Interview assembled the finest minds (in our office) to pick our biggest crushes of the moment. We've selected 14 up-and-comers for 2009, international stand-outs in the fields of film, art, and fashion. You might not know them yet, but you will.
1. TV: SEBASTIAN STAN
WHO: Romanian-American actor who first spooked us in The Covenant. Last year he had parts as Carton Baizen on Gossip Girl; then he briefly flirted with our attentions in Rachel Getting Married. In real life he's dating Leighton Meester.
WHAT: You'll already have seen Stan in the promos for Kings, which was picked up by NBC this season. Kings is a classic David and Goliath story, with Stan playing the arrogant son of the king. Stan also made a sizzling turn cooking eggs in a recent GQ shoot.
WHEN: Kings' season premiere is March 15, on NBC.
WHY: The actor overcame his unlucky two first names faster than Cary Grant, and went from Romanian immigrant to All-American idol. That's something to talk about.
NEXT: TALULAH RILEY
2. FILM: TALULAH RILEY
WHO: The 23-year-old actress is already a TV veteran, having played in British braodcasts Nearly Famous and Doctor Who. She played Mary Bennet in Pride and Prejudice after attending Cheltenham Ladies College and Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls in real life. So you know she's got pedigree.
WHAT: Now she's got a smart role in the upcoming period flick, The Boat That Rocked, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.
WHEN: The Boat That Rocked is scheduled for April 3 release.
WHY: Like Keira Kneightley (against whom she played in Pride and Prejudice), with Edwardian coloring.
NEXT: LUKE PASQUALINO
3. TV: LUKE PASQUALINO
WHO: The 18-year-old was born in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
WHAT: His first big TV role is Freddie McLair in the new season of Skins. For those less patriots among you, Skins is only the most addictive, polymorphously perverse teen TV since My So-Called Life.
WHEN: The new season premiered in Britain on January 22. It hits BBC America this Spring, but we've already got the DVD in our offices.
WHY: His swept-aside bangs are causing a sensation in England the likes of which only Farrah Fawcett could know.
NEXT: FAN DEATH
4. MUSIC: FAN DEATH
WHO: Dandi and Marta—say no more. They're mysterious single-named disco divas, a la Annie.
WHAT: Strings, elegant mid-tempo rhythms, and distracted female vocals; disco stylings that would be perfectly in step on disco roster Italians Do It Better. Fan Death made their New York debut at Le Royale February 5.
WHEN: On Valentine's Day they're doing it big in Copenhagen. Their debut album is out
WHY: They're named for a Korean urban legend in which death comes from an enclosed fan at night. But you'll be OK if you're stuck in a dancehall with them.
NEXT: JONATHAN GROFF
5. THEATER: JONATHAN GROFF
WHO: The 23-year-old multi-talented thespian was nominated for a Tony for his star-making turn as the lead in "Spring Awakening."
WHAT: Groff was cast in "Prayer for My Enemy," written by Pulitzer-Prize winner Craig Lucas and directed by Tony winner Bartlett Sher. He's got a part in Taking Woodstock, starring Emile Hirsch and coming out August 14.
WHEN: Fall 2009, at acclaimed off-Broadway theater Playwrights Horizons
WHY: Broadway is the right way.
NEXT: DAVIS RHODES
6. ART: DAVIS RHODES
WHO: A 25-year-old painter and sculptor (and Columbia graduate) with group shows under his belt at Casey Kaplan and Passerby in New York, and Acme in Los Angeles.
WHAT: In the past Rhodes has made diamond shaped mirrors. Now he's focusing on standing metal fins. Rhodes is working on a solo show at Team Gallery for 2010 and Office Baroque Gallery in Belgium. He'll also be in a group show at Lower East Side Gallery Fruit and Flower Deli.
WHY: Jerry Saltz called Rhodes' current work at Team an historical benchmark: "[they] stand in space without visible support, maybe a first in art history."
Photo by Paul Maffi
NEXT: SARA FORESTIER
7. FILM: SARA FORESTIER
WHO: 22-year-old Parisian actress
WHAT: This past winter she's been on stage in "The Confession of a Young Woman," Marcel Proust's monologue. This year she'll be in Sandrine in the Rain, directed by Tonino Zangardi
WHEN: Later this spring.
WHY: A typical French woman, she won't just be directed. She's directed and co-starred in two shorts.
8. MUSIC: DOVEMAN
WHO: 26-year-old Thomas Bartlett has collaborated with The National, Martha Wainwright, Antony, David Byrne, Bebel Gilberto, and Yoko Ono.
WHAT: He's also proved his cover chops, making over Radiohead's "Airbag" and "Footloose."
WHEN: On February 18 he plays with Nico Muhly at the Allen Room at Lincoln Center.
WHY: The world needs another piano man.
9. FASHION: LORICK
WHO: Abigail Lorick
WHAT: Designs costumes for Gossip Girl. First and foremost, a New York-based designer. While other designers are downsizing to presentations, Ms. Lorick's seized the empty stage for her first runway showing. It's based on the 1968 French film, Mariée Était en Noir (The Bride Wore Black) and Jeanne Moreau.
WHEN: The show is Friday the 13th, at 8 PM. Good luck!
WHY: OMFG, giant headbands, colored tights, Serena's besties on display at the big Yale interview. We owe Lorick more than we know.
NEXT: IMOGEN POOTS
10. FILM: IMOGEN POOTS
WHO: A 19-year-old British Actress with variety beyond her age. In 2007's 28 Weeks Later she fought London's zombies; this year in Cracks she's moving on to the even more terrifying world of British boarding schools. She did it all with the last name Poots.
WHAT: This year she's in three flicks, notably Cracks, starrting Eva Green.
WHEN: No set release dates. Until then she'll be in the ether.
WHY: In 28 Weeks Later she saves the world and sacrifices her father. What can't she do?
NEXT: BLK JKS
11. MUSIC: BLK JKS
WHO: Linda Buthelezi on lead and vocals, guitarist Mpumi Mcata (pictured), Molefi Makananise on bass and drummer Tshepang Ramoba.
WHAT: pronounced "Black Jacks" South African dub metal quartet BLK JKS.
WHEN: March 14 at Santos in New York, all over South by Southwest.
WHY: Mcata and team have shaken up to South Africa's all-white indie rock music scene.
NEXT: KAKI KING
12. MUSIC: KAKI KING
WHO: nee Katherine Elzabeth King, a Brooklyn-based guitarist
WHAT: A new album, Dreaming of Revenge. Just completed an opening spot for Beirut at BAM's "Sounds Like Brooklyn" festival.
WHEN: Album in store March 11. Playing Bonnaroo in June
WHY: In 2006 Rolling Stone called her a "Guitar God," and she's only getting better.
NEXT: JEN KAO
13. FASHION: JEN KAO
WHO: The designer launched her eponymous line in Fall 2007.
WHAT: Her spring 2009 show was framed by "stalagtites" and "stalagmites" made from paper oragami, and her lookbook had photos by Ryan McGinley. This year she said a major inspiration was a broken mirror.
WHEN: The Fall/Winter 2009 presentation is February 20.
WHY: With crystal inspirations and geometric designs, she's the new 3asFour.
NEXT: EDWARD BESS
14. BEAUTY: EDWARD BESS
WHO: The 23-year-old from South Carolina launched his make up line exclusively at Bergdorf's last year.
WHAT: The Edward Bess Cosmetic Collection still exclusively found at Bergdorf Goodmans. He studied at the Professional Performance Arts School, but ultimately ended up backstage.
WHEN: Currently at Bergdorf Goodman.
WHY: Without Bess, none of the girls (or the boys, for that matter) on this list would have that pout!