Emily Blunt — Blunt is on the cusp of the A-list, but I’m not sure she ever gets there: As kick-ass as she is in a movie like Edge of Tomorrow, and as amusing as she can be in a movie like Five Year Engagement (which had a few decent sequences), Blunt will never be the person who carries a major feature film, but she’ll always be an excellent complement to the A-list star ( Matt Damon, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep) who does.
Patrick Wilson — Wilson is exactly the person you hire when you have a tight budget, and you want the focus to be on the story rather than the talent. He is familiar, likable, and serviceable for nearly any male role, although he seems to excel in B-movies and indies.
Rose Byrne — Byrne is a terrific actress, and every time I see her, I grow more impressed with her range, especially knowing her first as the stone-cold bitch in Damages and only coming to her comedic abilities later in Bridesmaids and Neighbors (where she was insanely good). But nobody is going to rush out to see a “Rose Byrne” movie, although no one will be sad to see Byrne in someone else’s film.
Jon Hamm — I hate to concede it because I am such a huge fan of Hamm, but I don’t think he’s ever going to be an A-lister, even though he looks like an A-list star. He doesn’t want to do superhero films (to his credit), which means he’s likely to bounce back and forth between ensemble roles in films marketing to older adults, smaller roles in comedies, and leading man roles in indies. He’s infinitely recognizable, but rarely the draw (see Million Dollar Arm).
Nicholas Hoult — Poor Hoult. He even plays a B-lister to his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lawrence. Make him the lead in a genre movie (Warm Bodies) or a huge blockbuster (Jack the Giant Slayer) and the results are likely to be the same ($65 million). He seems like the kind of guy who will always be great in an ensemble, or a cheap hire (like Patrick Wilson) for a bigger picture that just needs a solid, reliable actor without a lot of flash or drama (X-Men: First Class).
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