Seven Rising Hollywood Stars to Watch in 2010

Saoirse Ronan also earned her first Academy Award nomination. In her current film, Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones," Ronan is earning raves for her role as murdered teen Susie Salmon, the film's narrator, even if the film is not.

At just 15, Ronan, whose first name is pronounced "Seer-sha," is likely to be around for a while. Next up, Peter Weir's "The Way Back," in which she'll no doubt hold her own against Colin Farrell and Ed Harris.

"She's on the younger end of the spectrum, which means she has a lot of time and can play both teenage roles and move into young adult roles," Kilday said. "She's already established her credentials within the industry. Now she's building up a public persona in terms of film audiences."

Mia Wasikowska

This March, with the help of director Tim Burton, Australian actress Mia Wasikowska is sure to break out in a big way.

Wasikowska will star as Alice in Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," opposite Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter.

The buzz has been building for some time on this 20-year-old ballet dancer-turned-actress who displayed major acting chops in HBO's "In Treatment" and opposite Daniel Craig in "Defiance." In 2009, she starred with Hilary Swank as an aspiring aviator who hopes to follow in Amelia Earhart's footsteps in "Amelia."

If her past is any indication, Wasikowska could follow in the footsteps of Swank, who has won two Academy Awards. In 2010, she'll star as the daughter of a lesbian couple played by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening, who together set out to find her biological father. And she's set to act in "Milk" director Gus Van Sant's still unnamed next project.

"The fact that a serious director like Van Sant is interested in her speaks to her abilities," Kilday said. "She's got really solid acting chops along with the fact that she's going to be in big films."

Sam Worthington

The huge box office return of James Cameron with the film "Avatar" was sure to produce a star -- and it did with Australian actor Sam Worthington, who plays lead Jake Sully.

At 33, Worthington was known mostly to Australian audiences for his television work. Passed over to be Pierce Brosnan's successor as James Bond, he had only a few minor roles in films before Cameron took a shot on him for "Avatar," casting him in 2007.

Cameron also recommended him for a part in "Terminator Salvation" with Christian Bale. The movie, released last summer, was panned, but Worthington's performance was widely praised. Finally with "Avatar," Worthington has won widespread attention.

"I think he can inherit the action-adventure roles of other actors who are getting too old for them," Kilday said. "And once he can show other aspects of his personality, he could probably take on comedy and drama as well."

Up next, Worthington will play Perseus in the remake of "Clash of the Titans."

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