William Hurt (right) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (left) in Franco Zeffirelli’s Jane Eyre. Photo by Clive Coote. Courtesy of Miramax Films.
Here are a group of the most intriguing actors who have given the most startling performances I’ve seen in a long while; some of whom you’ve probably not yet heard—but you certainly will… .
Anne Heche, so terrific in the wonderfully cheesy The Juror and the upcoming chick flick Walking and Talking, with the lovely Catherine Keener.
Brit Rufus Sewell as the hot-tempered painter Mark Gerler in Carrington—next to be seen in Cold Comfort Farm.
Geeky teen Alison Folland, so desperate to “become” Nicole Kidman in To Die For.
Jared Harris as Smoke’s sweet local idiot.
Ashley Judd in Heat and Smoke.
Billy Crudup, a real find in Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, and soon to be seen in Sleepers.
Young theater and film vet Jenny Dundas in Arcadia.
Caroline Seymour in Mike Leigh’s play Ecstacy.
Shallow Grave and Trainspotting’s Ewan McGregor.
Kevin Corrigan, hysterical as The Ugly Guy in Walking and Talking.
New York stage actor Dina Spybey—the next Judy Holliday—a dumb/smart blonde with a tough baby voice. Now shooting Richard Linklater’s Suburbia.
Irish actor John Lynch in Moll Flanders and the Australian Festival hit Angel Baby.
Stephen Baldwin, mesmerising in The Usual Suspects—a bit of an obnoxious goofball, and yet, you can’t take your eyes off him.
Kristin Scott Thomas in Angels and Insects. (And everything else she’s ever done!)
Don Cheadle, outrageous in Devil in a Blue Dress.
Thirteen-year-old Scarlett Johannson in the enchanting Manny & Lo.
Benicio del Toro, completely whacked in The Usual Suspects—can’t wait to see what he and madman/director Abel Ferrara come up with in The Funeral.
Charlotte Gainsbourg in Franco Zeffirelli’s Jane Eyre.
Sam Rockwell in Tom di Cillo’s Box of Moonlight.
Precocious Natalie Portman (Heat)—the best thing in Beautiful Girls, a movie chock full of impressive young talent.
Edward Norton’s electrifying Kaiser Soze-esque turn in Primal Fear.
And Mia Kirshner’s kinder-whore lapdancer in Atom Egoyan’s brilliant Exotica.