Summer movie preview: 5 to watch | EW.com

Movies

Summer movie preview: 5 to watch

A look at up-and-coming stars from some of this summer's biggest films

Diego Boneta
Rock of Ages (June 15)
Age 21
Why he looks familiar In addition to playing love-interest arcs on 90210 and Pretty Little Liars, the native Mexican has released two hit albums in South America. So he had no trouble singing a cappella for his Rock of Ages audition.
Another day at the office As an aspiring singer at the center of the 1980s-set musical, Boneta shares the screen with A-listers like Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, and Mary J. Blige. ”I was talking to my mom and she was like, ‘Hey, honey, how was your day?”’ he recalls of one day on set. ”I was like, ‘I shot today with Tom, and then I went to the recording studio with Mary J.’ And I just kind of caught myself and went, ‘Wait. What the f—?!”’
Up Next Boneta will release an English-language single this month. —Dave Karger

Dane DeHaan
Lawless (Aug. 31)
Age 25
Why he looks familiar DeHaan starred as a high school student corrupted by superpowers in this year’s surprise hit Chronicle.
Dirty Work In the Prohibition-era bootlegging drama Lawless, DeHaan plays a crippled local boy with a knack for brewing moonshine. Filming in rural Georgia, he and costars Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf were often caked in period-accurate grime. ”People really didn’t shower that much back then,” explains DeHaan. ”But we’re all boys, so we enjoyed rolling around in the dirt a bit.”
Up Next He will appear with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper in the thriller The Place Beyond the Pines, due later this year, and is now shooting the Beat-generation drama Kill Your Darlings opposite Daniel Radcliffe.—Keith Staskiewicz

Zoe Kazan
Ruby Sparks (July 25)
Age 28
Why she looks familiar She played Leonardo DiCaprio’s secretarial fling in 2008’s Revolutionary Road and Meryl Streep’s daughter in the 2009 comedy It’s Complicated.
Love at work In Ruby Sparks, Kazan stars as a dream girl who’s literally willed into existence by a lonely author (Paul Dano). Kazan also wrote the whimsical romance, the second film in which she’s appeared with real-life boyfriend Dano. (The first was last year’s Meek’s Cutoff.) ”It’s hard because we can both become selfishly immersed in our work,” says Kazan. ”Normally there’s one person standing on the outside going, ‘Hey, honey, you should eat something.’ But there wasn’t this time.”
Up next She’s now filming the Joss Whedon-penned sci-fi indie In Your Eyes.—John Young

Jordin Sparks
Sparkle (Aug. 17)
Age 22
Why she looks familiar The 2007 American Idol champion has scored hit singles like ”No Air” and ”S.O.S. (Let the Music Play).” But Sparkle is her first movie gig.
Working with Whitney ”Growing up listening to her, I never thought I would be able to meet her, much less have a conversation with her,” says Sparks of costar (and exec producer) Whitney Houston, who plays her mother in the film about a rising R&B singer in the late ’60s. ”She was so encouraging. She could have just done her part and left, but she chilled with us.”
Up Next She doesn’t have another acting job lined up, but she’s interested in more film and TV roles. ”I love True Blood,” says Sparks. ”But everybody kind of has to be naked on there, so I don’t know if I could do that.” —Rob Brunner

Benjamin Walker
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22)
Age 29
Why he looks familiar He played a doomed Marine in Flags of Our Fathers, then starred in Broadway’s emo-rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.
Prez dispenser That 2010 stage role proved a big plus for Walker when director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) was casting his genre-busting Lincoln. ”I was lucky that I was playing another strange interpretation of an American president,” says Walker, who wed actress Mamie Gummer (The Good Wife) last summer. ”When Timur said, ‘Have you done anything like this before?’ I could say, ‘It’s on Broadway right now!”’
Up Next He’s shooting HBO’s Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, about the boxer’s conscientious objection to the Vietnam War draft.—Anthony Breznican