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28 new names have been added and upgraded to the American Acting Lists. 18 of those names are on the Rising list, 1 to the Working list, 2 in the Remembered category, 3 actors have been upgraded to Superstars, and 4 have been upgraded to the Veterans section.
8 men and 10 women have been added to the Rising list. 5 of those are because of the recent Oscar nominations that have put them on the Hollywood radar. Those include young Columbian actress Catalina Sandino Moreno for her screen debut in Maria Full of Grace. British veteran Imelda Staunton who finally recieved her breakthrough at the ripe age of 51 with her performance in Vera Drake. British actress Sophie Okonedo for her emotional performance in Hotel Rwanda, she could be next seen in Aeon Flux opposite another rising star, Charlize Theron. And two names from the critically acclaimed film Sideways, Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen have made the list. Both have recieved intense publisity for their wonderful performances and as a result each are already signed on for future high-profile films. Other names include: Ashtun Kutcher for a recent dramatic role in the Butterfly Effect; Claire Danes for a career increasing in profile; Dakota Fanning for being one of the busiest child actors in the business; Emmy Rossum for a remarkable year in films like Day After Tomorrow and The Phantom of the Opera; Eric Bana for a stepping stone year on his way to successful lead actor; Ice Cube for successful starring roles from last year; Jake Gyllenhaal with a slew of upcoming starring projects that include Jarhead, Brokeback Mountain, and Proof; Jessica Alba for increase in publicity for upcoming roles in Sin City and The Fantastic Four; Johnny Knoxville for a slew of upcoming projects that include The Dukes of Hazzard and the Ringer; Maggie Gyllenhaal in being on of the most sought after young actresses; Paul Giamatti for one of the most talked about performances of 2004 in Sideways; Queen Latifah for a step closer in her rise to superstardom; and Topher Grace, joining Ashtun Kutcher from That 70's Show as a new addition, for his breakthrough role in the movie In Good Company. The list consists of mostly young people but does feature a wide range of acting styles from child to veteran status.
Nathan Lane is the only addition to the Working actors list. His addition is long overdue. People might remember him for his voice work as Timon in The Lion King and for his outrageous performance in The Birdcage. Be sure to catch him in the upcoming film The Producers alongside Matthew Broderick.
3 names have been added to the Remembered List, all of which have past away this year. Comedian Rodney Dangerfield, great African-American actor Ossie Davis, and King Kong starlet Fay Wray.
3 actors have been upgraded from the Rising list to the Superstar list. All of which the Film Menu deems have risen to the very tops of the Hollywood elite. Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, and Will Ferrell. Colin Farrell is one of Hollywoods badboys and has starred in many recent leading roles that include Phone Booth, The Recruit, and Alexander. He has proven that he can carry a film and attract a decent box-office audience. His upcoming films include starring roles in Maimi Vice, The New World, and Ask the Dust. Jamie Foxx has exploded into the American consciousness this past year. He has been nominated for two performances this year, one for Best Supporting Actor in Collateral and the other for a Best Actor Oscar for his remarkable performance as legendary musician Ray Charles in Ray. His upcoming films include starring roles in Jarhead, Maimi Vice opposite Colin Farrell, and Stealth. Will Ferrell has finally risen from the small supporting roles of Old School, Zoolander, and Boat Trip to become one of the top leading funnymen around. After scoring his first major box-office success with the holiday movie Elf he went on to star in summer blockbusters like the recent Anchorman. 2005 will prove to be a boat-full of a year with starring roles in Melinda and Melinda, Stranger than Fiction, The Producers, Kicking & Screaming, Bewitched, and voice work for Curious George.
4 actors and actresses have been added to the Veterans list: Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, Jessica Lange, and Robin Williams. Christopher Plummer is considered one of the most brilliant Canadian and American actors of his generation. His career has spanned nearly six decades of steady and accomplished work. Few can exude such intensity and gravity on the screen. Look for him in Terrence Malick's Pocahontas revisioning: The New World. Helen Mirren has been raised from the Working actors list thanks to a film career that dates back to the '60s. Her screen unconventionality and versatility in matched by few. Considered an acting goddess by many, her next film credit is with Shadowboxer. Jessica Lange has been reconsidered for the Veterans list due to her respectable and long career since the '70s. This two time Oscar winner has appeared in many American classics like Tootsie and continues to inspire many young actors by infusing strength and vitality in everything she does. And Robin Williams has been one of the greatest comic geniuses in film history. This Oscar winner is an improvisational master whose words rush forth in a gush of manic energy then dissolve into flights of comic fancy and unpredictable celebrity impressions before returning earthward with some dead-on observation. Capable of playing both comedy and intense drama, he could next be heard as a character in the computer animated film Robots.
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