While many fans spent the summer taking time off, these actors worked their asses off to stand out from the crop of blockbuster films and reality TV, delivering something fun, fresh, and exciting. Not only were their projects hits in their own right, the actors themselves were breakouts and proved to be ones to watch for the rest of the year. From Obvious Child‘s Jenny Slate to Billy Eichner, check out our picks for the biggest ones to watch come fall.
Thanks to her romantic dark comedy, Obvious Child, Jenny Slate finally graduated from TV guest star and former Saturday Night Live cast member to indie darling. The actress has been building buzz with her guest role on Parks and Recreation and now she has a project to celebrate that’s all her own.
The sleeper hit of the summer definitely belonged to Belle, which tells the story of an illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Naval officer. Gugu Mbatha-Raw shined in the title role winning the hearts of critics and fans alike. Her name may not be familiar now but more from her when her second film, Beyond the Lights, hits theaters in November.
With four films (The Giver, Maleficent, Oculus, and The Signal) out this year and another two on the way, Brenton Thwaites is 2014’s It Boy. And thanks to the high pedigree of his co-stars (Angelina Jolie, Laurence Fishborne, and Meryl Streep), the 25-year-old actor is making the right impression with Hollywood.