Most promising celebrities in 2014 (Part 1)
Los Angeles – For every aspirant who dreams of making it big in Hollywood, what differentiates the ones who really make it and last for a long time is a lot of luck and talent. For 2014, here are our choices of actors and actresses to watch out for:
Not your typical child actor, this 12-year-old is, in fact, not your typical pre-teen – he speaks like a 30-year-old and thinks like one.
Described by his Fil-Am dad Steve Ganalon and Italian-American mom Jennifer Bethel Ganalon as an “old soul,” Luke is a confident, calm, intelligent and smart kid with a great passion to do well in his acting career. He dreams of becoming a director, too.
Luke, a child actor whose great-grandparents came to the United States from the Philippines in the early 1900s, starred in the film “Bless Me Ultima” as the central character Antonio Marez, to rave reviews. For this he won the Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film award at this year’s 28th Annual Imagen Awards.
The 23-year-old Tobit Raphael, a graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater and Television, amazingly held his own in the company of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in “The Internship.”
Born in San Francisco to parents from Pampanga, the boyish-looking and intelligent actor portrayed Yo-Yo Santos, one of the Google interns in the Shawn Levy-helmed film.
“I am so glad my parents did not force me to become a doctor,” Tobit said, laughing. His first acting experience was on stage at age 14. The decision to pursue acting came to him while working on a commedia dell’arte style play in junior high, where he had the opportunity to create an original character.
When composer-creator David Byrne (“Talking Heads”) conceptualized the idea of “Here Lies Love,” a theatrical musical event about the former First Lady Imelda Marcos, Fil-Am actress Melody Butiu knew she had to be a part of the project.
The Los Angeles-based actress not only got the role of Estrella Cumpas, the former nanny of Imelda Marcos growing up, but she impressed the critics with her performance and singing.
Expect to see more of Melody not only in musicals but also in films.
His portrayal of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. in David Byrne’s “Here Lies Love” earned him raves from Vogue and the New York Times, among others.
He been named by Theater World Awards among the winners for outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway debut performance in the 2012-13 theatrical season along with Ruthie Ann Miles (who played Imelda in “Here Lies Love”), Tom Hanks (for his play “Lucky Guy”) and Rob McClure (“Chaplin”), among others.
Conrad, a California native, said, “It’s a huge honor to be in the same sentence as Tom Hanks and Ruthie, and fellow Philly actor Rob McClure!”
Louise Marie Cornillez
The first time we saw her, she was belting a song at the Grand Performances in downtown Los Angeles. Then we saw her perform again with the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra (FASO).
Unknown to many, this belter and powerhouse has performed in critically-acclaimed productions of Stephen Sondheim’s “Passion” and “Sweeney Todd,” and proudly originated the role of Imelda’s mother in the world premiere of “Imelda: A New Musical” at the East West Players in LA.
Aside from being featured in San Francisco Symphony’s “West Side Story” in Concert and in Sacramento Music Circus’ production of “The King and I,” she was stellar in “West Side Story” (as Maria), “A Chorus Line” (Diana and Connie) and “Miss Saigon (Gigi).