#1: Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere (born 1989) is building a successful career for herself, including a recent starring role in I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009). She’s been an actor for most of her life, beginning with a multi-year run on the soap opera, One Life to Live. She’s appeared on several other television shows, voiced a video game character, and produced some pretty good Internet clips on funnyordie.com. What she hasn’t done (yet) is deliver a breakout, mature performance in a major, mainstream comedy or drama. But she’s awfully young, and her best years are very likely ahead of her.
Panettiere might have done just as well if born 89 years earlier. Why could she have succeeded in silent films? Her beauty, for one thing. The actress is fresh-faced and gorgeous, and can strike a pose. More than that, though, is her ability to project not only different moods with her poses, but almost different identities.
Girlish, sexy, wicked, sweet, powerful, vulnerable, etc. It’s not so easy to do this; like many silent actresses, Panettiere seems capable of embodying several different values or archetypes, and can look convincingly older and younger than her twenty years; she doesn't always let her looks dictate what she can be. While her roles have, thus far, traded on those looks, the photography suggests greater potential. Consider the silent director’s willingness to shoot long takes, focusing on the actors’ faces and allowing their screen presences alone to dictate the action. Panetierre can say a lot without words; without, it seems, doing much more than standing still. She’d have made it big in 1919, just as easily as 2009.