10 Up-And-Coming Actors Who Never Quite Made It

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Taylor Kitsch 'come here' GIF(via)

Since it's Taylor Kitsch‘s birthday today, I've been celebrating the same way I always have — by thinking about Taylor Kitsch. All day long. And the thing I've been thinking about the most is why he isn't around more. A couple years ago, everyone was promising that he was The Next Big Thing, about to blow up like crazy and hit the A-List like a ton of bricks.

But he just…never did. Not sure why. He still does projects and stuff, and has a devoted fan base who I'm sure will have a big problem with me saying he hasn't made it, but he really hasn't. He was so hyped up that it's like we set up a whole party for him, but he never quite showed up to it. I guess it's possible that he's still on his way, but some of these streamers are getting pretty droopy, y'know? And I have absolutely no doubt that some of the rest of the up-and-comers polished off his cake a long time ago.

Because that's right! There are more people just like Taylor out there! And I made a list of nine of them. A whole variety of people who never made it as big as everyone expected. Just a bunch of up-and-comers who never actually up and came.

1. Taylor Kitsch

Tim Riggins, Taylor Kitsch GIF

Taylor seemed poised to take the world by storm after Friday Night Lightsbut we're a few years past the finale now, and I've yet to really hear any thunder or see any lightning.

2. Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler Serious

I feel like the world is just ticking off genres one by one that Gerard Butler can't pull off. For a while he was in every romcom, but then we realized he might be too dickish to be really convincing. And then he was in every high-octane action movie, but he's not focused enough to be believable as a spy. How many more times do we have to do this before we acknowledge that 300 was a one-time thing?

3. Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke GIF


Kind of similarly to Gerard Butler, I feel like Mickey was in the right place at the right time for The Wrestlerand we should probably stop pretending that his next hit is right around the corner.

4. Chris Evans

Chris Evans The Avengers Captain America Steve Rogers love interest Anna Kendrick Imogen Poots Felicity Jones

Poor Chris! It's so hard to get A-List famous these days that even after starring in multiple major franchises as Captain America, he's still only sloppy seconds when it comes time to fill in for Andrew Garfield last minute at the Oscars. The guy wasn't even invited. How messed up is that?

5. Josh Hartnett

Josh Hartnett GIF


Remember Josh? He was in every movie during the 90s and early 2000s, and now he has gone away to the same farm as all your childhood pets, I guess? Where is this guy? I was promised a lifetime of smolder.

6. Chace Crawford

Chace Crawford crying GIF


Just proof that a gorgeous face and starring on way too many seasons of Gossip Girl still doesn't guarantee you a career! The only role I can think of that he might've been right for recently is in Fifty Shades Of Greyand we all know how that turned out.

7. Alex Pettyfer

Alex Pettyfer confused GIF


A prime example of someone whose name I have to look up EVERY time I see him in a movie. I always recognize it, from all the times I've been told he's gonna be the Next Big Thing, but somehow it never quite sticks.

8. Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill training for Man Of Steel National Guard commercial June 2013

Even with Man Of Steel, a film that should have theoretically ensured his celebrity status, Henry was having such trouble gaining traction that he had to fake-date Kaley Cuoco. And we all know how that turned out. Better luck next time, buddy! I think Nina Dobrev is still available!

9. Cuba Gooding, Jr.

cuba gooding jr show me the money

With a movie like Jerry Maguire under his belt, I would've expected Cuba to make it huge. But instead he just made it into…commercials in 2014 that still draw heavily on his 1996 role. Sucks, bro.

10. Eric Bana

Eric Bana GIF 2 (via)

Man, it seriously does suck for the leads in new superhero franchises. Eric's done a lot of main roles in huge movies, but he's still not anywhere close to A-List. Which is a shame, because out of all the people on this list, I think he most deserves to be there.

(Sorry Taylor. Happy birthday, though!)