[tps_header] Hollywood has a little bit of an obsession with its leading ladies, so why not name a few of our own favorites! You’ll see a few familiar faces and understand why we consider them the best actresses of our generation. These are actresses under the age of 30 who have just blown us away with their performances. Some may be more experienced than others, but that doesn’t mean they have more talent. Check out our list and let us know what you think in the comments! [/tps_header]
[tps_title] Elizabeth Olsen [/tps_title]
This particular starlet shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to fans of independent films. Although she doesn’t have as many credits as her two sisters, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, she’s proven to be more than capable of handling her own stardom. Her first big role was in Silent House, but she really wowed the critics in 2011’s Martha Marcy May Marlene. She’s been keeping a low profile since then, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been busy. Elizabeth has a few films with release dates in the coming year like Kill Your Darlings alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Michael C. Hall. It also seems like she will be merging into big blockbuster movies because she will also play a part in the Avengers sequel as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch coming out in 2015. We are very excited to see her bloom as an actress and give her sisters a run for their money!
[tps_title] Rooney Mara [/tps_title]
At 28 years old, she’s gotten her shot at fame a little later than some others on the list. Although she played Erica Albright in a little known film called The Social Network (you may have heard of it?), she also played a big part in A Nightmare on Elm Street. However, Rooney quickly became everyone’s favorite quiet and mysterious leading lady when she starred in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 2011. She also starred in a movie that not many saw called Side Effects alongside Catherine Zeta Jones and Jude Law. She absolutely blew me away with her performance of a cynical prescription drug addicted young woman. She’s proven she can play multiple roles and is very versatile. What’s not to love?
[tps_title] Carey Mulligan [/tps_title]
Carey Mulligan. What can I possibly say about Carey Mulligan to even begin to convey how I feel about her? She is easily one of my favorite actresses of our time. Forget the fact that she looks flawless and delicate, and is talented yet still so very young. One of her best performances, in my opinion, has been in An Education. Everything about that film is perfect and her performance was pristine! She played a young, naive, heartbroken girl so vividly that you felt you were in the film with her. You felt the pain her character was feeling. Not many actresses have the kind of talent that just lures you in that much. Another role she played perfectly was Daisy Buchanan in 2013’s The Great Gatsby. The critics weren’t particularly fond of the film, but I was. In my own, weird way, I actually really enjoyed the movie. When I heard she was playing Daisy, all I kept thinking was that she was born to play that role. It’s one of my favorite books and I couldn’t have imagined anyone else playing that part. Carey takes her career seriously while still remaining humble and sweet. Definitely someone to follow throughout the rest of her career.
[tps_title] Elle Fanning [/tps_title]
I’m sad to say that the first time I saw Elle in anything was when I saw Super 8. Granted, she’s been in the business for a while even though she’s young and has more credits than our previously mentioned actresses; however, she really stood out to me in Super 8. At the tender age of 15, she’s got a lot more talent than a lot of other young ladies of her age. She’s definitely one to look out for and I can’t wait to see where she’s headed. More importantly, she’s playing Princess Aurora in Disney’s Maleficent alongside Angelina Jolie– can we say perfect casting, or what?
[tps_title] Dakota Fanning [/tps_title]
If you don’t know who Dakota Fanning is, you’ve probably been living under a rock, or marooned on a deserted island for the past… oh, let’s say 15 years? At the age of 19 she is one of the youngest females on our list and has the longest list of credits. She’s been doing this acting gig for longer than pretty much all of the girls on the list and definitely knows how to do it. She’s an all around good girl, never found in the tabloids and finished off her high school career without Hollywood getting in the way. Dakota can conquer any role she’s given and she’s made her way into Hollywood’s heart. Starring alongside A-listers such as Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise and Michael Sheen, she’s had her share of guidance in the film industry. Clearly her sister has learned the ropes from her. There are quite a few films coming up starring her and we can’t wait to check them out!
[tps_title] Shailene Woodley [/tps_title]
Let me start off by saying that I haven’t always been a huge fan of Shailene. Yeah, I said it. She got her kick-start to fame by starring in The Secret Life of the American Teenager; an overly dramatic show about the woes of teen pregnancy. I admit I began watching the show when it aired, but I got bored quickly and soon gave up on it. It happens more often than I’d like. Then, I went to see The Descendants and boy was I blown away by her performance. I’m not quite sure what it was, but something about that film put her on my radar and I’ve been following her ever since. She’s continued doing her role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager but has also landed starring roles in a few upcoming films that are sure to be a hit in the box office; Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars set to hit theaters in 2014. They’re two films I’m overly excited for– and I haven’t even read the books.
[tps_title] Emma Stone [/tps_title]
Emma Stone is probably one of those actresses you can’t help but love. She played the girl next door in Superbad alongside Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, then continued on to play the nerdy virgin in The House Bunny, then zombie killer in Zombieland! But she didn’t get more buzz than she did for her role in Easy A, which has been noted as the next best bad girl movie since Mean Girls. They weren’t wrong about that. I guess she decided to really switch it up when she played Skeeter Phelan in The Help; a girl who wants to be something more than a housewife, a writer seeking what the life of “the help” is like. She breaks rules, has a great southern accent and even works in her quirkiness to give the film her own touch. The film itself is a masterpiece and a wonderful book to film adaptation. She’s also been in a number of other amazing films like Crazy, Stupid, Love, Gangster Squad and The Amazing Spiderman. She is another young actress who steers clear of bad press and ugly tabloids. A great role model with a wonderful heart and humble personality. We can’t wait to see her again as Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spiderman 2. Go get ’em Emma.
[tps_title] Emma Watson [/tps_title]
I t shouldn’t be a surprise that I’ve included Emma in this post. She won our hearts playing the beloved, yet sometimes annoying, Hermione in the Harry Potter series. Granted, she got her fame playing the role, but she is so much more than Hermione. She’s proved time and time again that she can take whatever is thrown at her. She definitely wowed me in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which instantly became a favorite film as soon as I walked out of the theater) and of course The Bling Ring where she plays a bit of a bad ass. We can’t wait to see where she’s headed next, although she’s taking Hollywood slowly, there is no stopping her. Having worked with talent like Sophia Coppola, Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen there’s really no telling what she’ll be up to next. But she will be starring in Noah alongside Russell Crowe under the direction of Darren Aronofsky in 2014.
[tps_title] Chloe Grace Moretz [/tps_title]
Barely 17 years old, Chloe is easily one of the girls we need to keep an eye on. I was so horribly impressed with her performance in (500) Days of Summer when she played the wise, younger sister of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character. Confidence is one of her strong suits, she plays every role with such conviction that it’s hard to not get involved in whatever movie she’s in. Now that I’ve briefly fangirled about (500) Days of Summer, I can finally talk about Kick-Ass! A film that’s more comedic than anything else, she plays Hit-Girl, a witty, bad mouthed 15-year-old girl with serious knife and gun skills. She has also recently surprised audiences and critics alike in Carrie. This girl is crazy talented and there’s really no telling where she’ll break the mold next. With 5 films currently in post-production, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in 2014!
[tps_title] Jennifer Lawrence [/tps_title]
I can probably direct you to all the lists on the interwebs that can prove Jennifer Lawrence is a perfect human being, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll tell you that she’s extremely talented (understatement), horribly humble (understatement, again) and incredibly real (another understatement– if the picture to the right doesn’t prove it, I don’t know what else will). At just 23 years old, she’s really got this fame thing figured out, and who knew, all it took was being yourself! It’s obvious she doesn’t put up a front and doesn’t care what people think about her as long as she can do what she loves. Oh, did I mention she’s PRETTY/GORGEOUS/BEAUTIFUL? Yeah, well, she is. She’s 23 years old and I could go on and on about why she’s the best. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is about to hit theaters and what a better way to get ready than by watching all of Jen’s previous films! If I were you, I’d start with Like Crazy, X-Men: First Class (hey Fassbender!) and Silver Linings Playbook. American Hustle is also coming soon, so look out for that film as well!
Some other actresses I think have great potential are: Lupita Nyong’o, Soairse Ronan, Naya Rivera, Gabourey Siboney, Lauren Cohen, Zoe Saldana, Hailee Steinfeld and everyone’s favorite funny girl, Rebel Wilson. I think some of these just need more work so they can truly show their artistry. They’re all very talented ladies of our time who are great for very different reasons. Some are triple threats, singing, acting, and dancing… Some are hilarious while others are more mysterious, but just know that ladies are quickly taking over– just the way it should be!