So, a few years ago, when I first started reviewing films professionally, I found that me and my arthouse-loving cinephilia had a weird, completely contrary, completely unexpected talent for picking future stars out of movies. The most amazing story in this regard, is when, with less than two months of reviewing experience, I made a mental note of a young actor who had four or five minutes of screen time at the beginning of the Keanu Reeves vehicle Constantine. I thought, "There's a guy who's going to be a star." When I checked the credits, it was polite of the young man to have an easily remembered exotic name. I'll never forget it. Shia LeBeouf. Don't ask me how I did that, because I still don't have a clue. :)
I had several more experiences like this. As I'm far too fond of mentioning, unaware of her Disney status, I had Anne Hathaway pegged as a future star from the moment she rode the horse into Brokeback Mountain. In this regard, I found The Devil Wears Prada doubly intriguing; one of the other future stars that I picked out was Emily Blunt, while watching her terrific work in My Summer of Love. That one was easier to see, since it was a co-lead role, rather than some five-minute supporting job. (By the way, whatever happened to Nathalie Press?)
So that's three. I've had two other such predictions. One was Alexandra Maria Lara from the Hitler-in-the-bunker film Der Untergang/Downfall. She's still a work in progress, although The Reader promises to introduce her to a wider American audience. And then .... where have you gone, Columbus Short? The world could use a charismatic black leading man. Especially one that can dance. Eh, four out of five wouldn't be bad.
Anyway, I haven't had that light flick on in a long while now. Then I watched Twilight, and it happened again. The name (hopefully) to remember:
Don't ask, but she has that "it" factor. That inner spunk. Watch for her. She plays Alice Cullen, the psychic vampire sister of our bloodsucking heartthrob Edward Cullen. Anyone could pick Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson for future stardom. But I'm sticking my neck out for Ashley Greene.
Looking at her IMDb page, her previous work consists of sparse television project appearances. Five episodes here, seven episodes there. The occasional "McDonald's customer" film role. But she's only 21 and does have a full list of apparently small films in the offing.
It's just a hunch, but it's always a fun adventure to make this sort of prediction.