- February 3, 2017

20 Actors We Expect To See Roaming Around Austin During SXSW 2017


SXSW just keeps getting bigger and better. OK, so there may be some debate on that “better” statement. However, if you love seeing celebrities IRL, the fest is bringing many a familiar face to the ATX. Add those familiar faces to the many “Hey, that person looks familiar” types, and and you’ve got a week jam packed with celebrity sightings.

After spending hours combing through the official SXSW Film list, we’ve narrowed it down to 20 entertainers we highly suspect will attend some of the ten days of the festival. Plus, we’ll follow up by giving you a bonus 10 that we’re really hoping make the trip. Fingers crossed!

Please note, this isn’t our first rodeo. We’ve been speculating on SXSW for years. In 2013, we guessed that Josh Duhamel would attend (and he’s on the list this year as well). That was the same year we shared a pre-Fest flight with Jake Johnson and Ron Livingston (also on the list again this year). Last year, we listed dozens of possible attendees and were spot on with our assumptions. And, this year, we accurately predicted Song to Song’s inclusion.

Alright, enough build up. Here are the 20 celebs we will likely see at SXSW 2017.

1) Clifton Collins Jr.

The “Ballers” and “Westworld” regular was also featured in Terrance Malick’s Knight of Cups. Since he’s starring in two SXSW films (MFA and c), it’s extremely likely he will be in attendance.

Photo courtesy of Clifton Collin Jr’s Twitter account

2) Nelson Franklin

You may recognize Franklin from “New Girl,” “Veep,” or “Blackish.” He’s starring in two SXSW films: The Relationtrip and Gemini.

Photo courtesy of Nelson Franklin Twitter account

3) Michelle Forbes

As mentioned in our Austinites on TV post, Forbes is an Austin native who make a name for herself on “Guiding Light,” “24,” “True Blood,” and “The Killing.” She currently stars on “Berlin Station” and her film Gemini screens at the Fest.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Forbes Instagram account

4) Jessica Parker Kennedy

A former star of the CW’s “Secret Circle,” Kennedy stars alongside Forbes and Franklin in Gemini. She also stars in a second SXSW film, I LOVE BEKKA & LUCY.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Parker Kennedy Instagram account

5) Melissa Leo

Most well known for her Oscar-winning role in The Fighter, Leo also played our favorite First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, in the TV movie All the Way. She’s featured in two SXSW projects: Most Hated Woman In America and I’m Dying Up Here.

Photo courtesy of Melissa Leo’s Facebook page

6) Robert Forster

Character actor Robert Forster is one of those faces that you recognize, but can’t seem to place. His most popular role was in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. He stars in two similarly named SXSW films: Small Town Crime and Small Crimes.

Jackie Brown cover art courtesy Miramax Films

7) Jake Johnson

As mentioned at the top of this post, Johnson attended SXSW in 2013. As the lead in Win It All, we expect the “New Girl” star to be in attendance once again.

Photo courtesy of Jake Johnson Instagram account

8) Joe Lo Truglio

The “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor is no stranger to Austin. He’s attended SXSW in the past as well as the Off-Centered Film Festival, brought to us by Dogfish Head Brewery. The Wet Hot American Summer star appears with Johnson in Win It All.

Photo courtesy of Joe Lo Truglio Instagram account

9) Bill Nye

Since there’s a documentary on the scientist/entertainer, it’s a sure bet the Science Guy will be on the red carpet, once again returning to Austin to thrill science nerds.

Photo courtesy of Bill Nye Instagram account

10) Frank Oz

As with Nye, we’re sure Frank Oz will be in Austin since his film, Muppet Guys Talking – Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched, is screening at the Fest.

Photo courtesy Frank Oz Twitter account

11) Nick Offerman

You probably best know Offerman as Ron Swanson on “Parks and Rec” but he was also in Terrence Malick’s star-studded Knight of Cups. He appears in two SXSW projects: Infinity Baby and The Hero. In the fall of 2016, Offerman and wife Megan Mullally hosted the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame ceremony here in Austin.

Photo courtesy of Nick Offerman Twitter account

12) Martin Starr

The Knocked Up and The End featured actor has attended SXSW previously as part of the cast of “Silicon Valley.” This year, he stars in both Infinity Baby and Lemon.

Photo courtesy of Martin Starr Instagram account

13) Megan Mullally

Most recognizable as Karen Walker on “Will and Grace” (soon returning to NBC, yay!), Mullally co-stars with her hubby Nick Offerman in Infinity Baby. She also appears in Lemon.

Photo courtesy of Megan Mullally Instagram account

14) Harry Dean Stanton

While Stanton has been working steadily for decades, he’s still most recognizable as Molly Ringwald’s dad in Pretty in Pink. Though he was also in Alien, which is part of a special event at this year’s festival. Additionally, he’s featured in the new film, Lucky.

Alien photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

15) Tom Skerritt

Stanton’s co-star in both Alien and Lucky, Skerritt is likely to attend one, if not both, screenings. Known for his roles in the films Steel Magnolias, Top Gun, Space Camp, and Poison Ivy, he also spent many season on TV’s “Picket Fences.” Oh, yeah. He was also in one of those Poltergeist sequels. Classic.

Alien photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

16) Ron Livingston

Since Livingston attended in the past and starred in the ’90s Austin-shot classic, Office Space, he knows all too well how cool our city is. We expect the Swingers and “Sex and the City” star to attend in support of his film, Lucky. Unless, of course, he’s working on a new project at the time.

Office Space photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

17) Pierce Brosnan

Everyone’s favorite singing James Bond shot the AMC series “The Son” right here in Austin last year. So, when it premieres at the fest, we expect Brosnan front and center.

“The Son” photo courtesy of AMC Networks

18) Judd Apatow

A SXSW attendee and participant for years, Apatow will likely attend once again with his documentary film, May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers.

Photo courtesy of Judd Apatow Instagram account

19) Kumail Nanjani

Since the “Portlandia” and “Silicon Valley” actor is the star and screenwriter of The Big Sick, we’re guessing he’ll want to do nothing more than support the project at the festival.

Photo courtesy of Kumail Nanjani Intagram account

20) The Cast of Lemon

We already mentioned Martin Starr and Megan Mullally, but the rest of the cast of Lemon are also regulars on the Austin festival scene. Judy Greer has attended the ATX Television Festival, as has Shiri Appleby (two years ago she also spoke with us about the SXSW premiere of her series UnReal). And musician/actor Michael Cera has participated in the festival in numerous ways over the years. We expect some, if not all of them, to be on hand this year. The film also stars Brett Gelman, Nia Long, and Rhea Perlman.

Judy Greer and Brett Gelman photo courtesy of Greer’s Instagram account


As we speculate on the celebrity attendance, we also speculate that you may not be all that excited about the names we’ve listed. However, as mentioned at the top of this post, these aren’t all the stars we’re anticipating. Actually, it’s not even close. The real star power lies with the actors whose attendance we’re holding our breath for. And if some of them show up at the fest, we won’t be able to breathe once they’re here either.

Stay tuned for our list of the top 10 superstars we’re most hoping to see come March.

And be sure to let us know which celebs you spot at this year’s festival tag us on Instagram (@austindotcom) or email us!


Featured photos courtesy of Jake Johnson, Joe Lo Truglio, Megan Mullally and Bill Nye Instagram accounts