Southern Wild

Every year, a new batch of actors is deemed to have had a breakout year. Whether seasoned professionals finally getting their big break or complete unknowns that pop up out of nowhere, each year’s breakout stars started 2012 as just another blip on Hollywood’s vast radar, but by year’s end, they were full blown stars.

It is probably no coincidence that the most of actors featured on this list starred in some of the best films of the year, including multiple mentions for Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty. Thanks to the movies they starred in and the memorable performances they gave, each of these fifteen actors have more than justified all the attention and warranted close watching to see just how their rising careers will ultimately pan out.

15. Iko Uwais


Every few years a new martial arts-action film comes along that makes everyone stare in awe at the amazingly athletic and creative fight scenes displayed on the screen. 2012 saw the release of one of these “once in a blue moon” kind of actions films with Gareth Evans’ The Raid: Redemption.

And what does every action movie need first and foremost? It needs a worthy action star. Thankfully, The Raid had that key element taken care of with Indonesian-born Iko Uwais, a martial arts instructor discovered by Evans while working on a documentary several years ago. The two teamed up for one of the best and most crowd-pleasing action films in years, plus they will be back for round two soon with the film’s sequel, which takes place just hours after the first ends.

What’s Next: Man of Tai Chi w/ Keanu Reeves and a sequel to The Raid.

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This article was first posted on January 20, 2013