The Young Folks’ Top Breakout Artists of 2012

Best of 2012

The Young Folks writers have come together to list the very best in pop culture for the year 2012!

From Frank Ocean to Rebel Wilson, 2012 has given some new and interesting artists a chance to shine and inspire us. We decided to highlight the best breakout performers from the movie, music and publishing industry that have truly made their mark this past year. Check out each writer’s list below, and tell us which breakout artists were your favorite this year in the comments!

Allyson Johnson’s Best Breakout Artists of 2012

1. Quvenzhané Wallis – Actress (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

A tiny, ferocious, scary talented ball of energy, Wallis stole the show and carried the entirety of a movie on her tiny shoulders. Only five years old when she shot the film, she acted with the subtlety and screen presence of an actress long acquired to the business.

2. Suraj Sharma – Actor (Life of Pi)

First and foremost, this kid deserves an Oscar nom. First time actor and nineteen, with the aid of director Ang Lee, he was forced to learn to swim, act for the first time with emotion resonance and depth and act opposing a green screen for the majority of the film. Who else can do it as effortlessly?

3. Rian Johnson – Director (Looper)


Do you remember Brick? It was weird, a little off putting, starred that rising star Joseph Gordon Levitt and was overall one of the most fun movies to watch. A couple years later and Looper is released while using the same techniques of minimalism and innovation to inspire cinematic revelation.

4. Laika Studios – Animation Company (ParaNorman)

First Coraline and now ParaNorman, move over Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks, Laika is the new one to watch. They’ve currently been consistent about putting out well-developed and thought-out animated films that not only speak to a younger generation, but create moments to be appreciated by all. Also important, they wrote the first openly gay character in a kids movie. That’s BIG.

5. Colin Trevorrow – Director (Safety Not Guaranteed)


Where did this guy come from? Where did this movie come from? This movie had an amazing vision, amazing narration and was one of the most quietly inspiring films of the year. It was unique, innovative and promises great things and great movies to come.

6. Ezra Miller – Actor (The Perks of Being a Wallflower & We Need to Talk About Kevin)

I’m calling it now; this guy is going to be HUGE. He’s got crazy amount of charisma, has a wide range of talent, and is overall just a joy to watch.

7. Jake Johnson – Actor (New Girl Season 2)


Okay let’s be honest, it was Max Greenfield’s Schmidt that stole our hearts in season one of New Girl. But it’s Johnson’s perpetually grumpy, old man tendencies that have created the biggest laughs of the season. It doesn’t hurt that the chemistry he shares with co-star Zooey Deschanel is electric, and he co-starred in this years underseen gem Safety Not Guaranteed.

8. Alicia VikanderActress (Anna Karenina)

Not only is she beautiful but also immensely talented. She got to play the more romantic love story in Anna Karenina, but also in the foreign epic The Royal Affair.

9. Mark Duplass – Actor/Director

Let’s list what he’s done. Co-directed the underseen indie darling Jeff Who Lives at Home, and starred in two of the best movies of the year, Your Sisters Sister and Safety Not Guaranteed. Oh, and that cult show The League. Big year, big talent, can’t wait to see where he goes.

10. Rebel Wilson – Actress

Okay so technically she broke out with 2011’s Bridesmaids, but this was a big year. She starred in What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Bachelorette, Pitch Perfect and Struck By Lightning. And she stole the scenes in all of them infusing her comedic timing.


Luciana Villalba’s Top 10 Breakout Artists of 2012

1. Frank Ocean

2. Rebel Wilson

3. Ed Sheeran

4. Kendrick Lamar

5. One Direction

6. Ezra Miller

7. David Oyelowo

8. The Lumineers

9. Shailene Woodley

10. E.L James (unfortunately)


Gabrielle Bondi’s Top 10 Breakout Artists of 2012

1. Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, We Need To Talk About Kevin)

2. Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

3. Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect, Struck By Lightning)

4. Frank Ocean (Channel ORANGE)

5. Ellie Goulding (“Lights”/ Halcyon)

6. Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, Lincoln, Lawless)

7. Scoot McNairy (Argo, Killing Them Softly, Promised Land)

8. Lana Del Rey (Born to Die)

9. One Direction (Up All Night, Take Me Home)

10. Veronica Rossi (Author of Under the Never Sky)


Exit mobile version