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Breaking Big

Each summer fresh faces step into the spotlight; here, our picks for the rising stars you’ll be raving about by Labor Day

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Charlotte Le Bon
Why Her She plays Victoire Doutreleau, the leggy muse in the French biopic Yves Saint Laurent (out June 25). Then she makes her Hollywood debut as the beguiling sous chef to Helen Mirren’s head cuisiniste in The Hundred-Foot Journey (out Aug. 8).
Origin Story A Montreal native raised by two actors, Le Bon, 27, at first eschewed acting — ”I saw them struggling a lot,” she says.
All-Weather Girl She landed a gig as a quirky comedian/weathergirl on a popular variety show in Paris. (She’s also an artist and photographer.) Her feature-film debut was opposite Gérard Depardieu in the 2012 comedy Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia.
When Spielberg Calls Journey producer Steven Spielberg caught one of Le Bon’s comedy routines online and told a casting director that she was his No. 1 choice for her role in the film. ”He thought I was weird,” she says.
Vine Ripened Le Bon stars in a handful of self-produced Vine videos with the theme #slapthebitch, where she does something irritating — obnoxiously chewing gum or dragging her fingernails on a chalkboard — and gets slapped for it. ”It made people laugh for some reason,” she says. ”So I did more and more.” —Nina Terrero

Nicola Peltz
Why Her As the rare human (and woman) in the effects-laden Transformers: Age of Extinction, she steals scenes from the likes of Bumblebee and Grimlock.
Hockey Daughter Peltz, 19, had wanted to act all her life, but her mom, a former model, wasn’t eager to let her daughter go into the business. ”She was very against me being an actress,” says the New York native. ”I thought I was going to play ice hockey in college.” Then at 13, she was allowed to start auditioning and got hooked after working with Jeff Daniels in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s stage production of Blackbird. She’s since appeared in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender and on A&E’s Bates Motel.
Now, That’s A Hayride In Michael Bay’s restart of the $2.7 billion franchise, Peltz plays the daughter of a Texas inventor (Mark Wahlberg) who’s just barely scraping by. When they discover a Transformer in their barn, they’re rocketed on an ”insane ride.” The actors were too. ”Michael has us do a lot of our own stunts,” she says. ”He thinks they should look more real.”
Optimus Prime Time The Transformers films launched the careers of Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. So during one of Peltz’s auditions, Bay pulled her mother aside, concerned about whether Peltz was ready for that kind of fame. Sweet, right? But on set it was a different story. ”Michael always says the Transformers are the stars,” she says. ”He made that very clear.” —Lindsey Bahr

Owen Pallett
Why Him Fresh off an Oscar nomination for co-scoring Spike Jonze’s Her, the Canadian singer-songwriter and longtime Arcade Fire collaborator releases his excellent new solo album, In Conflict, this month.
Wagging The Dog ”I have song titles before I’ve written the songs,” says Pallett, 34. ”I have a whole file on my laptop. I have so many band names, too. My favorite was a metal-band name, Mi Coffin Su Coffin. I’m really hoping someone picks that one up.”
Down In Front Arcade Fire brought him in to help craft the score for Her — and may have regretted the decision. ”I’m a bit of a loudmouth in the studio,” he says wryly. ”I think passivity is the devil. It’s much better to express your idea and be shot down for it than to sit there. I think sometimes they value that in me.” He laughs. ”Other times they don’t.” —Kyle Anderson

Brenton Thwaites
Why Him A veteran of Australian soaps, the 24-year-old makes the leap to Hollywood this summer with three meaty roles: a dreamy Prince Phillip in Maleficent (out May 30), a road-tripping college student in the sci-fi mind-bender The Signal (out June 13), and the lead in the film of Lois Lowry’s YA classic The Giver (out Aug. 15).
Travelin’ Man Thwaites had always wanted to see the world, and he did just that, landing film roles that took him to New York, Hawaii, London, and Cape Town, South Africa, where The Giver was shot. ”Oh, man, I would shoot a cracker commercial in Cape Town just to get back there,” he says. ”It’s such a magic place.”
Sweet 16 Like many fans of The Giver, Thwaites had misgivings that his character, Jonas, was aged from 12 to 16 for the film. ”To be honest, that’s why I put the script down the first time I read it,” he says. But Lowry and director Phillip Noyce argued that an older Jonas would make the story’s mysteries even more unsettling. ”Why doesn’t this boy know about girls, love, color, or anger? These are things that you come to terms with as a teenager,” he says. —Lindsey Bahr

Jhené Aiko
Why Her After a series of high-profile guest spots (see: Drake, Big Sean) and an acclaimed EP, the California singer-rapper, 26, will soon release her full-length debut, Souled Out.
Saturday Night’s All Right In January, Aiko dropped in on Drake’s Saturday Night Live gig for their duet ”From Time.” Then the Internet weighed in. ”For every 20 good comments there will be one that is just ‘You messed up,”’ she says. ”It’s natural that those stand out more. I’m super-critical of myself already.” Soup’s On As a preteen, she found an unlikely source of inspiration: Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. ”It would spark that creative thing in me,” she says.
Words Matter Aiko has already learned the value of keeping her message positive. ”What are you going to have your crowd chanting? ‘F— money, get bitches’?” she says. ”It showed me the importance of lyrics.” —Kyle Anderson

Dylan O’Brien
Why Him Best known as the lovably awkward Stiles on MTV’s Teen Wolf (season 4 premieres June 23), the New Jersey-raised actor, 22, has a notoriety on Tumblr rivaled only by Grumpy Cat. He also stars in September’s The Maze Runner, based on the YA best-seller.
The Big (Screen) Squeeze He had to fit production on The Maze Runner into a tight eight-week break between the first and second halves of Teen Wolf‘s third season. ”I’m just proud I made it through,” he says, ”and hopefully the movie isn’t a disaster!”
Survival Of The Fittest Last season on Teen Wolf, Stiles spent much of his time possessed by an evil spirit. Now that trauma’s in the past. ”He still has to live in this world, and his friends are wolves and banshees and coyotes,” O’Brien says, ”but it’s made him stronger.” —Sandra Gonzalez