Australia has always had a fine acting tradition with the likes of Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Naomi Watts all making a name for themselves over the last twenty-five years or so.
That great talent from down under has continued with Mia Wasikowska and Chris Hemsworth being two of the actors who have really made a name for themselves in Hollywood.
And the talent keeps on coming, as a new generation of stars are looking to follow in their footsteps and make their mark. We take a look at some of the Aussie actors to keep an eye on.
- Emily Browning
Emily Browning has been making a name for herself over the last couple of years, but has returned this week with Pompeii: a movie that sees her team up with director Paul W.S. Anderson for the first time.
Browning has quite an eclectic catalogue of work under her belt already, having starred in the likes of Plush, Summer in February and Sleeping Beauty. In fact, Pompeii is her most mainstream film for quite some time.
These past roles have showed off not only her versatility, but also her desire to challenge herself as an actress - it is no real surprise that people are getting quite excited about her.
Pompeii looks set to be her only big screen outing of 2014, but she will be back on the big screen next year with Shangri-La Suite. Eddie O’Keefe is in the director’s chair as he makes his feature film debut with the project: he has also teamed up with Chris Hutton to pen the screenplay.
Karen and Jack met in a mental hospital and fell in love with each other. They set out to follow what Jack think is his destiny: killing Elvis Presley.
Browning will play Karen, while Luke Grimes and Ron Livingston are on board as Jack and Elvis Presley. Ashley Greene will also star as Priscilla Presley.
- Alice Englert
Alice Englert is another young actress who has been finding her way over the last couple of years, and has some very interesting projects and roles already to her credits.
Englert is the daughter of directors Jane Campion and David Englert, and so it comes as no surprise to see that she has followed both of her parents into the business.
She made her screen debut in short films at the beginning of the noughties, but has since progressed into features with the likes of Ginger & Rosa, In Fear, Beautiful Creatures and Singularity.
Ginger & Rosa was the film that really caught everyone’s attention in 2012, as she teamed up with Elle Fanning and director Sally Potter: the movie went on to be received incredibly well on the festival circuit.
Since then she has also made the transition in television with historical series New Worlds. She will be returning to TV with her next project, as she is set to play Lady Pole in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
Englert is really just finding her feet as an actress, and while she has delivered some great performances so far, she is still looking for that breakthrough role that will announce her on a global stage.
- Brenton Thwaites
Like most Aussie actors, Brenton Thwaites kicked off his acting career in long running TV show Home and Away, but he is making the transition into features. He really is an actor to watch out over the next year, as he has some really exciting projects on the horizon.
Thwaites will star in no fewer than three movies in 2014: horror film Oculus, sci-fi adaptation and blockbuster Maleficent.
Maleficent will be the first film to hit the big screen, as Disney’s most iconic villain gets a major live action film. Did I happen to mention that Angelina Jolie is taking on the title role? Thwaites finds himself in great company, as Juno Temple, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley and Imelda Staunton are also on board.
Oculus will see him team up with Karen Gillan - the pair will play siblings - before he stars alongside Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep in The Giver. The Giver is a big screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Lois Lowry, and sees Phillip Noyce in the director’s chair. The Giver does promise to be one of the must-see science fiction films of the year.
The twenty four year old actor has also completed work on Son of a Gun, Ride and is currently working on Gods of Egypt: the latest film from director Alex Proyas and also starring Gerard Butler and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
With so many great films on the horizon, just about everyone will know the name Brenton Thwaites by this time next year.
- Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie has already taken the film world by storm this year, when she teamed up with Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street.
Robbie kicked off her career in TV with role in Neighbours and Pan Am, and while The Wolf of Wall Street was not her big screen debut, it was certainly the biggest movie role of her career so far.
We are going to be seeing plenty more of the actress over the next twelve months, as she has already completed work on Suite française, Z for Zachariah and Focus.
Suite française sees Saul Dibb back in in the director’s chair, while Ruth Wilson, Michelle Williams, and Kristen Scott Thomas in the drama.
Z for Zachariah - which also stars Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor - sees Robbie tackle the genre of science fiction, while Focus is a comedy project with Will Smith and Rodrigo Santoro. You certainly can’t accuse Robbie of sticking with just one genre. I am excited to see her tackle different and new genres and roles.
She has also landed the role of Jane Porter in a live action adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel Tarzan. Alexander Skarsgard will take on the title role, while Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz are also on board.
2014 is set to be an exciting and busy year for Margot Robbie, and her star is only going one way… and that is up!!
- Liam Hemsworth
Liam Hemsworth is a name that is not unfamiliar to film fans, as he continues to show off his acting chops - and he is enjoying huge success along the way.
Like his brother Chris, Liam kicked off his career in Home and Away but has had no difficulty in making the transition into Hollywood movies.
His early movies were Triangle, Knowing and The Last Song, but it really was his role as Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games that has made his star rocket.
Hemsworth reprised the role last year in Catching Fire, and will appear in the final two instalments: Mockingjay - Part 1 is one of the most anticipated films of the year: it will also be one of the most successful.
What will be interesting is how Hemsworth’s career develops as he leaves The Hunger Games franchise behind at the end of next year - I hope to see him tackle a wide range of different roles.
He is currently working on thriller Cut Bank, a movie that will see him team up with filmmaker Matt Shankman. Shankman is best known for his TV work, with the likes of Fargo, Revenge, The Good Wife and Psych just some of the series he has worked on in recent year.
Cut Banks will sees Hemsworth part of a very extinguished cast list as Billy Bob Thornton, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Bruce Dern and Oliver Platt are all also on board.
The Hemsworth brothers have made quite a splash on the big screen in recent years, and I imagine that that success will not end any time soon.
Pompeii is out now.