Popular Culture

15 Stars of Tomorrow (Versus Today)


While every generation has its share of those destined for the limelight, it seems that the crop gets a bit thinner as time marches on. The stars our parents and grandparents idolized in their youth are revered to this day, whereas the new stars and starlets of Hollywood often just don’t measure up. The brightest stars of ten short years ago are already seeing themselves replaced by younger, hipper versions of themselves, and more often than not it’s a heavy downgrade. However, some aren’t so bad, some are actually great. These are the 15 stars of Tomorrow (versus today and yesterday)


Jonas Brothers vs. The Beatles

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There once was a time when young women the world over went absolutely mad at the merest mention of The Beatles. Girls fainted, parents became enraged, preachers burned albums and radio stations played them nonstop. Today, that sort of excitement just isn’t generated by any single band, unless you call the Jonas Brothers a band. These kids have probably collected more panties via fanmail than Victoria’s Secret sells in a month. The trite garbage they put out could barely be called music, and yet they’re world-renowned superstars as far as record companies and radio stations are concerned.

Robert Pattinson vs. Brad Pitt

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Pretty boy or not, Brad Pitt has risen to become one of the most loved male actors of his time. He’s played roles that nobody thought could suit him, and he pulled it off perfectly — time and again. He’s one of few male actors who not only makes women swoon, but gives guys a good laugh and no cause for hate. Who is taking the spotlight from him today? None other than Robert Pattinson, wannabe vampire extraordinaire. Pitt played a gritty, classical vampire in his earlier days, in a role that helped rocket him into stardom. Pattinson has become a superstar on the sole basis that he plays the most pathetic, lamest vampire in the history of vampire movies.

Miley Cyrus vs. Shirley Temple

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For generations, people grew up thinking of Shirley Temple when they heard the phrase “child star.” Today, if anyone mentions the term, the first hideous face to pop into the minds of most people walking this Earth is that of Miley Cyrus. This vapid, skanky, underage manifestation of everything that’s gone terribly wrong with Disney in the last 20 years has taken the entire planet by storm. Her name is everywhere, and it’s only a matter of time until she leaves her Hannah Montana moniker behind for more adult pastures — and it will only get worse.

Zoe Saldana vs. Halle Berry

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This one has the potential to be acceptable, even welcomed. Zoe Saldana has been around for a little while now, quietly played roles in films that nobody notices, until just recently when she scored the coveted role of Uhura in the Star Trek reboot franchise. Thus far in her career, Saldana has turned out to be similar in many ways to Halle Berry, who has lost most of her mainstream luster in the past few years. The young Saldana easily matches Berry’s looks, and it seems that she may be showing up a bit more frequently in upcoming blockbusters. We’re just fine with seeing more of her.

Shia LaBeouf vs. Tom Cruise

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Say what you will about Tom Cruise as he is today, but the man was one hell of an action hero for two solid decades. That being said, he’s still one of the names that comes to mind when anyone thinks of Hollywood. His time in the spotlight is beginning to wane, though. His likely replacement — as far as fame is concerned? It could very well be Shia LaBeouf. Yes. Shia. You might actually miss the whole Crazy Tom thing 20 years from now, when Shia LaBeouf is the richest actor in Hollywood.

Daniel Radcliffe vs. Matthew Broderick

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A few years ago, and this would have not only sounded insane, but it would have been a very angry outburst of disbelief. Today, Radcliffe has shown, over the years, that he’s not growing up to be a complete douchebag. He’s not that bad at all, really, and he’s got his sights set on theater — more than film. One other guy comes to mind when thinking about young, successful actor who would rather pursue theater than continue his wildly successful movie career: Matthew Broderick. It’s just fine by us if Mr. Potter would like to take a similar career path to that of My. Bueller.

Michael Cera vs. Hugh Grant

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We’re not quite sure how to phrase this one. Hugh Grant was a plague in his own right, even if he did play a role or two that were mildly entertaining during his lengthy, sporadically successful career — but Michael Cera is not turning out to be a very likable kid. He plays the exact same role, over and over again, under different billing. He gets paid loads of money to stand around on set, looking awkward, while lighting technicians work hard to make him look more awkward as he gawks at a girl with indie looks under harsher, but more photogenic lighting. It’s uncanny how both he and Hugh Grant can share the exact same skill set, and be so completely different in every other way…

Justin Bieber vs. Donny Osmond

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It’s hard to decide who is or was more ridiculous; Justin Bieber or Donny Osmond. Both of them have so much in common, from their girlish looks and throngs of female fans (who far exceed their age groups) to their vocals — which can only be likened to that of a boy with clearly undescended testicles. While Osmond grew up to find that his career had vanished before his eyes, young Bieber is only getting started. Unfortunately, in this new world of instant recognition (partly powered by social networks like Twitter), the girlish, talentless Bieber is raking in millions while his success is at a peak. We can only hope that when his fan-base stops growing when he does.

Emma Watson vs. Jennifer Connelly

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This one’s not so bad; Emma Watson is growing more like Ms. Connelly with every passing year. Jennifer Connelly got her biggest break with The Labyrinth, an epic fantasy piece that millions hold dear to this day. She hates it. She completely disowned the film years ago and has never relented. In much the same way, Emma Watson becomes increasingly vocal about her discontent with every release of a new Harry Potter installment. She doesn’t go as far as disowning the franchise, but she doesn’t want to be forever associated with it, and has very serious plans for her acting career and future in general. Also much like Connelly, Watson is growing up to be a seriously beautiful woman — and she’s definitely got a future ahead of her.

Zac Efron vs. Leonardo DiCaprio

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When DiCaprio first broke onto the scene, he was easily disliked and even hated by men — while women of all ages immediately swooned. He surprised everyone as he grew older to become a serious actor, with actual talent and even began writing and directing at a level usually not seen until much later in an actor’s career. Zac Efron, on the other hand, is getting star treatment that he not only hasn’t earned, but that he is obviously incapable of ever earning. “Vapid” barely scratches the surface of this kid’s worthlessness in the talent arena, and he’s going nowhere but up. â€¨â€¨

Megan Fox vs. Angelina Jolie

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We’re really not quite sure yet as to whether or not this is a good thing, because we haven’t had a chance to see young Fox play a truly serious role thus far in her career. From a purely eye-candy standpoint, it’s great; who could complain that the gorgeous Jolie has an understudy in the looks department that is ready and willing to take up her mantle and magazine cover-space? The only thing in question at this point is how Megan Fox will stack up against her elder’s formidable list of movie roles in the years to come.

Taylor Swift vs. Faith Hill

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Looking past the already somewhat flat nature of their particular genre of music (sorry all you fans out there), Taylor Swift is poised to be the next Faith Hill, and she’s not wasting any time getting there. Now that Faith’s getting on into her 40’s, she’s leaving a gap open in the industry for another beautiful, fair-haired young songstress to take her place — and Swift is perfect for the job.

Lady Gaga vs Madonna

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Madonna is and always has been a love her or hate her kind of superstar, and her wild success is impossible to negate — regardless of what side of the fence you happen to fall on. In the newest generation of glammed-up stars running amok on the scene, there is only one young lady that comes to mind when the thought of old Madge finally exiting the stage: Lady Gaga. It’s obvious that Madonna played a huge role in Gaga’s development as she’s grown massively huge in her still-newborn career, and at the rate she’s growing it’s really only a matter of time before she outsells Madonna herself. Love her or hate her, Lady Gaga is going to be here for a long time.

Dakota Fanning vs. Nicole Kidman

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Another replacement of sorts that can only be a good thing: Dakota Fanning, young as she may be, is shaping up to be something like the next Nicole Kidman. Like Kidman, she’s got the acting chops to fill any role, and the solid career to back her up — even though she’s only 16 years old. Fanning was off to a decently good start in show business when she got her first huge break in 2004 with Man on Fire, starring opposite none other than Denzel Washington himself. The girl stole hearts worldwide and has only gone upwards from there. Now that she’s quickly approaching fully adult status in the industry, she’s building up her credentials and biding her time. Kidman and Fanning have similar looks alright, but it’s the potential and versatility that really hit the mark to make this girl a possible replacement for an exiting star.

Zachary Quinto vs. Gary Oldman

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At first glance this could look like a possible slight towards Gary Oldman, but on further exploration, it’s really not. Quinto got his start in the wildly successful — if poorly scripted — Heroes. His character was the instant favorite, not because of the overwhelming power and dark back-story that came with it, but because of the madness so easily portrayed by Quinto while playing the role. Not to be typecast, Quinto quickly moved on to secure the coveted role of Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot, proving his versatility in a way no one saw coming. Very few actors have ever shown the ability to portray both insanity as well as perfect lucidity, and even fewer could do it so well that they could make homicidal psychosis look natural. Gary Oldman is usually the first name that comes to mind when the subject comes up — and Quinto could very well follow in the man’s footsteps if his career path continues along the path it’s on now.


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