Published December 16, 2011
2011 had its fair share of fresh-faced newcomers, but some of this year’s biggest breakout stars were long-overlooked veterans.
Melissa McCarthy’s performances in "Bridesmaids" and "Mike and Molly" earned her a long overdue moment in the spotlight, Ryan Gosling made his way into mainstream movies and the hearts of women everywhere, and Octavia Spencer left us both laughing and crying through her performance in "The Help."
Jessica Chastain, who appeared in six movies, and Michael Fassbender, who appeared in four, were two actors who couldn’t be missed this year. And let's not forget their respective Golden Globe nominations for "The Help" and "Shame."
On "Glee" Naya Rivera proved that she is much more than a comedic foil, and in "Martha Marcy May Marlene," Elizabeth Olsen demonstrated that she has absolutely no need to capitalize on her older sisters' fame.
In the music industry, Scott McCreery is successfully making the transition from "American Idol" winner to country music artist, while LMFAO had two wildly popular Top 10 hits.
Perhaps most interesting is Rooney Mara, who is already being heralded as one of the biggest breakout stars of 2011, despite the fact that her movie, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," has yet to hit theaters. Let us know: Who's the biggest breakout star of 2011?