Climbing the Hollywood ladder isn't easy. One tier of success does not guarantee another. That often means actors can reach one level of notoriety, but never reach breakout status. Often it takes years to become a real movie star. Anyone remember how long it took Liam Neeson?
You could argue that Neeson's first real movie role was in Roland Joffee's "The Mission" way back in 1986 (released before many of you were even born). His major breakout should have been Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List" where he earned a coveted best actor nomination. Instead, Neeson followed it up with a string of bombs before George Lucas cast him as Qui-Gon Jinn in "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace." That was the second spark. The third spark? Playing Ra's al Ghul in "Batman Begins." And then, of all things, "Taken." It's hard to believe, but Neeson didn't become a household name until that blockbuster 2008 thriller. Over twenty years of moviemaking and critical acclaim culminated with the release of a sleeper hit that no one saw coming.
What Neeson's journey proves is that actors need to be patient, persistent and keep fighting for good roles. They may become movie stars faster than their peers or pass them by years down the road because sometimes audiences don't know what they want until they do.
With that in mind, HitFix's editorial team has selected 13 actors that we feel should be bigger movie stars in the embedded story gallery at the bottom of this post. Will they breakout next year, five years, a decade from now or never? No one knows, but we've got some advice they might want to consider to take it to the next level.
Agree or disagree? Share your thoughts below.