Meet the up-and-coming actors atop every Hollywood agent, casting director and studio executive’s wish list. These 20 rising stars are fronting their own shows, ushering in the next generation of superheroes and playing icons like Princess Diana (Emma Corrin of Netflix’s The Crown) and President Barack Obama (Kingsley Ben-Adir of Showtime’s The Comey Rule).
Some, like Normal People’s Paul Mescal and Hollywood’s Jeremy Pope, have even caught the attention of Emmy voters, earning first-time nominations for their onscreen debuts. Others, like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s Danny Ramirez and Matrix 4‘s Jessica Henwick, are suiting up for top-secret roles in major Hollywood franchises. They join a list that, in the past, has anointed such talent as Atlanta‘s Lakeith Stanfield, The Queen’s Gambit‘s Anya Taylor Joy and Lovecraft Country‘s Jonathan Majors, now all established stars.
This year’s crop of actors — a mix of fresh faces (hello, Never Have I Ever‘s Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) and long-working actors who’ve recently broken out in a new way (see: The Righteous Gemstones‘ Skyler Gisondo) — are destined for big- and small-screen stardom. Says The Boys star Erin Moriarty, “It’s funny how you can work for ten years but all you need is that one project that gets attention.”
Profiles written by Kirsten Chuba, Aaron Couch, Sharareh Drury, Mia Galuppo, Natalie Jarvey, Mikey O’Connell, Lexy Perez, Alex Ritman and Bryn Sandberg.
Between Chernobyl, Fargo and I’m Thinking of Ending Things, the Irish performer is leaning hard into prestige projects. A grad of the lionized Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Buckley got her start on BBC reality show I’d Do Anything before finding crossover success with 2018’s Wild Rose. Up next: Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter and Cold War spy thriller The Courier.
I’d love to star in a remake of … “Les Amants du Pont-Neuf by Leos Carax — but I hope no one ever does because it’s perfect as it is.”
My guilty pleasure show is … “The Repair Shop on BBC.”
If I weren’t an actor, I’d be … “A clown, or someone in a circus in the ’50s. Or a fat old lady who lives in Greece and sits on the benches by the sea every evening, not saying a word to anyone else on the bench. Just looking satisfied and thinking about maybe having a cheeky skinny dip in the morning.”
Onscreen character I most identified with as a kid … “Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.”
The person I’ve been most starstruck by … Bonnie Raitt
My most embarrassing audition story … “Doing a very bad ‘cat’ dance audition for the film Cats. It was cat-astrophic!”
Why aren’t more people in Hollywood talking about … “Why no one walks in L.A.?! It’s so hot. If that was Ireland people would be outside rubbing butter on themselves getting a tan.”
When will people in Hollywood stop talking about … “Franchises.”