Summer Movies: 11 Hottest Actors Under 30
When we decided to cover movies in our Summer Guide, we knew a list of blockbusters wouldn’t do. We wanted to give our audience something they care about: a list of the hottest young men coming to the big screen in the summer of 2014. In other words, don’t bother looking for anyone in The Expendables 3 here. In fact, we've been strict about defining “young” as under 30.
This is why Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who's getting up there in years at 33, isn't on the list for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Same for old-timer James Franco (36) in Third Person and grandpa-aged Chadwick Boseman (42) in the James Brown biopic Get on Up.
Even former "Sexiest Man Alive" Channing Tatum has no place here. The 34-year-old probably couldn't keep up with the new Step Up crew, but we've got his 26-year-old replacement Ryan Guzman instead.
1. ZAC EFRON (AGE 26) - NEIGHBORS, IN THEATERS
Seth Rogen’s Neighbors stars more than one eligible under 30 actor, but 26-year-old Zac Efron is the best known. In a humorous twist, Seth plays a responsible adult and father who goes to battle with the out-of-control fraternity that moves in next door. Stolen airbags that double as surprise human rocket launchers ensue. Clearly, Seth doesn’t know the power of a shirtless Zac.
2. ROBERT PATTINSON (AGE 28) - THE ROVER, JUNE 20
It’s hard to tell exactly what The Rover is about from its trailer. But this crime flick looks like a Cormac McCarthy story transported to the Australian outback. What’s interesting is seeing 28-year-old Robert Pattinson lose his fangs while biting into a real acting role. Let’s see if he acts as good as he looks.
3. DAVE FRANCO (AGE 28) - 22 JUMP STREET, JUNE 13; NEIGHBORS, IN THEATERS
While Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum may be the stars of 22 Jump Street, the under 30 hottie Dave Franco makes a cameo. Little bro of James Franco, Dave can also be seen in the Neighbors with Zac Efron. Two movies in one summer. And he’s been on multiple “young stars to watch” lists. So, ladies, pay attention.
4. RYAN GUZMAN (AGE 26) - STEP UP: ALL IN, JULY 25
The fifth installment of the Step Up series takes its all-stars to battle it out in Las Vegas, which makes it extra conspicuous that Channing Tatum isn’t in the lineup. But let’s not get hung up on all that. As we saw in Step Up Revolution, Guzman’s dancing (and abs and biceps and six pack) are nothing to sneeze at -- especially if you’re watching in 3D.
5. JACK REYNOR (AGE 22) - TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, JUNE 27
With the fourth installment of Transformers comes a fresh new heartthrob in 22-year-old Jack Reynor. According to the movie’s director Michael Bay, “Jack is an Irish kid who came to America with 30 bucks in his pocket.” A brave move, considering he only had a couple of Irish credits to his name. Now he’s starring opposite Mark Wahlberg in what could be one of Hollywood's biggest summer movies.
6. AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON (AGE 23) - GODZILLA, IN THEATERS
This classic monster tale has all the elements of a classic summer blockbuster, and it stars none other than Heisenberg (aka Bryan Cranston). But the young hunk of the movie is Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the Kick-Ass star who's married to 47-year-old filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson (pictured). If you think he’s hot now, let's see what his wife does for him in 50 Shades of Grey, which she directs.
7. ALEXANDER LUDWIG (AGE 22) - WHEN THE GAME STAND TALL, AUG. 22
When the Game Stands Tall is inspired by the true story of a California high school that went from obscurity to an unbelievable 151-game winning streak, but the movie reminds us of one of our favorite TV shows, Friday Night Lights. There’s an inspiring, dedicated coach. There’s a sense of brotherhood. There’s the use of football as a way out of the ‘hood. And, of course, there are shirtless athletes toiling away on the field. The one above is 22-year-old Alexander Ludwig, a student at USC who landed a role in The Hunger Games and stars on the History Channel series Vikings.
8. BRENTON THWAITES (AGE 24) - THE GIVER, AUG. 15
24-year-old Brenton Thwaites is best known for starring in an Australian teen television drama called SLiDE. But he’s stepping into a big-time Hollywood role with The Giver, starring opposite Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. Based on the novel by Lois Lowry, this fantasy film is about a society that seems like utopia -- until Brenton starts poking around.
9. JAMIE BELL (AGE 28) - SNOWPIERCER, JUNE 27
The sci-fi action flick Snowpiercer is about class warfare on a train carrying the last inhabitants on earth is based on a graphic novel by Jacques Lob. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, the movie stars Chris Evans (sorry ladies, he’s over 30) and Jamie Bell, who became a breakout star after landing the title role in Billy Elliot. (Trivia extra: Evan Rachel Wood's his wifey). Expect to see a lot more of this 28-year-old as he joins the cast of The Fantastic Four in 2015 and stars as Tintin in The Adventures of Tintin in 2016.
10. ANSEL ELGORT (AGE 20) - THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, JUNE 6
Based on the best-selling novel by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars stars Shailene Woodley as a teenage cancer patient and Ansel Elgort as her won’t-take-no-for-an-answer suitor. Ansel had a role in the just-released sci-fi flick Divergent (also starring Shailene), but this is the 20-year-old’s first time in a major leading role. Watch his Hollywood profile rise.
11. ELLAR COLTRANE (AGE 19) - BOYHOOD, JULY 11
Having made a huge splash at Sundance, Boyhood is already one of the most buzzed-about movies of the summer. It’s easy to see why: director Richard Linklater filmed this emotionally-charged coming-of-age story in starts and stops over the course of 12 years. Filming started when Texan Ellar Coltrane was 7 years old and ended last year when he turned 18. Ellar is 19 now, and while he may not be as traditionally hunky as many Hollywood leads, there’s something to be said for his soulful eyes and brooding aura. Also, his (film) parents are Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. What could be cooler?