ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

2014 was a rough year for a lot of us. From Sony to Bill Cosby, this year pounced on a lot our favorites with scandals and hassles galore. BUT, there were a choice few who escaped unscathed and even managed to make this year kneel down and kiss their patoots.

Here are the celebrities who killed it in 2014.

1. Shailene Woodley

From young adult action flicks to young adult tearjerkers[The Fault In Our Stars](movie:602185), Shailene Woodley seemed to be everywhere in 2014. She starred as the rebellious Tris in [Divergent](movie:593270), helping launch a new franchise and pave the way for three more movies. She maintained her indie cred with [White Bird In A Blizzard](movie:753864), which offered one of her best roles since her breakout in The Descendants. She went on to star as Hazel in teen cancer weepy [The Fault In Our Stars](movie:602185) and reminded everyone that crying is totally healthy. It's not like I'm still weeping over it or anything...

Let's not forget that this is the girl from The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Her meteoric rise to fame draws comparisons to another young pro: Jennifer Lawrence. If that comparison continues to ring true, could an Oscar be in her future?

What's in store for 2015? Next up, Woodley will star as Tris in [Insurgent](movie:949018), the first sequel to Divergent. She'll also be plenty busy filming the third and fourth installments of the franchise while also filming an untitled Oliver Stone movie.

2. Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum has already had an extremely successful career, but this year gave him the opportunity to hit true A-list status. He showed off his comedic chops again in [22 Jump Street](movie:434853) with pal Jonah Hill and showed all of his the way that sequels are supposed to be done. He lent his voice to animated films [The Book of Life](movie:364131) and [The LEGO Movie](movie:376368). In his most pivotal role to date, Tatum showed his most impressive range in [Foxcatcher](movie:264060), drawing praise from pretty much every critic that took the time to watch it. He also penned what must be one of the funniest emails of the year and proved that he behaves exactly like we all expected him to. I find comfort in that.

What's in store for 2015? Tatum is showing no signs of slowing down. He'll be in the male stripper sequel [Magic Mike XXL](movie:452782), which will probably draw even more thirsty viewers than [Fifty Shades of Grey](movie:391697). He'll also be starring alongside Mila Kunis in [Jupiter Ascending](movie:267863), an original sci-fi adventure from the Wachowski siblings.

3. Jessica Chastain

Somehow, perhaps with the aid of a time-turner, Jessica Chastain managed to star in four phenomenal projects in 2014. The first was three-part romance with James McAvoy [The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby](movie:738419), which she followed up with Liv Ullman's character study [Miss Julie](movie:811348). She made everyone sweat with anticipation playing a brilliant scientist in [Interstellar](movie:813746) and then turned in an Oscar-worthy performance in [A Most Violent Year](movie:967523).

*wipes brow* I'm tired just writing all those out! Here's hoping Chastain makes a habit out of this tenacity as well as her impeccable taste in roles.

What's in store for 2015? Staying reliably busy, Chastain will be doing quite a bit of promoting next year. She'll be in Guillermo Del Toro's romance ghost story [Crimson Peak](movie:774042) alongside Tom Hiddleston, and she will follow that up Ridley Scott's alone-on-Mars adventure [The Martian](movie:959366). As if that wasn't enough, she'll be in The Zookeeper's Wife, a WWII drama that smells like an Oscar to me. Oh, and she just announced that she will be attending Comic-Con, so there could be big announcement on the way (fingers crossed for [Captain Marvel](movie:949779)).

4. Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o kicked off 2014 in casual fashion: becoming a style icon on the red carpet and winning an Academy Award for her amazing performance in [12 Years A Slave](movie:222641). While she hasn't appeared in much (that's what happens when you bag an Oscar for your major film role), she quickly became the apple of Hollywood's eye and even managed to snag a spot in the notoriously choosy fashion inner circle. She was also incredibly on point whenever she opened her mouth, expressing thought-provoking opinions with effortless grace. Though 2014 was where she began, we'll be seeing a lot more of Nyong'o in the years to come.

What's in store for 2015? Two words. Star Wars. Still no official word on who she will be playing in J.J. Abrams' [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158), but don't be surprised if her talent grants her extra screen time. She'll also be voicing Mowgli's mother wolf Raksha in [The Jungle Book](movie:1038643) and will most likely be filming the immigration story [Americanah](movie:1479156).

5. Chris Pratt

Yes, Chris, it's you!

I think we can all agree that 2014 was the year of Chris(t) Pratt. As usual, Mugatu puts it best:

Pratt started his breakout year voicing Emmet Brickowoski in [The LEGO Movie](movie:376368), an unexpected smash that had everyone chanting, "Everything is Awesome." He continued to steal every scene he was in as Andy Dwyer in [Parks and Recreation](series:214218), but his biggest moment came in August with the release of Marvel's [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073). The cosmic epic was a HUGE success that pleased critics, fans, and even those stuffy curmudgeons who hate superhero movies. The buzz surrounding Guardians of the Galaxy was due in large part to Pratt's star-making performance as Peter Quill, and an obsession with a new Chris in the Marvel universe was born. Happily, it's not showing any signs of slowing down.

What's in store for 2015? In between bouts of being painfully adorable with his wife and son, Pratt will star in [Jurassic World](movie:32752), a.k.a. the closest you can get to a surefire hit. That's all on his plate for now, but something tells me that spaces in his schedule won't be open for very long.

Let's hope all these folks have an equally awesome 2015 ahead of them! By the looks of their upcoming projects, I don't think we have any reason to worry. What celebrity do you think had the best year?


Which celeb won 2014?


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