This year has blessed us with some seriously crushworthy guys. So to countdown the 25 days until Christmas, each day I'll put a spotlight on one actor we wish we could catch under the mistletoe. In this case, Santa rewards the naughty and nice.
The Young "Character Actor" //
Young Hollywood isn't exactly overflowing with fresh talent these days, especially ones with a Y-chromosome. If you're a young boy who wants to be famous at 16, you either kiss Disney's pinky ring or learn how to charm the Hello Kitty underwear off of preteen girls. Fortunately, hope is not lost yet.
Last year, a little indie called Flipped told a sweet young love story in a unique way—first from the boy's perspective and then the girl's—and most of the heightened emotions were narrated. It's a challenge for any actor to emote without words, let alone a teenager new to the industry, but McAuliffe captured the innate insecurities and cowardice that lie within a teenage boy, and did his part to illustrate just how young love can blossom and wither.
This Spring, he costarred in the adaptation of the alien epic I Am Number Four as the eager and loyal human to Alex Pettyfer's volatile and vulnerable alien. He could've easily have been just another precocious nuisance distracting viewers from the action and the romance, but he milked every scene he was in, with self-pity, desperation, and goofy self-confidence. By the end of the film, I was more impressed with him than I was of his costars.
Next year, the teenage Aussie will play a young Leonardo DiCaprio in the star-studded cast of The Great Gatsby adaptation, and an archangel in the adaptation of the epic poem Paradise Lost. The parts may be small but the films are getting bigger.