ARTS & CULTURE
09/01/2014 11:52 am ET Updated Sep 01, 2014

12 Stars (And One Director) Who Had The Best Summers In Hollywood

Summer isn't just for Country Time Lemonade and apple pie, it's also a season that can create Hollywood's next batch of superstars. This year, we counted 12 actors (and one director) who made the leap. They probably had a better summer than we did, but ours was pretty great thanks to their efforts, so everyone wins. Ahead, 13 of the summer's best breakout stars.

  • Rose Byrne In "Neighbors"
    John Shearer/Invision/AP
    Rose Byrne was very famous before "Neighbors," but the Nicholas Stoller comedy took her to another level.
  • "Godzilla" Director Gareth Edwards
    Jon Furniss/Invision/AP
    Using the playbook first written by Steven Spielberg, Edwards created one of the year's most satisfying -- and artful -- blockbusters.
  • Jenny Slate & Jake Lacy In "Obvious Child"
    Jesse Grant via Getty Images
    Jenny Slate has gotten her deserved share of kudos for playing the lead role in "Obvious Child," but we're still surprised Jake Lacy didn't benefit from the groundswell of love surrounding Gillian Robespierre's romantic comedy. Lacy, best know previously for his work on "The Office," is a modern-day Ralph Bellamy waiting to happen, something his part on the new season of "Girls" might finally kick into action.
  • Ansel Elgort In "The Fault In Our Stars"
    Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
    Before "The Fault In Our Stars," Ansel Elgort was just another fresh-faced teen heartthrob, just like all the rest of them. Now, he's kind of positioned as the next great leading man: a movie star with the confidence of Tom Cruise and the lanky awkwardness of Andrew Garfield. A supporting role in Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" is next.
  • Jillian Bell In "22 Jump Street"
  • Renee Marino In "Jersey Boys"
    Todd Williamson/Invision/AP
    No one even remembers that "Jersey Boys" came out this summer -- and with good reason, since it's pretty mediocre -- but if they did, Marino would be on more of these breakout lists. She plays Valli's first wife like she's the mother of Marisa Tomei in "My Cousin Vinny."
  • Ellar Coltrane In "Boyhood"
    Andy Kropa /Invision/AP
    The laws of summer breakout lists dictate that Ellar Coltrane appears for his Richard Linklater-assisted performance in "Boyhood." Fortunately, that's fair: Coltrane is excellent in the film, whether as a precocious little boy, annoying teenager or budding young man.
  • Jude Swanberg In "Happy Christmas"
    Chris Pizzello /Invision/AP
    Joe Swanberg's son plays Joe Swanberg's onscreen son in "Happy Christmas," and his performance is adorable and beautiful and totally genuine. Apologies to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, but his is the best baby acting in the history of baby acting.
  • Chris Pratt In "Guardians Of The Galaxy"
    Jon Furniss/Invision/AP
  • Chadwick Boseman In "Get On Up"
    Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
    "Get On Up" wasn't great, and it came and went at the box office, but that's not the fault of Chadwick Boseman. As James Brown, Boseman is mesmerizing and electric. In an alternate universe, he's the current front-runner for Best Actor.
  • Manish Dayal & Charlotte Le Bon In "The Hundred-Foot Journey"
    Jim Spellman via Getty Images
    Helen Mirren was the biggest name in "The Hundred-Foot Journey," but the Lasse Hallström drama was carried by Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon. He's your new favorite crush. She should star in every World War II movie Steven Spielberg ever makes. Both should be on the top of casting directors' list for the next calendar year.

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