From "Twilight" heartthrob Robert Pattinson to Tina Fey, 2008 has been a very good year for some stars. But who's set to break out in 2009? ABCNews.com counts down the newest crop of boldfaced names – and a few already famous faces who are ripe for a comeback.
Americans may not recognize Aussie actor Sam Worthington, but in 2009, he's set to steal the spotlight in two major films. "What's interesting about Sam," said Entertainment Weekly writer Adam B. Vary, "is that he's a relative unknown, but in 'Terminator Salvation,' he'll get above-the-title billing alongside Christian Bale. That's very unusual for someone who's not already a brand name. It's saying a lot. So when the film comes out in May, they're expecting him to be huge. It's a showcase role for him." In December, Worthington is set to star in James Cameron's first film in more than 10 years. "It's James Cameron's first feature since 'Titanic,' it's 3-D, it's going to be huge. And a lot rests on Sam's shoulders. He's got a real chance at being huge."
There's long been buzz that 16-year-old Selena Gomez is going to follow in the footsteps of Miley Cyrus and this year's Disney break-out – and her BFF, by the way – Demi Lovato. With a hit Disney show, "The Wizards of Waverly Place" and a new album in the works for a summer 2009 debut, she's ripe for teen idol success. But perhaps the most important factor minting Gomez's break-out status is the fact that she's dating teen heartthrob du jour Nick Jonas, of the uber-hot Jonas Brothers.
"You'd expect Eliza to be a lot more famous than she already is," said EW's Vary of the actress, who played the dark Faith on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and starred in Fox's short-lived drama series "Tru Calling." "She's got a cult following, but it hasn't translated yet to a mass appeal. But she's very smartly gone back to work with 'Buffy' creator Joss Whedon. Joss has a lot of faith in Eliza. And if there's anyone who knows how to make an actress look good, it's Joss. There were a lot of 'Buffy' fans who wanted to see a spin-off about Eliza's character Faith, so there's clearly something about her. She's beautiful, she can do comedy, she can do drama, she can go really dark. This could really be the break-out turn for her."
Irish singer-songwriter Laura Izibor drops her first disc, "Let the Truth Be Told," early next year, but the buzz around her has been building for a while. Her first single, "From My Heart to Yours" is already climbing Billboard's R&B airplay chart and the 21-year-old Dublin-native has opened for artists like Al Green, Angie Stone and Aretha Franklin. "Laura is a biracial singer from Ireland, so people are comparing her to Corinne Bailey Rae," said Essence entertainment director Cori Murray. "And she does fill the space left by Corinne to a certain degree, but there are differences. Corinne is sweet and soulful, Laura has bit more of an edge. And she does a lot of a capella, so she's definitely not afraid to bare it all. That's why she'll be a breakout this year."