Star-making turns in 'The Lucky One' and 'Argo' make actress One to Watch in 2012. By Amy Wilkinson
Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron in "The Lucky One"Photo: Warner Bros.
Ryan Gosling. Rachel McAdams. Liam Hemsworth. To think, you may have never known their names if it weren't for one of the weepy romances by Nicholas Sparks, the writer behind "The Notebook," "The Last Song," "Dear John" and more. And as we ring in a new year of cinema, we find yet another actress toying with the lever on Sparks' star-making machine: Massachusetts native Taylor Schilling. Fans of NBC's short-lived medical drama "Mercy" may recognize the 27-year-old as nurse Veronica Flanagan Callahan, though she's since hung up her scrubs, making the transition from TV to film in earnest this year with roles in the Sparks adaptation "The Lucky One" and Ben Affleck's "Argo." We chatted with the actress about her breakout 2012 and whether making out underwater is as hard as it looks.
MTV News: Does this year feel like a particularly big one for you?
Taylor Schilling: Last year felt like a big year. This year feels just kind of like riding the wave. I did some fun work last year, so I'm excited to see how it shakes down.
MTV: Has transitioning from TV to film been an intentional career move for you, or were those simply the roles that were coming your way?
Schilling: When I audition, I take the parts that I get that I like. I feel so grateful that those have been these kind of amazing film roles. And I have to say that there is a big difference [between TV and film]. On a film set, for me, there's so much more time to process what's going on than there is on a television set. There's more wiggle room to try things and fail and try again and get to the heart of what's going on in the scene, which is really fun for me. It's what I like to do.
MTV: First up for you this year is "The Lucky One," co-starring Zac Efron. Let's cut to the obvious question: Is kissing Zac as amazing as one might imagine?
Schilling: Oh my gosh. I'm not going to let you down. It's not a bad way to make a paycheck.
MTV: My favorite Nicholas Sparks movie motif is the rain-drenched makeout scene. From the trailer, it appears you and Zac share a steamy smooch under a showerhead, which is a bit of a twist. What I'm wondering, technically speaking, is if there's any special choreography to ensure you don't drown with all that water falling on you?
Schilling: [Laughs] No, there didn't seem to be a problem.
MTV: Well, you're clearly a talented, well-trained actress. Do you have a favorite Nicholas Sparks movie?
Schilling: I love "The Notebook." I think that's my favorite one. It really is a classic now. I don't know if I could say. I haven't seen all of them yet, to be honest. I think I need to do some research before I can honestly answer that question. They're just such nice stories. They're so romantic. You get lost in them. It's such a beautiful fantasy. It's not real life. It's this precious world where things kind of fall into place.
MTV: You also have "Argo" coming out this year. What is Ben Affleck like as a director?
Schilling: It was one of the easiest experiences I've ever had on a set, and it was one of the happiest sets I've ever been on. He's incredibly smart, and he kind of made me as an actor — I never felt left behind. It's like he knows what it's like and he's there with you every step of the way. It's pretty incredible, that whole experience.
MTV: I have to imagine some of that comes from his background as an actor.
Schilling: Absolutely. Absolutely. He just really knew how to articulate what he wanted, and then I felt really safe and free because I think that when a director has been an actor, he really understands the vulnerability of sort of being in front of the camera and has the ability to make the set very safe. He completely understands what that process is like. So that's rare.
MTV: What challenges does your character Christine face in "Argo"?
Schilling: Christine is holding down the fort while her husband [played by Affleck] is off kind of doing some big adventurous things. She's doing the best she can to maintain her home and her relationship, to do right by her child. She's trying to negotiate what the best plan of action is for her as a woman and to take care of her son and where her relationship fits into that.
MTV: So you've got both Ben Affleck and Zac Efron as leading men this year. How are you going to top that? Is Brad Pitt next?
Schilling: I don't know. I don't know where it goes from here. Brad Pitt, bring it.
R3hab, Nicky Romero, Hardwell and Alesso are a few of the electronic dance music upstarts blazing into the New Year. By Adam Stewart and Akshay Bhansali
AlessoPhoto: Drew Ressley
After a mesmerizing year for electronic dance music, it almost goes without saying that the genre will continue to blaze a trail Stateside in 2012. Acts from Skrillex to Kaskade enjoyed crossover success in 2011, and now fans are hungry for more new releases, killer albums and massive festivals.
But while it may be clear who's leading the charge, there are more than a few EDM upstarts who've been making noise, and if one thing is for certain, it's that they'll be shaping the musical landscape in the months to come. In MTV News' Rookie Roll Call, we break down exactly which acts (some greener than others) we've got our eye on as the dance scene gets locked and loaded for another killer year.
Alesso Groomed by Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso was without a doubt one of 2011's hottest new names. Now, with no less than six hit releases and remixes under his belt, the young Swede has all of the necessary weapons to crush it in 2012.
Arty Expect big things from U.K. label Anjunabeats' young Russian phenom. Arty burst onto the scene with hits "Around the World" and "Kate," as well as killer collabs with Mat Zo and Matisse & Sadko. 2012 promises to be a marquee year.
Deniz Koyu A blazing new talent, Deniz Koyu shocked the scene last year with numbers like "Tung!" and a collabo with Johan Wedel on a remix of James Blunt's "Dangerous." Koyu kicks off 2012 with a "tri-laboration" that roped in Fedde le Grand and Wedel on the track "New Day," and he's set to keep heating things up.
Hardwell The 23-year-old DJ/producer has been tickling the decks since the age of 13, and 2011 proved to be his breakout year. Hardwell smashed it early on in '11 with Tiësto on the megahit "Zero 76," but he also knocked out solo cuts "Cobra (Official Energy Anthem 2012)" and "Encoded." He's one of the hottest talents in the game, and certainly worth tagging as one to watch in 2012.
Knife Party Under their dubstep-inspired production moniker Knife Party, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen of Pendulum hit big on the Swedish House Mafia collabo "Antidote." And although Knife Party are just getting started, their stellar re-warbles for Porter Robinson and Nero, and original current hits like "Internet Friends" and "Firehive," prove there's much more in store from the Aussie duo.
Nicky Romero With David Guetta and Fedde Le Grand in his corner, Nicky Romero had a DJ set staple early in '11 with his remix of Green Velvet's "Flash." Romero also hit homeruns with solo singles "Camorra" and "Toulouse." Fans can expect a banger or two to drop this year with assists from Monsieur Guetta.
R3hab A member of the Afrojack camp, Dutch newbie R3hab chain-sawed killer re-works for Rihanna and Katy Perry. He also put his special touch on Sander van Doorn's "Koko." And R3hab's monster pairings with Swanky Tunes and Max C on "Sending My Love," and with Afrojack on "Prutataaa" support our conviction that he's got a huge year to come on his hands.
Tommy Trash After years of cranking out grimey, loopy, textured material, Tommy Trash took everyone by surprise in '11 with original heaters like "Future Folk" and "The End," capping off the year with a fourth-quarter remix bomb of John Dahlback's "One Last Ride."
Zedd With tunes like "Shave It" and a collab credit on "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," not to mention his remix of SHM's "Save the World," Zedd's production foundation is rock solid. And you know what else is cool? He's edgy enough to totally reinvent a song like Edvaard Grieg's classical composition "In the Hall of the Mountain King" — or "Doveregubben," the theme to video game "Zelda" — and make it work in the club! For Zedd, things are looking good in 2012.
Sound off on MTV News' 2012 EDM Rookie Roll Call on our Facebook page!