While virtually all in attendance at W magazine’s It Girl luncheon possessed the criteria of “It”-dom — an ingénue-type beauty, talent, press smarts, an agent at CAA, etc. — a few starlets stood out from the pack, particularly poised for a breakout in 2015.
The 20-year-old New Yorker turned heads as she traveled around the world for last year’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and has since ascended to the top tiers of fashion circles, making friends with Jason Wu, Alexander Wang and Raf Simons and sitting front row at their shows.
WORKED WITH: Peltz has been in the business a long time. She made her stage debut at age 13 opposite Jeff Daniels and Alison Pill in a Manhattan Theatre Club production. She went on to star opposite Dev Patel in 2010’s “The Last Airbender,” but her big break came with last year’s “Transformers” blockbuster, in which she played Mark Wahlberg’s daughter. “Who isn’t a fan of Mark Wahlberg’s? And Michael Bay works like no other director,” she said. “He wants you to know the whole script — almost like a play — before you get on set because sometimes he’ll randomly pull a scene.”
She currently stars on A&E’s “Bates Motel” with Vera Farmiga. “I look up to her in every way. She’s such a beautiful person inside and out. Being on set with her, not necessarily even being in the scene with her, but being able to watch her, is amazing.”
COMING UP: Peltz has another season of “Bates Motel” to look forward to. “I just got the call yesterday with details. I’m going to go back to Vancouver to do the next season, so I’m really excited about that.” She’s also attached to the upcoming drama “Low Riders” with Demian Bichir and Eva Longoria. “I can’t wait to meet Eva. It’s a Universal Studios picture, but it almost acts like an independent. It’s a small script and a small set, very different from ‘Transformers’.”
TOP HONORS: She took home a Rising Star Award at CinemaCon last year and was nominated at the Young Hollywood Awards and Teen Choice Awards.
MOST EMBARRASSING SHOWBIZ MOMENT: “I can’t think of a project, but I definitely had a terrible audition. I don’t sing. Even when I’m singing ‘Happy Birthday,’ people tell me to stop. And I was going in for a musical and kept telling my agent, ‘I don’t sing,’ and she was like, ‘Just try.’ I was so bad I wanted to die in the room. The [casting] lady was like, ‘Just go. I don’t want to hear the rest of the song.’”
Although Kristen Stewart, Juliette Lewis and Vanessa Hudgens are among the 20-year-old’s upcoming costars, all signs point to Perrineau, who guest-starred on “Pretty Little Liars” in 2011, one day headlining alongside them.
GOOD GENES: The daughter of “Lost” star Harold Perrineau, Aurora is no stranger to the business. “My dad has been very supportive and helpful. Sometimes he’ll watch my auditions, and he’ll help me with that stuff,” she said. “He always tells me to have a thick skin and to always be humble, always be kind and remember where you started.”
UP NEXT: She’ll appear in four films this year, including the thriller “A House Is Not a Home”; a comedic horror movie called “Kitchen Sink” with Hudgens and Ed Westwick, and the dramatic sci-fi flick “Equals,” directed by Drake Doremus starring Stewart, Nicholas Hoult and Guy Pearce. “They’re all really different from one another,” she said. But the most highly anticipated project on her plate is the adventure fantasy film “Jem and the Holograms,” with Lewis, Molly Ringwald and Ryan Guzman. “We’re not really allowed to say anything about ‘Jem.’ It wasn’t even called ‘Jem’ when I was auditioning,” she said. “Then I found out and looked it up. I thought it was so fun to get to watch this girl as a cartoon and then try to bring her to life. It was an awesome experience. I was humbled by someone thinking, ‘You remind me of this cartoon that I watched as a child.’ The director loves the cartoon.”
CHANGE OF HEART: “When I lived in New York for a little bit as a child and didn’t get a ‘Lizzie McGuire’ job, I thought it was the end of the world. At four, I was like, ‘I’m quitting! I’m never doing this again!’ Once I moved here, I decided, ‘This is what I’m doing.’”
MOST EMBARRASSING SHOWBIZ MOMENT: “I don’t want to bite the hand that fed me, but I may have done a [really bad] movie here or there. That said, they were great opportunities because I hadn’t been on set, so it was a good place to learn. My acting was atrocious [at that time].”
GLOBES NIGHT: “I’ll be watching from my sofa. No parties. I’m not a big partier. This [W “It Girls” Luncheon] is my one and done.”
ROOTING FOR: “Jake Gyllenhaal — I loved ‘Nightcrawler.’ ‘Nightcrawler’ all the way. And Julianne Moore in ‘Still Alice.’ She never does wrong. She’s always great.”
NEXT: ALLISON TOLMAN >>
Her ‘Fargo’ costar Colin Hanks predicted she’d be nominated for a Golden Globe and the Hollywood Foreign Press agreed (she’s up for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV movie). Now the former IT tech can officially say goodbye to her day job.
WORKED WITH: Thanks to the FX miniseries “Fargo,” Tolman can count Billy Bob Thornton and Hanks among her costars and friends. “I just moved here from Chicago a few months ago,” she said. “Having Colin and his wife Sam as friends is really helpful. It’s great to be able to call and say, ‘How often do you have earthquakes here? Should I be worried?’” She’s just as grateful for their professional advice. “All of my ‘Fargo’ costars, including Bob, have been invaluable when it comes to questions about the industry. There’s a lot of craziness that goes on with this world, so it’s nice to have these brothers to check in with and be like, ‘Is this normal? Am I on track?’”
COMING UP: Tolman has an episode of “Archer” and multiple episodes of “The Mindy Project” in the can, as well as a role in the upcoming HBO film “Hello Ladies: The Movie” opposite Stephen Merchant. “I was a superfan of the original ‘Office,’ so he’s a comedy hero of mine. He’s a genius.” She also recently wrapped “Fresno,” with Aubrey Plaza, Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne.
TOP HONORS: She’s Globes-nominated for her work on “Fargo,” she’s already won the 2014 Critics Choice Award and was nominated for a 2014 Emmy. “A year-and-a-half ago, I would never ever, ever, ever have even imagined that I would be in the position that I’m in right now. There are so many actors who can never make a living at it, and it has nothing to do with talent or drive. It’s just about chances. I hope I never lose sight of what an unbelievable blessing that it is.”
GLOBES MORNING: “I’ll get started at 10:30. We’re going to hang out and drink mimosas and do my hair and my makeup and try to make it fun. It’s easy to get stressed out when there’s an event you’re working toward. It’s important to remember that the honor has already happened. The event is really just a party.”
GLOBES NIGHT: “I’m wearing black this time. I usually wear color, but for this one I feel like it’s right in black. And it’s another big skirt. I’m sure my publicist is going to be like, ‘Come on!’ She’s the one who has to fluff it.”
MOST EMBARRASSING SHOWBIZ MOMENT: “I did a Halloween episode of ‘Barney’ because it films in Dallas and I started my career there. I think it’s on Netflix.”
PRE-HOLLYWOOD GIG: As a character actress, Tolman can wear many hats on-camera — though she’s seen many roles off-camera. “I’ve had every day job you could ever imagine. I worked retail. I worked as a personal assistant. I worked at a vet’s office — at the front desk and in the kennel walking dogs. I worked in IT. I was a professional unpacker for a week where I’d go to people’s houses, and I’d unpack their things after they’d moved.”