While names like Chris Pratt and Shailene Woodley have become more and more popular over the past couple of years, one of the breakout stars that manages to evade the spotlight is Evangeline Lilly. For the most part, every time I mention that name I'm met with confusion. Well that is no longer going to be the case.
The Start Of Success
I first was introduced to Evangeline Lilly in the hit ABC show Lost, where Lilly played Kate Austen, the lead female role with a criminal background. While there were many, and I mean many, amazing characters in the show (I'm looking at you Benjamin Linus and Sawyer), Kate has always been one of my favorites. She does what she wants and takes charge when needed in order to help the rest of the crew survive. Lost really made me keep an eye out for a couple of actors and actresses, Evangeline Lilly in particular.
Lilly then acted alongside Hugh Jackman in the futuristic robot-boxing movie Real Steel, where she played the love interest of Hugh Jackman's character. While she didn't have a very big part in the film, it was simply lighting the fuse of her transition from television to film.
A Step Into Franchise Life
One of the best ways to make your name as an actor is by joining a franchise. While some of the best films are the lesser known independent films, franchises can really turn an actor or actress into international fame. After all, how many people would know Elijah Wood if it wasn't for Lord of the Rings? Or how about Chris Hemsworth and Thor?
Evangeline Lilly made the franchise move when she was cast as the elf Tauriel in [The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug](tag:512310). There she acted alongside A-listers like Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, and Martin Freeman. She also played the same role in the following film, [The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies](tag:512312). She acted magnificently, and her character, though she was not in Tolkien's original books, instantly became a fan-favorite. Though that was not the end of Lilly's rise to fame.
If there is one film franchise bigger than the films of Middle-Earth (other than Star Wars), it's the Marvel franchise. The Avengers movies, Iron Man movies, and all of the rest of the superhero movies have blown up the box-office like none-other, so naturally Evangeline Lilly signed up to be a part of it.
In Marvel's most recent success, Ant-Man, Lilly plays Hope Van Dyne, daughter of the original Ant-Man Hank Pym. Though she plays mainly a supporting character in Ant-Man, there is little doubt that she is going to rise to superhero status as Wasp, Ant-Man's micro-sized crime-fighting companion. If that is the case, we may see her character in future Ant-Man films and even some Avengers movies.
Not Just An Act
Playing a few memorable characters isn't enough to grant instant success in geek cinema. However, embracing geek culture itself will definitely help. On the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies panel, Evangeline revealed herself to be a massive fan of Middle-Earth. Not only has she read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, she truly admires them and she was only too happy to be cast in The Hobbit movies.
She is as just as much of a fan as we are, and that makes her even greater as an actress in geek cinema. Not only does she have to live up to our expectations as fans, but she has to live up to her own expectations as a fan as well.