The Top 20 Best Actors under the age of 40

* Recent Actors to have turned 40 and been removed from the list: Christian Bale (From the Number 1 spot) Di Caprio (#2) Casey affleck (#7) Idris Elba (#10), Adrien Brody (#12), Bradley Cooper (#12) Sharlto Copley (#16), Takeshi Kaneshiro (#17).
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1.
Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a German father, Josef, and an Irish mother, Adele (originally from Larne, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland). Michael was raised in the town of Killarney, Co. Kerry, in south-west Ireland, where his family moved to when he was two years old. His parents ran a restaurant (his father is a chef)...
“ Dominates pretty much any movie he is in. X-men reboot, Prometheus, Shame to name but few. ” - david_browne14
 
2.
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetelu Umeadi Ejiofor was born on July 10, 1977 in Forest Gate, London, England, to Nigerian parents, Obiajulu (Okaford), a pharmacist, and Arinze Ejiofor, a doctor. Chiwetel attended Dulwich College in South-East London. By the age of 13 he was appearing in numerous school and National Youth Theatre productions and subsequently attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts...
 
3.
Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch was born and raised in London, England. His parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton (Timothy Carlton Congdon Cumberbatch), are both actors. He is a grandson of submarine commander Henry Carlton Cumberbatch, and a great-grandson of diplomat Henry Arnold Cumberbatch CMG...
 
4.
Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy made his debut in Ridley Scott's 2001 war film Black Hawk Down. Hardy's other notable films include the science fiction film Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), the crime film RocknRolla (2008), biographical psychological drama Bronson (2008), science fiction thriller Inception (2010), sports drama Warrior (2011)...
 
5.
Jake Gyllenhaal
Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal was born in Los Angeles, to producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner (née Achs) and director Stephen Gyllenhaal. He is the brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who played his sister in Donnie Darko. His godmother is actress Jamie Lee Curtis. His mother is from a Jewish family, and his father's ancestry includes Swedish, English, and Swiss-German...
 
6.
Cillian Murphy
Actor, Inception
Striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy was born in Douglas, the oldest child of Brendan Murphy, who works for the Irish Department of Education, and a mother who is a teacher of French. He has three younger siblings. Murphy was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork. He went on to study law at University College Cork...
“ Massively Underrated, Cillian could be one of the finest young actor of his generation.
His performances in Sunshine, Batman Begins and the Wind that shakes the barley highlight his credentials. Look out for an early performance in The Tv classic: The Way We Live Now (2003) ” - david_browne14
 
7.
Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne is an English actor, model and singer. Brought up in Westminster, Redmayne attended Eton College and began his professional acting career as a youth in London theatre before making his screen debut in 1998 with guest appearances on television. He made his feature film debut in 2006 with Like Minds and The Good Shepherd and went on to appear in films such as Savage Grace (2007)...
 
8.
Ryan Gosling
Actor, Drive
Ryan Thomas Gosling was born on November 12, 1980, in London, Ontario, Canada. He is the son of Donna (Wilson), a secretary, and Thomas Ray Gosling, a traveling salesman. Ryan was the second of their two children. His ancestry is French-Canadian, as well as English, Scottish, and German. The Gosling family moved to Cornwall...
 
9.
James McAvoy
McAvoy was born on 21 April 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth (née Johnstone), a nurse, and James McAvoy senior, a bus driver. He was raised on a housing estate in Drumchapel, Glasgow by his maternal grandparents (James, a butcher, and Mary) after his parents divorced when James was 7. He went to St Thomas Aquinas Secondary in Jordanhill...
 
10.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Actor, Inception
Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt was born February 17, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, to Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt. Joseph was raised in a Jewish family with his late older brother, Dan Gordon-Levitt, who passed away in October 2010. His parents worked for the Pacifica Radio station KPFK-FM and his maternal grandfather...
 
11.
James Franco
Actor, 127 Hours
Known for his breakthrough starring role on Freaks and Geeks, James Franco was born in Palo Alto, California on April 19, 1978. His mother, Betsy Franco, is Jewish, and his father, Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco, was of Portuguese and Swedish descent, and ran a Silicon Valley business. James's mother, a writer, has occasionally acted...
 
12.
Ben Whishaw
Proclaimed by many critics as one of the best young actors of his generation, Benjamin John Whishaw was born in Clifton, Bedfordshire, to Linda (Hope), who works in cosmetics, and Jose Whishaw, who works in information technology. He has a twin brother, James. He is of French, German, Russian (father) and English (mother) descent...
 
13.
Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston is best known for his role as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), and Thor: The Dark World (2013). He has also appeared in Steven Spielberg's War Horse (2011), The Deep Blue Sea (2011), Woody Allen's romantic comedy Midnight in Paris (2011)...
 
14.
Daniel Brühl
Daniel Brühl was born in Barcelona, Spain. His father was German TV director Hanno Brühl (1937-2010), who was born in São Paulo, Brazil. His Spanish mother was a teacher. He also has a brother and a sister, Oliver and Miriam. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Cologne, Germany, where he grew up and attended the Dreikönigsgymnasium...
 
15.
Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill was born and raised in Los Angeles, the son of Sharon (Chalkin), a fashion designer and costume stylist, and Richard Feldstein, a tour accountant for Guns N' Roses. His siblings are music manager Jordan Feldstein and actress Beanie Feldstein. He graduated from Crossroads School in Santa Monica and went on to The New School in New York to study drama...
 
17.
Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum was born in a small town, Cullman, Alabama, 50 miles north of Birmingham. He is the son of Kay (Faust), an airline worker, and Glenn Matthew Tatum, who worked in construction. Growing up, he was full of energy and somewhat troublesome, so his parents decided to enroll him in different sports such as track and field...
 
18.
Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul was born Aaron Paul Sturtevant in Emmett, Idaho, to Darla (Haynes) and Robert Sturtevant, a retired Baptist minister. While growing up, Paul took part in church programs, and performed in plays. He attended Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho. It was there, in eighth grade, that Aaron decided he wanted to become an actor...
 
19.
Jesse Eisenberg
Curly haired and with a fast-talking voice, Jesse Eisenberg is a movie actor, known for his Academy Award nominated role as Mark Zuckerberg in the 2010 film The Social Network. He has also starred in the films The Squid and the Whale, Adventureland, The Education of Charlie Banks, 30 Minutes or Less...
 
20.
Chris Hemsworth
Actor, Thor
Chris Hemsworth was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Leonie (van Os), a teacher of English, and Craig Hemsworth, a social-services counselor. His brothers are actors Liam Hemsworth and Luke Hemsworth. He is of Dutch (from his immigrant maternal grandfather), Irish, English, Scottish, and German ancestry. His uncle, by marriage, was Rod Ansell, the bushman who inspired the film Crocodile Dundee...