We've highlighted our favorite Irishmen working in the movie industry and Irish films for the whole family, but this year we're also celebrating St. Patrick's Day by shining a green spotlight on 10 rising Irish stars -- talented young men and women of the Emerald Isle that will become household names soon enough.
From one of the youngest Oscar nominees in Academy Award history and a second-generation thespian to the inhabitant of one of TV's most-despised characters and the child of Ireland's biggest celebrity, these 10 actors have promising futures as Hollywood's next Liam Neeson, Kenneth Branagh, and Maureen O'Hara.
10. Eve Hewson
<strong>Vital Stats: </strong>She's 21 and has appeared in three projects: "The 27 Club," "For the First Time," and the Sean Penn-Frances McDormand drama "This Must Be the Place." If her last name sounds familiar, that's because she's the daughter of U2 frontman Bono (born Paul David Hewson), and his wife, activist Ali Hewson. <strong>Irish Cred: </strong>Like her parents, Eve was born in Dublin. Despite her parents' international lifestyle, Eve was raised primarily in Ireland. <strong>What's Next: </strong>The lovely brunette is set to appear in Nicole Holfcener's latest indie drama opposite Catherine Keener and Toni Collette, as well as Guillaume Canet's '70s crime drama "Blood Ties" with Mila Kunis, Marion Cotillard, and Zoe Saldana.
9. Martin McCann
<strong>Vital Stats: </strong>Speaking of Bono, McCann, 29, played him in the Irish rock dramedy "Killing Bono." A TV and film actor, he's appeared in more than 24 projects, including "Stand Off," "Clash of the Titans," Starz' 12-part miniseries "Titanic: Blood and Steel," and HBO's venerable "The Pacific." <strong>Irish Cred: </strong>McCann was born and raised in a working-class neighborhood of Belfast, Northern Island. <strong>What's Next: </strong>The handsome Bono lookalike starred in four releases last year and is currently working in post-production on his directorial debut "Fishbowl City," a drama about two brothers that he's also starring in and helped finance through an online campaign.
8. Evanna Lynch
<strong>Vital Sats: </strong>The flaxen-haired actress, 21, will forever be known as the ethereal Luna Lovegood from the final four "Harry Potter" films – a role she won after an open audition that drew 15,000 girls. <strong>Irish Cred:</strong> Lynch was born in the small town of Termonfeckin in County Louth. <strong>What's Next: </strong>After spending five years in the Wizarding World, Lynch seems to have taken a couple of years off, but has returned to acting in the docudrama "Monster Butler," a film chronicling the life of serial killer Roy Fontaine (Malcolm McDowell), and the high-school comedy "G.B.F." (the Gay Best Friend), in which she plays a homophobic goodie-goodie.
7. Jack Gleeson
<strong>Vital Stats: </strong>He's only 20, but he's already a king – at least on a hit HBO fantasy series. On "Game of Thrones," Gleeson – who once played an adorable young orphan in the Irish family film "A Shine of Rainbows – plays the sadistic King Joffrey Baratheon, one of primetime's most loathed characters. <strong>Irish Cred: </strong>Born in Cork, Ireland, Gleeson is currently a merit scholar at Trinity College in Dublin and is also one of the founders of the stage production company, Collapsing Horse Theatre Company. <strong>What's Next: </strong>Aside from the new season of "Game of Thrones," Gleeson is busy pursuing his degree in philosophy and theology, but plans to have a stage and screen career as well as an academic one once his fictional monarchy ends.
6. Sarah Bolger
<strong>Vital Stats:</strong> She's 22 and has played a young Irish immigrant to New York ("In America"), a suspicious boarding school girl ("The Moth Diaries") and Princess Aurora (ABC's "Once Upon a Time.") A child actress, she has been in 18 film and television roles since she was 8 years old. <strong>Irish Cred: </strong>Bolger was born in Dublin, where she attended the Young People's Theatre School. Her younger sister Emma is also an actress (the two played sisters in "In America"). <strong>What's Next: </strong>She stars in the upcoming high-school stalker thriller "Crush" opposite Lucas Till, "Survivor" host Jeff Probst's directorial debut "Kiss Me," and the coming-of-age tale "As Cool as I Am," playing the teenage daughter of super young parents Claire Danes and James Marsden.
5. Jack Reynor
<strong>Vital Stats: </strong>The lantern-jawed 21 year old has only been in three feature-length films – "Country" as a child, and the dramas "Dollhouse" and "What Richard Did" last year – but he's got a couple of high-profile roles on the horizon. <strong>Irish Cred: </strong>He was born in Colorado, but when he was two, his family returned to Ireland, where he was raised in Humphrystown, County Wicklow. <strong>What's Next: </strong>Reynor beat out a field of handsome contenders to star in the second lead role opposite Mark Wahlberg in the new "Transformers" films. He'll play the racecar-driving boyfriend of Wahlberg's daughter. He will also appear in "Delivery Man" with Vince Vaughn.
4. Aidan Turner
<strong>Vital Stats: </strong>British TV fans will recognize Turner, 29, as the sexy vampire on the supernatural BBC series "Being Human." He most recently played Kili, one of the central dwarves, in the first of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy. <strong>Irish Cred: </strong>He was born and raised in Clondaklin, a town in South Dublin and graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting, also the alma mater of Stuart Townsend and Olivia Wilde. <strong>What's Next: </strong>Turner will reprise his role as Kili in the next two "Hobbit" installments, and he returns to the supernatural world as a werewolf in this summer's YA adaptation, "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones."
3. Robert Sheehan
<strong>Vital Stats: </strong>Like Turner, Sheehan, 25, starred a popular British TV show, the "Heroes" meets "Skins" series "Misfits." Sheehan also co-starred opposite Martin McCann in "Killing Bono" and "Harry Potter" ginger Rupert Grint in the indie coming-of-age drama "Cherrybomb." He's already been in 15 movies. <strong>Irish Cred: </strong>A comedic actor with a killer brogue, Sheehan was born in Portlaoise, County Laois. <strong>What's Next:</strong> Sheehan plays Simon, protagonist Clary's (Lily Collins) wisecracking best friend in "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," which also features fellow Irishmen Aidan Turner and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and could be the next big YA franchise.
2. Domhnall Gleeson
<strong>Vital Stats: </strong>Domhnall (DOE-null), 29, is the son of esteemed Irish actor Brendan Gleeson. The two even appeared in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" together – Brendan as Mad-Eye Moody and Domhnall as the eldest Weasley, Bill. The younger Gleeson also had a breakout role in last year's "Anna Karenina," "Dredd," the Coen Brothers' "True Grit," and a dozen other movies. <strong>Irish Cred: </strong>Like his parents, Domhnall is a Dubliner and attended the Dublin Institute of Technology. He even boasts a Tony nomination for starring in pre-eminent Irish playwright Martin McDonagh's "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" on Broadway. <strong>What's Next: </strong>Domhnall is starring with fellow hot Irishman Michael Fassbender in the comedy "Frank," opposite his pop Brendan in "Calvary," and in Richard Curtis' time-traveling romance "About Time."
1. Saoirse Ronan
<strong>Vital Stats: </strong>Saoirse, whose Gaelic name is pronounced SEER-shaw, was only 13 years old when she was nominated for an Academy Award for her remarkable performance in Joe Wright's "Atonement." Since 2007, Saoirse, 18, has appeared in 11 films and two television shows, including "The Lovely Bones," "Hanna," and "City of Ember." <strong>Irish Cred: </strong>She was born in New York City but at age three, her family moved back to County Carlow, where she grew up. <strong>What's Next: </strong>In addition to her starring role in "The Host," which comes out next week, Ronan has six upcoming films, including starring roles in Kevin Macdonald's war drama "How I Live Now," Wes Anderson's next comedy "The Grand Budapest Hotel," a Mary Quene of Scots biopic, and Ryan Gosling's directorial debut.