Sharlto Copley

In what was truly a star-making turn, South African writer, producer and director Sharlto Copley became an international sensation after his first real performance in front of the cameras, proudly adding "actor" to his multi-hyphenate status. As the central focus of the Oscar-nominated sci-fi film "District 9" (2009), Copley played Wikus Van De Merwe with such a settled savvy, few were aware that this was his first movie and that most of his dialogue was improvised. Prior to "District 9," Copley had amassed film experience with the formation of his own Cape Town-based production company and had produced commercials and short films, but had maintained little interest in acting. That all changed after the success of the sci-fi hit. He was promptly recruited to play Captain "Howling Mad" Murdock in the television-series-turned-big-screen adaptation "The A-Team" (2010), starring with Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper and proving himself to be one of Hollywood's most multifaceted talents to emerge in years.