The 7 Sundance Break-Out Actresses You Need to Know

Pretty and talented, as it turns out

By The Editors

The 7 Sundance Break-Out Actresses You Need to Know
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28 January 2016

2016 has been a tough year in Park City: We’ve got three movies about gun violence. (Well, plenty of movies that feature gun violence; three of them that focus on it.) Two movies about a real-life news anchor who committed suicide on air. The best reviewed movie of the festival: Birth of a Nation, with brutal on-screen violence that’s earned it comparisons to Braveheart. And then there’s the next-best-reviewed-movie: Manchester-by-the-Sea, about how how many family deaths one man can suffer before he disintegrates.

Ingenues are tough breed, though, and this year no doubt produced a new set of actresses who will make their name in Park City and go on to big careers, bigger paydays, and the occasional Vogue cover (Alicia Vikander, we’re talking to you.) Here’s our choices for the half-dozen actresses (plus an extra to dream on) about to make their mark.


Image: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Name: Kate Lyn Sheil
Film: Kate Plays Christine
She plays: Herself, sort of, in an odd docudrama about taking on the role of Christine Chubbuck, who killed herself on-air in 1974 and inspired the film Network. 
You know her from: House of Cards, where she played Rachel’s girlfriend. 
Telling quote:I started an Okcupid account one night back when I was single but I never finished it. I didn’t finish answering the questions or even upload a picture but I still get quiver matches.” 


Image: mediazor.ru

Name: Anna Baryshnikov
Film: Manchester-by-the-Sea 
She plays: One of Lucas Hedges’ two girlfriends. She’s the nice one, who wears a belt so humongous it actually gets in the way of Lucas dispensing with his virginity.
You know her from: Mikhail Baryshnikov’s baby announcement?
Telling quote: “[My father] would be like, ‘You want to be an actress? You have to speak French. You have to play the piano.’ Now, I’m older and I’m like, ‘I wish I spoke French and played the piano.’”


Image: Mike Coppola/Getty Images North America

Name: Azita Ghanizada 
Film: Complete Unknown 
She plays: Michael Shannon’s put-upon wife, a jewelry designer whose marriage is upended when Rachel Weisz waltzes back in town after a 15-year absence.
You know her from: General Hospital: Night Shift or Syfy’s Alphas. Or her incredible, true story of fleeing Afghanistan with her family as refugees during the Soviet invasion.
Telling quote:TV and film has defined my entire life. I learned how to speak English watching television.”


Image: Angelo Pennetta

Name: Lily-Rose Depp
Film: Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers
She plays: A presumably slightly fictionalized version of herself, alongside Kevin Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn and her dad Johnny, in a movie at least one reviewer called “the worst thing [Smith] has ever done.”
You know her from: Ads for Chanel eyewear in your girlfriend’s fashion mags.
Telling quote:I'm a Gemini, very spontaneous.”


Image: Jens Langkjaer

Name: Riley Keough
Film: Lovesong
She plays: A stay-at-home mom with a wild and beguiling best friend (Jena Malone). You know her from: Being Elvis’s granddaughter? Also, as Capable, the red-haired wife of Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Telling quote: "Do I just exude stripper/lesbian?"


Image: Getty Images

Name: Emma Greenwell
Film: Love & Friendship
She plays: Sister-in-law to Kate Beckinsale’s scheming, ambitious widow in this Whit Stillman adaptation of the Jane Austen novella Lady Susan.
You know her from: She’s Mandy Milkovich on Shameless.
Telling quote: “The biggest highs are when you book a job, I always cry. I still can’t quite believe people want to hire me and that this is my job.”


Image: Boston Globe/Getty Images

Name: Jenny Slate.
Film: Joshy
She plays: An oddball who ends up at a truly ridiculous party.
You know her from: Obvious Child, or those Marcel the Shell videos. Or that one SNL episode where she said the word “fuck.”
Telling quote: “I had my bachelorette party in the place where we filmed Joshy, but I was so stoned during my own bachelorette party that I didn’t realize when we went back to film it that was the place."

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