It's hard to think of another actor who's had a better year than Chris Pratt. He's been gathering fans on TV with shows like "Everwood" and "Parks and Recreation" for years, but hit the big time leading one of the most popular Marvel movies in recent memory.
Ansel Elgort, "The Fault in Our Stars"
Now forever synonymous with that literary teen heartthrob Augustus Waters, Ansel Elgort went from nobody to teen idol practically overnight in YA cancer romance "The Fault in Our Stars" opposite Shailene Woodley.
Rosamund Pike, "Gone Girl":
After appearing in supporting roles for years, Rosamund Pike turned heads with her terrifying turn as David Fincher's titular "Gone Girl," Amy Dunne, a disappeared wife who is no damsel in distress. Considered an Oscar frontrunner for Best Actress, Pike is well on her way to becoming Hollywood's newest leading lady.
Jillian Bell, "22 Jump Street"
Sometimes one memorable scene can constitute a breakout, and that's exactly how Jillian Bell practically stole "22 Jump Street" from Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Bringing us the most awkward, hilarious fight scene of the year is just the start for this funny lady.
Gina Rodriguez, "Jane the Virgin":
Reviving the telenovela format in America could not have been possible without a star as charming, expressive and grounded as Gina Rodriguez, who led "Jane The Virgin" to The CW's first two Golden Globe nominations ever.
Pedro Pascal, "Game of Thrones"
He may forever be remembered for his gruesome death on "Game of Thrones," but the HBO drama has also launched a bona fide rising star in Pedro Pascal, now fielding high-profile film offers left and right.
Brenton Thwaites, "The Giver" and "Maleficent"
Brenton Thwaites had a busy 2014 with roles in blockbusters and indies alike, and he'll be even busier now as Hollywood catches on to the Aussie actor's leading man potential — he's already landed the new male lead opposite Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean 5."
Scooter Braun's ponytailed protege had a banner year in 2014. Her album "My Everything" debuted at No. 1 and had two top-10 singles, including "Problems" with Iggy Azalea and "Break Free" with Zedd. The former Nickelodeon actress also collaborated with Nicki Minaj and Jessie J on one of the year's biggest songs, "Bang Bang," which they performed to open the 2014 MTV VMAs.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, "Belle" and "Beyond the Lights"
A pair of radically different movies — one set in 18th-century London, the other in the turbulent pop music scene of the present — propelled Brit actress Mbatha-Raw to breakout status.
Ellar Coltrane, "Boyhood"
It's been a long time coming for Coltrane, star of Richard Linklater's experimental coming-of-age drama "Boyhood." He started shooting the film in 2002 and didn't wrap on the project until the Summer of 2013, with his performance netting him SAG and BFCA nominations.
Jack O'Connell, "Unbroken"
He was chosen by Angelina Jolie to play a real-life hero, so it was inevitable that Jack O'Connell would be anointed Hollywood's next hottest thing.
David Oyelowo, "Selma"
He's been impressing in supporting roles for several years, but David Oyelowo is making his biggest impression yet playing Martin Luther King, Jr. in "Selma," and is expected to be a major contender in the Best Actor Oscar race.
Tony Revolori, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Wes Anderson has a steady stable of regulars with whom he works, but newcomer Tony Revolori fit right in and even managed to shine as the star of the quirky filmmaker's latest.
Tessa Thompson, "Dear White People," "Selma"
Tessa Thompson brought fiery passion and a sharp tongue to the role of radio host Sam White. Hollywood needs more young stars of color, and Thompson has catapulted herself to the head of the pack. She's already landed her next big role, opposite Michael B. Jordan in "Rocky" spinoff "Creed."
Jenny Slate, "Obvious Child"
Jenny Slate only lasted one season on "Saturday Night Live," but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise since it freed her up for movies like "Obvious Child," which has garnered her much more deserved attention than she would have gotten as just another SNL cast member.
Jack Falahee, "How to Get Away With Murder"
It may not be easy to steal focus from Viola Davis, but Jack Falahee did just that in Shonda Rhimes' latest hit, thanks in no small part to eye-popping sex scenes that took place everywhere from the copy room to the bathroom to his sort-of boyfriend's apartment (how quaint).
Rupert Friend, "Homeland"
Quinn actually came onto the scene way back in season two as the shady CIA surveillance operative, but stepped up into leading man territory in season four opposite Claire Danes, earning rave reviews for his chilling portrayal of the inner tug of war between exiting the CIA and fearing the subsequent loss of adrenaline. Add his burgeoning chemistry with leading lady Danes — whom many critics felt was stymied by the three-season Brody saga, and viewers grew more friendly with Rupert.