Our list of the men who are the most in-demand actors – and the actors doing their best work – in the world right now.
At 33, former Home And Away star Chris Hemsworth is the hottest Aussie A-lister on the planet, thanks to his off-planet hero Thor, who has anchored two stand-alone Marvel movies and appeared in two of The Avengers ensembles. Then there’s Hemsworth’s hunky The Huntsman franchise. The combined box office receipts on those babies? A cool $US4.5 billion. But Chris has also proved he’s a dab hand at comedy, stealing the show and setting ladies hearts aflutter in Vacation. That bodes well for his next flick, the female remake of Ghostbusters, before he returns to superheroics in next year’s Thor: Ragnarok and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 1.
2. Tom Hiddleston
It’s no coincidence that this 35-year-old British actor is second on our list: he won his widest fame playing Loki’s evil brother in the Thor and Avengers films. But Hiddleston’s range is wider than playing a witty villain, as he’s proved in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. But what put Tom over the top was his lead in TV spy drama The Night Manager. Since then he’s been the hot contender to play James Bond next. In the meantime, Hiddleston’s next flicks have us amped. He stars in the off-the-wall adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel High Rise, will channel country legend Hank Williams in I Saw The Light and battle big beasties in Kong: Skull Island.
I Saw The Light:
3. Tom Hardy
Sure he mumbles like a maniac but there’s no doubt that this 38-year-old Brit is the biz. He was amazing in Christopher Nolan’s Inception and The Dark Knight Rises and was pure menace in Lawless and The Revenant. But Hardy proved himself beyond doubt in Mad Max: Fury Road. His next flick promises to be killer — Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, an epic account of the famous WWII evacuation. After that Hardy’s set to reprise Max for George Miller in Mad Max: The Wasteland. And we can’t wait to see him later this year in period TV drama Taboo.
4. Joel Edgerton
Mark our words: our Joel will have an Oscar before long. That’s because pound-for-pound there’s no better actor working in Hollywood than this 42-year-old bloke from Blacktown. He’s riveting in anything he does, whether as a leading man or supporting actor. Just check out his recent filmography: Zero Dark Thirty, The Rover, Black Mass, Midnight Special and Jane Got A Gun. But to see him at his very best, don’t go past his psycho turn in ace thriller The Gift, which he also wrote, directed and produced. As for that Oscar nomination? We reckon it’ll be for Loving, a drama about an interracial couple, due for release later this year.
5. Ryan Reynolds
For a while there the likeable Canadian was on Hollywood’s F-list (don’t feel too sorry for him: he was married to Scarlett Johansson and now calls Blake Lively his wife). But the 39-year-old’s career really was in the dumps after duds like Green Lantern, R.I.P.D, The Captive, The Voices and Criminal. That was until he bounced back as the super-snarky, uber-violent superhero vigilante Deadpool. With global box office of nearly $US800m it’s put him back on top. Unsurpisingly, Deadpool 2 is in the works. But before that Reynolds will headline $US170m action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, now being directed by Aussie Patrick Hughes (he made Red Hill and, er, The Expendables 3)
6. Ben Mendelsohn
It’s been a long time coming but our Ben is finally being appreciated by the world at large. While he won our hearts and minds long ago in films like The Year My Voice Broke and Idiot Box, he’s recently conquered Hollywood as a result of his chilling work in 2010’s Animal Kingdom. Since then Ben has done career-best work as the criminal son in TV’s Bloodline (if you haven’t seen it on Netflix, get watching) and made his mark in blockbusters The Dark Knight Rises and Exodus: Gods And Kings. Mendo, 47, hasn’t sacrificed his love of smaller films, delivering killer performances in Killing Them Softly, Slow West and The Place Beyond The Pines. But he’s about to achieve a whole new level of fame, starring in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi Ready Player One. Bravo, Ben.
7. Idris Elba
Is there a cooler dude on the planet? Answer: no. The 43-year-old Brit first wowed us as Baltimore drug dealer Stringer Bell in The Wire. Since then he’s been great is Ridley Scott flicks Prometheus and American Gangster and kicked all sorts of arse in the Thor movies and as an African warlord in the acclaimed Netflix movie Beasts Of No Nation. But his signature role still has to be as take-no-prisoners London cop Luther in the series of the same name. Next up he’ll headline Star Trek Beyond. But the one we’re really waiting for is him as the lead Roland in epic Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower, set for release in 2017.
8. Alden Ehrenreich
The name’s a mouthful so we’ll make it easy for you to pronounce: Han Solo. That’s right, this 26-year-old American dude is set to play the space cowboy in a 2018 Star Wars film set before he joined Luke and Leia against the Empire. They’re big boots to fill but anyone who doubts Ehrenreich can do it should check him out in the Coen brothers Hail, Caesar. Playing a regular cowboy turned into a 1950s movie star, he was effortlessly charming — and great with a rope. He’s also been impressive in Beautiful Creatures, Stoker and Woody Allen film Blue Jasmine. But before we see him piloting the Millennium Falcon, we’ll get to see Ehrenreich back in the 1950 as the leading man of Warren Beatty’s romantic comedy Rules Don’t Apply and as a soldier dealing with a troubled superior officer in Iraq war drama The Yellow Birds.
9. Jack Huston
The troubled commander in The Yellow Birds? Jack Huston. If you watched the excellent TV show Boardwalk Empire, you’ll remember him as the terribly wounded WWI veteran turned sensitive hitman. Born into acting royalty (his uncle is Danny Huston, aunt is Angelica Huston, grandfather was director John Huston), this 33-year-old Brit will next be seen doing battle as the lead in the epic remake of Ben-Hur.
10. Hunter Page-Lochard
If you’ve been watching Cleverman on the ABC, you’ll know how good this Aussie is in the title role. While he’s just 23, Page-Lochard has been performing nearly his whole life. At just six months old, he made his debut during a Bangarra Dance Theatre production, held aloft by his dad Stephen Page, the company’s renowned choreographer and artistic director. As a kid he worked on Water Rats and as a teen starred in Bran Nue Dae before moving on to The Sapphires. Expect to see even bigger things from him, with Cleverman finding an American audience. But before he’s snapped up by Hollywood, Page-Lochard will be returning to small screens with a second season of Cleverman.