skarsgard
True Blood fans will say that they knew Alexander Skarsgard was a star from day one. Truthfully, he was one of the best things about that hit show. After that, Skarsgard stumbled a bit. He took on some roles in underachieving films like Straw Dogs, Battleship, and more recently, The Legend of Tarzan. But over the next couple of years, Skarsgard is ready for his breakout. He was excellent as one of the leads in Big Little Lies, showing the darker side of his character capabilities. Now, he’s got two lead roles set up for two of the most highly anticipated upcoming films, Mute and Hold the Dark. It’s very possible that Skarsgard had to audition for one or both of those roles, but after 2018, that process will be a thing of the past.
14. Emilia Clarke
Even though we truly believe that Emilia Clarke is a wonderful actress, she makes it to this list because of her selling power. Yes, she’s been popular for a while playing Daenerys on Game of Thrones, one of the biggest shows in history, but Clarke has been branching out the past couple of years. She has been a household name for a while and one that draws audiences in, but she hasn’t flexed her muscle in film yet. We say that because her films have not done all that well. But, don’t confuse that as something of her own doing. She’s already landed incredibly iconic roles, such as Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys, but she’s about to take on more. She’s recently been cast in the upcoming Han Solo film, which should be an indicator of just how highly the studios think of her. We expect big things to come from her in this film.
13. Michael B. Jordan
If we can just ignore his turn in one of the many failed attempts at bringing the Fantastic Four to the big screen. Michael B. Jordan is one of the industry’s biggest up-and-coming stars. Really, he’s no longer up-and-coming. He was at that stage back when he was in Hardball in 2001 or on The Wire in 2002. But, it’s been through his recent films that Jordan has shown the most promise. In the last year or so in particular, Jordan has really made his mark. That mark started with Chronicle in 2012 and then became permanent with the critically acclaimed lead role in Fruitvale Station. Following the disappointment of Fantastic Four, Jordan separated himself effectively from that failure with a remarkable performance as the title character in Creed. Now, Jordan has his eyes on a starring role in Black Panther, which should be a much more successful superhero film than his last.
12. Elle Fanning
Much like a few of the young stars on this list, Elle Fanning has been in the industry and is doing quite well for herself for some time now. Following in the footsteps of her older sister, Dakota Fanning, Elle broke in very young with a small role in I Am Sam when she was just a toddler. As soon as she was old enough to emote, Fanning has been a lead. She’s starred in well-known films such as Phoebe in Wonderland, We Bought a Zoo, and Maleficent. It was around the time of Super 8 when the world really began to take notice and see Fanning as capable of taking the next step. She then wowed everyone with her leading performance in Ginger & Rosa. In 2016, Fanning was part of two major films in 20th Century Women and Neon Demon, of which she was the star. Now, with Beguiled in theaters, Mary Shelley and three other starring roles on the docket for 2018, Fanning has hushed any doubters who wondered if she would make it as a star actress.
11. Brie Larson
With her Academy Award win in 2015 for her outstanding performance in Room, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to say that Brie Larson is on the A-List, but her rise has been a quick and recent one. Although she had solid performances in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 21 Jump Street, and Don Jon, it wasn’t until 2013’s independent film, Short Term 12, that people truly took notice of Larson. She then dominated the Award season in 2015. Her performance was one that resonated with the world and showcased just how talented she was. Considering she was primarily known for comedy prior to that, her role in Room showed off Larson’s versatility as well. She then followed that up with leads in Free Fire, Kong: Skull Island, and the upcoming and highly anticipated The Glass Castle.
10. Lupita Nyong’o
Lupita Nyong’o has had a quick rise to stardom. As a graduate of Yale’s drama program, Nyong’o’s first feature film role was also her best to date. She played Patsey in 12 Years a Slave and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She then went on to star in the Broadway play Eclipsed for which she won a Tony. Two for two. Nyong’o has shown her range of talents with some voice and motion capture acting in both The Jungle Book and Star Wars, playing Maz Kanata in the new trilogy. Next year, Nyong’o will make her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Black Panther, which is one of the true indicators that you’ve made it. Nyong’o might not be the most experienced actress out there, but when you prove yourself so wildly captivating in everything you do, the studios and the casting agents seek you out.
9. Ansel Elgort
Though it was the Divergent series that got Ansel Elgort off and running in his career, that film franchise isn’t the best example of the young actor’s work. It’s not that he’s bad in the films. In fact, he’s quite good. It’s just that that trilogy is far from a critical darling. While Divergent may have been a bit silly, it was a massive film and franchise that showed that Elgort had what it takes to stand among some of the best of his peers. The year before that, Elgort played Tommy Ross in the Carrie remake. That was his first role and one that surprised a lot of people. But, it wasn’t until The Fault in Our Stars that people started to truly notice Elgort. He and co-star Shailene Woodley showcased a chemistry that Divergent wished it could have benefited from. Now, as the star in Baby Driver, Elgort has taken his career to the next level. As one of the year’s best films already and one of the better starring roles, Elgort will be as in-demand as any young actor out there.
8. Felicity Jones
Although Felicity Jones was in several quality films and some interesting roles early on in her career, it was her role in Like Crazy that caught the attention of North American audiences. A few years after that, Jones officially appeared as one of the best in the industry with her Academy Award-nominated performance in The Theory of Everything. In 2016, Jones packed in an incredible number of films, starring in A Monster Calls, Inferno, Collide, and finally, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. With that final role, Jones proved not only that she could lead a film successfully, but she also showed that she could lead a film that had huge pressure from fans and critics and hit it out of the park. She and the cast of Rogue One helped make the film one of the biggest and best films of the year.
7. Dan Stevens
Dan Stevens first made waves by playing Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey. From there, he launched himself into film, starring in The Guest and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. But in the last year or so, Stevens has become a major leading man on both television and in film. In 2017 alone, Stevens has five major films and a hit TV show. The biggest of the roles were his turn as Beast in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast and the starring role in Legion. Now, with the understanding that Stevens can lead some of the biggest films and TV shows of the year and do so with a range of character turns, the industry knows what they’ll get with him and will seek out his services early and often.
6. Hailee Steinfeld
Even though Hailee Steinfeld had her coming out party back in 2010 with her Academy Nominated performance in True Grit, we have a feeling that people questioned whether or not she could make the transition from child to adult actress successfully. Well, she showed she could. Ignoring Steinfeld’s musical talents, which are great, she’s easily one of the best young actresses in the world right now. Even if the Pitch Perfect sequels aren’t your cup of tea, her leading role in The Edge of Seventeen was magnificent. This is a young woman who can lead a major film and garner her own award buzz in the process. She’s not a one-hit wonder either as she’s already getting some serious award consideration in multiple roles.
5. Tom Holland
Tom Holland captured us early on in his film career. His very first role was in The Impossible, and his performance was thought to be one of the highlights of that hugely successful film. He followed that up with another powerful performance in In the Heart of the Sea. Now, with some insane buzz for his new role, that of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Holland has been catapulted in the superstar stratosphere. He also had roles in A Monster Calls and The Lost City of Z. As we mentioned before, any star who can land a major role in an MCU film at this stage in the game is bound to etch his/her name on the A-List.
4. Chris Pine
In 2009 and 2010, the world was officially introduced to Chris Pine. As the new Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek films and a starring role in Tony Scott‘s Unstoppable, Pine demonstrated his acting chops and his action chops. Even though both of these roles were applauded, Pine was considered merely an up-and-coming action star. He then took a series of other action roles, including two other solid performances, one in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and the other in The Finest Hours. But, it wasn’t until Hell or High Water that Pine was able to really showcase his knack for the dramatic. In that film, which also had some action, Pine was utterly convincing, a role that took many by surprise. Now that he co-starred in Wonder Woman, one of the biggest hits in recent memory, there’s no going back for Pine. He’s now one of the most recognizable actors in the world and is part of two of the biggest film franchises ever made.
3. Alicia Vikander
Although mainstream film audiences may not have been properly introduced to Alicia Vikander until she blew us away in Ex Machina, she had made an impression on critics earlier than that. Back in 2012, Vikander played Kitty in Anna Karenina and then followed that up with a wonderful performance in A Royal Affair. Then, of course, Vikander stole everyone’s attention with her Academy Award-winning performance in The Danish Girl, officially making her one of the industry’s powerhouse actresses. Next year, Vikander is set to take on a high-octane action role as the lead, Lara Croft, in the Tomb Raider remake. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess how that film will do, but we feel confident saying that Vikander will be amazing as she always has been.
2. Mahershala Ali
Even though 2016 was the year that everyone began to take notice of Mahershala Ali’s talents, this is a man who had been around and performing well in really everything he’s done. His first noticeable role was on television’s Crossing Jordan. On film, it wasn’t until 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In 2013 and 2014, Ali hit the jackpot landing roles on the smash hit House of Cards and The Hunger Games series. That brings us to 2016, which was quite the year for this incredible talent. Ali turned himself into a household name with powerful performances in Free State of Jones, Hidden Figures, and Luke Cage. There was also that little role in Moonlight which won him the Academy Award. One of the biggest reasons that Ali is on this list is because of his versatility. There is no need to bring in a guy to audition when he’s proven that he can do everything. The Oscar doesn’t hurt either.
1. Saoirse Ronan
When Saoirse Ronan was only 12 years old, she was cast as one of the leads in Joe Wright’s film adaptation of Atonement. The young star wasn’t just happy to be there; she completely stole the show, earning herself an Academy Award nomination. Like many young actors who achieve success at a young age, people wondered if she could translate her talents as she became an adult actress. She could and she did. When she took on the lead role in The Lovely Bones in 2009, she stunned audiences once again with her onscreen charisma. Then, there was Hanna, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and who could forget Brooklyn. With that last role, Ronan, by the time she was 21, she had earned two Academy Award nominations. That’s simply amazing.
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